Be your own champion

October 30, 2020

Recently during a mentoring session, I asked my mentee the following question: “Which NFL player has the the most cSuper Bowl Rings?” The question was easy, he shouted out Tom Brady. That was the setup question for the one that followed…”Which NFL player is second to Tom Brady with five rings?” Nothing but dead silence and crickets. I even gave him a clue…”he played for the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys”, still dead silence. I gave him another clue…” he played defensive end and linebacker.” Nothing. I told him the answer was Charles Haley. Despite his achievements, my 40 year old mentee still did not know Charles Haley.

The mentoring lesson that I gave him was simply…don’t confuse success with recognition. There are many successful people that have moved great mountains and achieved incredible success even though their names may not be widely known. Most people, at some point in their lives, dreamed of public fame and recognition, but if that is your motivation for chasing a dream you’ll be disappointed. Fame is fleeting and only a very small fraction of people have ever maintained it long term.

Find something that you love to do and do it because you love it. Whether you name is Tom Brady or Charles Haley, what matters is that you pursue happiness on your own terms. Charles Haley may not have the same level of recognition as Tom Brady, but most would agree that his achievements have earned him the same, if not more, personal satisfaction.

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