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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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