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Earlier this month, our team had the opportunity to attend Accelerent’s quarterly breakfast event. Like this one, featuring former Sports Illustrated associate editor and eight-time New York Times best-selling author Don Yaeger as the keynote, and this one, featuring former Phoenix Police Officer Jason Schechterle sharing his incredible story, it did not disappoint!

That’s because the keynote this round was none other than former NFL running back, most famously for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and current ESPN analyst Merril Hoge, who is also a cancer survivor.

Don’t worry, fellow Cardinals fans, I am not secretly a Steelers fan! But I am a fan of hard work, dedication and unadulterated passion for something in life, for which Hoge has in spades.

A lot of what he talked about focused on how he made it to the NFL, then how he beat cancer. And while neither an aspiring NFL running back nor fighting an uphill battle with cancer, so much of what he said resonated with me – and how to look at work and life in general.

Here are some of the nuggets of wisdom I took from his speech:

  • Find a way.
  • You are what you do repeatedly. Good or bad.
  • Excellence is NOT any single act – excellence is a habit.
  • Being uncommon can be a good thing – make being uncommon a habit, too.
  • Make goals – but make them more than words on a piece of paper.
  • If there is something you want to do – find someone doing it well and learn everything out you can from them.
  • Want it. And want it more than anyone else. And want it every day of the week.
  • Invest in yourself now, so you can capitalize on yourself later. (This especially rang true for Hoge, who applied 30 years of sports training and health to his fight against cancer. It saved his life.)
  • Exhaust your talents. You can’t take them with you!
  • Do your part. Do it every day. Do it hard.

As an aside, his hero also happens to be the same as my dad’s – Walter Payton. For those who don’t know his story – Payton was all of the above in the flesh, and more. Now, Hoge had to find a library to study up on idol Payton. For you, my hope is that you simply give him a Google today. My advice – Google “Walter Payton and the Dirt Hill.” Talk about wanting it more, and doing more to get it every day of the week. What is your dirt hill? And how do you make excellence a habit in your daily life?

Alison Bailin
Alison Bailin
Senior Account Executive Alison has a lot to say…about pretty much everything...all the time. From the current state of public relations to the social media impact on Shark Week to crisis communications in the sports world, Alison’s blogs are focused on “amusing through her PR musings,” and then some. Check out Alison's full bio

1 Comment

  1. Scott Hanson says:

    And don’t forget, “Inspire action.”

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