ERIC WAYS

Eric Ways was recruited to the University of Notre Dame on full scholarship for Track and Field after graduating from Woodberry Forest School in Virginia as a state champion with his times in the 300m dash and 500m dash ranking fourth and fifth in the United States, respectively. At Notre Dame, Ways has a school record in the 4x400 meter relay that he help set as a freshman at the NCAA National Track and Field Championship. At 19, he was cast to star in his first feature film and now graduating from Notre Dame with the "Department Chair's Prize" in Film, Television, and Theater. Ways also narrated the commercial for Notre Dame's "Boldly ND" fundraising campaign and he will be starring in a feature film in the Berlin Around International Film Festival in December.

The Lesson That Changed My Life

Eric: If you can't deal with disappointment, you'll never know what you can do on your own if you put your mind to it.

I grew up in a small suburb of Indianapolis called Fishers, Indiana with my mom and my older brother, Aubrey. And, yeah, life was great. We had a great neighborhood. I had tons of friends in my neighborhood. In 2008, my mom lost her job so we had to move to North Carolina. And what I learned was, at a young age, that you always have to adapt to things, things are going to be happening in your life, and you never know where you're going to go, but you just have to kind of go with the flow.

The only thing that stands in between us and what we want to do is fear. Fear is our worst enemy. We can't let fear control our lives. If I had been too afraid to make that introduction, that decision, that choice, I would not be where I am today. Fear is the only thing that stops you from doing what you want to do in life. If we can't be excellent in all the things that we do, if we're not under pressure, if we're not often disappointed. If you can't do anything under pressure, then you'll never be strong. And if you can't deal with disappointment, you'll never know what you can do on your own if you put your mind to it. And so one life lesson is just to always look fear in the eye and accept it.

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