World CupJoga bonito is the Portuguese phrase that the Brazilians often use to describe football.

It literally means, “play beautifully” and is a wonderful way of describing their philosophy towards the sport.

To Brazilians, football isn’t just about kicking a ball, it’s about playing with creativity, flair and technical brilliance.

It’s not about 0-0 draws, it’s about flamboyant stars such as Pele, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and their current genius, Neymar.

Even their defenders aren’t best known for their dour tackling, but for their fearless, precocious dribbling, powerful shooting and constant attacking threat.

And it’s not just about winning, it’s about winning beautifully and providing entertainment to their adoring fans.

With the World Cup kicking off today in Brazil, my question is, does joga bonito just apply to football, or can it apply to the rest of our lives as well?

Do we have to go through our days with a scowl on our faces, or can we live with joy?

Do we have to go through the motions, or can we utilise our skills more creatively?

Does our work have to be meaningless and robotic, or can we find a way to operate with passion?

Do we have to share boring information, or can we tell compelling stories?

Is life a series of mundane activities, or can it become a magnificent opportunity to bring life and laughter to the people around us?

I love football and hope that Brazil, Australia and the other nations involved are able to put on a spectacle that displays the finest elements of the game.

And I love life more and hope that we all can treat it as a beautiful game rather than an all too serious business, finding ways to make our contribution with a smile on our face whilst bringing enjoyment to those around us.

Football can be a beautiful game and so can life.

May you live your life with the spirit of joga bonito.

And go Socceroos!

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