It’s easy to look at successful people—an Oscar-winning actress, a crowd-surfing musician, or even an all-star athlete—and assume that they shot to the top thanks to their talent and some dumb luck. Here’s the good news: hard work and ambition are the secret ingredients to success, not chance. For U.S. Women’s National Team soccer player Carli Lloyd, it took a lot more than just being gifted to get her to the gold medal, and Carli’s story is hardly a fairytale.

Carli had to struggle and she faced rejection. Believe it or not, she was once told by a coach that she didn’t have what it takes to be a star player. Even though she had devoted her life to the sport, Carli almost quit playing soccer. We’re so glad she didn’t give up!

In her book, All Heart: My Dedication and Determination to Become One of Soccer’s Best, Carli tells all, and TBH we’ve never felt so inspired. The book goes in depth about Carli’s journey, on and off the soccer field, and reads like sports commentary from inside the player’s head. Carli gives her unfiltered advice about setting goals, sticking to them and rebounding when obstacles arise. Here are  some of our favorite quotes from All Heart that explain why Carli is #inspiration and #goals.

“I want to be a role model, not a runway model. I want to be known for the body of work of my career. If that makes me old-fashioned or out of step with the times we live in , so be it. I’m always going to be true to how I feel. 

“If you believe in yourself and truly commit to doing your best in everything you do, there’s no telling where your journey will take you.”

“I want to keep getting better and better. I don’t want to be satisfied, ever. This may sound grim but it isn’t at all. It’s joyful, because the pursuit of progress is joyful. Playing the game I love is joyful. So I keep pushing, I keep working.” 

“Life is complicated. Life is going to throw all kinds of obstacles in your way. All I can tell you is what works for me: be true to yourself, don’t do fake, and above all else, keep on working, because that’s what will take you where you want to go.”

Carli speaks from the heart and reflects on her personal experiences, on and off the field. She sets an example that we all can follow: a woman who puts her passion and drive above negative thinking. This book is for every girl, not just soccer fans; Carli’s great advice can be applied to all aspects of your life!