Happy Monday everyone!
We’re coming off a pretty restful weekend; I hope yours was just as splendid.
Saturday night, I was watching TV with Buff and, just as we were lamenting what a vast wasteland it had become, we found ourselves sucked in by the induction ceremony for the NFL Hall of Fame. This year’s class included Minnesota Viking’s Cris Carter, Coach Bill Parcells and Dallas Cowboys (and my former neighbor) Larry Allen to name a few. I was so taken by the speeches I totally forgot I’m not much of a sports fan; I think that’s because what they spoke about, friends and family, struggles and ultimately success, transcended the field.
They were talking about winning at the game of life.
A few years ago, former Denver Broncos tight end Shannon Sharpe gave an equally moving speech during his induction.
Sharpe talked about what drove him to be the best and about something I feel very strongly about, creating opportunities for yourself.
The former ball player told a story about one game in particular. One of the coaches pulled him aside to tell him his name was on the board to be cut the next day. The coach said something to the effect of, “I don’t know how much you’re going to play or even you’re even going to play. But if you do, give it your all; that way when you do get cut, at least there will be something on tape for others to see. They’ll be able to say, hey that guy can play a little bit.”
The next day in driving rain, Sharpe went out and played his heart out. The day after that, his name was no longer on the board to be cut.
With his back against the wall, he took supreme advantage of an opportunity.
A whole lot of things went into making that opportunity a reality; endless hours of running plays, working in the weight room, learning the playbook and so on. But when the door opened a crack, he kicked it in.
While I have no illusions about my experience being anywhere close to Shannon Sharpe’s, I do have to say there were things in his speech that mirrored my own life.
As many of you know, one of the doors in my professional life slammed shut on that day in December when I was fired from my big network news gig.
But like Sharpe, I look back at the past several years of my life and though difficult, they have, in a weird way, been incredibly rewarding.
It’s not the really big things either; it’s the brick-by-brick building of the Good Enough Mother brand. It’s things like securing a deal to be part of Huggies Mommy Answers. It’s the TV shows, Sweet Retreats and Exhale, both of which came about as a result of what I was doing online here. It’s being named as one of the premiere authors for my ad network, an honor that landed me in the Wall Street Journal, among other places. And it’s the incredibly talented group of people who have signed up to be write for and be part of Team GEM.
When a door closed, like Sharpe, I started making plays. I may never end up in the NFL Hall of Fame but I sort of know how he feels.
By the way, here’s the entire 27 minute speech.. I highly recommend watching it!
What about you.. what are you winning at in the game of life?
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