Thursday, March 12, 2009

I was not allowed to quit when things got tough

Saw recently where Dwyane Wade relies on guys like Kobe and LeBron to push him to achieve more. In his words:

"Listen, I won a championship. I’ve been a Finals MVP. I’ve had All-Star games. I’m on every commercial you see. My life is good. But you have to keep going and keep going. You need things to push you, and I found them. There are always guys that are going to push me. LeBron and Kobe are two of the best talents this game has ever seen. If you want your name to be right there with them, you’ve got to continue working hard."

Wade's quote reminded me of a book I read last year. In it, professionals from various fields and walks of life talked about who had pushed them to achieve success.

The great Morgan Freeman (pictured above), one of my favorite actors, said he "was not allowed to quit when things got tough. I was not allowed to give up acting and try something else. I was just not allowed. There was always somebody there who gave me encouragement or help."

Several people credited their mothers or fathers with providing the support and positive reinforcement they needed to press on. According to Pablo Picasso, one of the world's great painters, his mother told him, "If you become a solider, you'll be a general. If you become a monk, you'll end up as Pope." He continued: "Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso."

Early in his cycling career, Lance Armstrong wanted to quit a race, telling his mother that he simply couldn't go any further. His mother replied that she wouldn't allow him to quit, even if he had to walk his bike across the finish line. "So Lance walked to the finish line."

Then there's Derek Hatfield, who was in a Trans-atlantic sailboat race when his mast broke. When he finally made it to land, he called his father to tell him he was quitting. "Bring the trailer, I'm dropping out of the race," recalls Hatfield.

His father was having none of it, saying, "I'm not bringing you the trailer. You get back on the boat and go to the finish line."

Hatfield "finished the race and became one of the few people who have ever sailed around the world alone."