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The Most Important Takeaway From Jimmy V’s 1993 ESPY Award Speech That We Forget

The Most Important Takeaway From Jimmy V’s 1993 ESPY Award Speech That We Forget

I’ve been an avid college basketball fan ever since I was a young child and I vividly remember one of the most powerful coaches on the court, Jimmy Valvano. His passion for the game was something that could never be missed during games I’d watch on television.

He’s one of the reasons I loved playing basketball as a child. Like many others, I had the hopes and dreams of playing at the sport at a college level. You’d watch him on the bench running his team and it was something you wanted to be a part of.

In a sad, yet inspiring twist of fate, he’s now gone, passing away tragically in 1993 from a battle with cancer. He will certainly never be forgotten. As a result of his legendary 1993 ESPY Awards address in combination with his legacy, I wanted to share my personal feelings on what exactly he leaves behind for us.

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That video gets me every single time. I watch it over and over again. And there’s good reason for it.

If you haven’t watched it before, stop reading this article and watch it. If you have watched it, you know that Jimmy Valvano leaves behind three key requests for all of us.

“When people say to me how do you get through life or each day, it’s the same thing. To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. Number three is you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”

If those three things – laughing, thinking, and crying – is done every day, mindfully and meaningfully, in both your personal and professional lives, it is a full day. A day that is truly lived.

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The Most Important Takeaway

Aside from those three key requests Valvano mentioned, there’s another part in particular that hits me even more.

About halfway through the speech, he talks about his family support. He looks up and sees a monitor giving him the normal countdown of how much time he has left to finish his speech.

He responds with, “That screen is flashing up there 30 seconds like I care about that screen right now, huh? I got tumors all over my body. I’m worried about some guy in the back going “30 seconds”? You got a lot, hey va fa Napoli, buddy. You got a lot.”

Time.

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It is an important part of our busy lives that we too often forget about. Whether it’s flying through life because of our busy work schedules, or neglecting your todays because you think you’re guaranteed an infinite amount of tomorrows, we take time for granted.

And every time I watch that video and those few seconds come up, I always pause it to think about my life: personally and professionally.

I always worried I’m so busy that I’m missing out on the beauty of what’s around.

We know two important pieces to the puzzle of life: time isn’t always on your side and life itself is very precious. Those are two important lessons right there that Jimmy V leaves behind as a part of his incredible legacy.

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To that end, I use this week every year to reminisce on what a legacy Jimmy V. leaves behind and what he really wants everyone to remember about life, including you.

To me personally, it’s about making sure to enjoy life to the fullest as we navigate through its hardships and challenges. It’s a truth that can translate easily in our lives professionally and personally. I make sure that people I associate with feel a sense of passion and pride while working together. You should too.

Jimmy V. says best, “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.

Featured photo credit: ESPN via espnmediazone.com

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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