As my coach – PF – so eloquently put it:
“Gratitude is a belief and conviction that serves as a constant reminder of what you have been given, where you came from and whose shoulders you are standing on now. “
It is far more than “thank you” and appreciation. It is a humble acknowledgement of the extraordinary role that others played in getting you to this point.
Gratitude is the source that in many ways fuels your journey, taking you where you ultimately want to go.
Like Coach Ellsworth said, it is more about a way of being.
Having an “attitude of gratitude”.
When I look back, reflect and think of all I have been “given”, gifted and entrusted with, I have to admit. I am quite literally stunned.
But for now, let’s just focus on this one aspect of my life: football.
You want to talk about opportunity? The opportunity to: coach, to mentor, to lead, to write this for all of you, to speak to you, to get to know all of you – and – quite simply just be a part of all of this.
And what of the distance I have traveled; how far I have come as a person, a parent and a man.. It wasn’t ever easy, and I am confident there will be more adversity to come.
But in the end, it wasn’t so much because of me.
Rather, it was what others saw in me.
Thought of me. What others thought I could do. Entrusted me to do. And yes, eventually, expected me to do. Because they had so much faith in me, this transformation was possible. They pushed me to get right. Their enduring support will take me farther than I could have ever imagined.
There is no way that I can repay their generosity. To compensate them for what they gave to me in terms of their time, efforts, support, unyielding faith and love. I will forever be indebted to them.
But in no way am I burdened by this.
Quite the opposite.
Through their efforts I have discovered mental, emotional and physical resources I did not know existed. I have a passion to take on new challenges and let opportunity take me wherever it may lead me.
I will do for all others – what everyone else has done for me.
That is the simple and lasting power of gratitude.
So I ask you. to take a moment, and look around you right now.
They are all right there.
All ready to help. To push. To take part in your transformation.
Ready to be a presence in your present.
More shoulders than you can imagine.