“Be Like THIS Mike too”

Michael "Mike" Vick, QB Philadelphia Eagles

Many a man has finally succeeded only because

he has failed after repeated efforts.

If he had never met defeat

he would never have known any great victory.

~ Orison Swett Marden

Thoughts from Coach O:

First of all; YES… I am on a Orison Swett Marden flow these last few days. The man was a great thinker. Check out more of his quotes here.

When I saw this Marden quote, I thought of Michael (Mike) Vick. He’s made an amazing comeback in his career & life! What a incredible journey the last three years of his life have been!! Yet, last week he was named to the NFL Pro Bowl and has been named one of the “Top Ten Comeback Stories of 2010” by Time Magazine! There is also another article in Time called, “From Prison to the Pro Bowl, the meaning of Mike Vick.” (click here to read)

What can WE learn from the Mike Vick story?

  1. Surround yourself with great people: several of the men that were involved in the Vick dog fighting scandal, were long-time friends from his past. When he moved to the next level (the NFL), he chose to bring them with him. Who you allow close to you affects your decisions & destiny. As Oprah Winfrey says, “Surround yourself with people that will lift you up.” When you are surrounded (inner circle) by people that “lift you up”, they influence you to stay on the “success grind” — because everyone around you desires to be GREAT!
  2. Find a mentor: What is interesting in the Vick case, the mentor found him! Former NFL head coach, Tong Dungy, went to visit Mike in prison (April ’09) and became his mentor. He became the missing accountability factor so needed in Vick’s life!  Once you allow someone to mentor you, you give them permission to “speak into your life.” There are not too many mentors better than Tony Dungy!
  3. Believe in yourself: I cannot imagine what it must have been like to be Vick and experience all the negative things said about him —  from the Atlanta Falcons to animal rights groups. That constant onslaught of negativity would have thrown most people way off course. But Vick believed in himself! He showed an uncanny determination to overcome adversity (failure & defeat) and now experiences “great victory”. Sugar Ray Robinson is quoted, “To be a champ you have to believe in yourself when no one else will.”

Now I know there are some that may never forgive his crimes, but that is not what I am addressing today… I am recognizing his ability to overcome this incredible adversity and get back on the road to success. I daresay, many would not have been so committed to do the things necessary to change… It will be a process for Vick, but I believe he has the right “tools” in his life to make it all the way back! I pray he has the strength & focus to stay on the “path.” Congratulations, Mike, for what you have accomplished so far!!

I end with a quote from MY mentor, Dr. AR Bernard, “Change is not an event; it is a process.”

“Be Like THIS Mike too & overcome the adversity in YOUR life!”

“Be Like Mike”


Mike Tomlin, Steelers head coach

“Unless you have prepared yourself to profit by your chance, the opportunity will only make you look ridiculous. A great occasion is valuable to you just in proportion as you have educated yourself to make use of it.” ~
~ Orison Swett Marden

Thoughts from Coach O:

When I read the above quote today, I thought of Coach Mike Tomlin (“Coach T”, as many of his players call him), head coach of the Super Bowl-bound, Pittsburgh Steelers.

When Mike Tomlin applied for his 1st job in NFL, he had NO NFL experience! He hadn’t even played a down in the NFL!! Nonetheless, when Tony Dungy was hiring staff in 2001, as then head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he decided to take a chance on Tomlin and hired him as an assistant coach..(Read the short article here)

Ten years later, Tomlin is taking the Pittsburgh Steelers to their 2nd Super Bowl in his fours years as their head coach! Simply put, Tomlin took advantage of his chance when he got it…

What can WE learn here? Learn to prepare diligently for your chance! You should be studying your craft, whether it is coaching, accountant, or lawyer. Study every day & be insatiable for knowledge. “Great leaders are life-learners!”

Too many of us sit around complaining that they haven’t gotten the “Tomlin-like” chances and we just sit there, wishing things were different. Many times, what keeps us from taking the “Tomlin-type risk” is fear. Fear that we won’t get a chance because we don’t have the experience for someone to give us a chance. Well, Coach Tomlin didn’t have the experience either, did he? LOOK at him NOW!

Dale Carnegie says. “If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”

So, what is it that you really want to do & haven’t taken that “Tomlin-type risk?” Are you prepared? Have you been preparing?

If you answered yes, then “be like Mike — Coach Mike” prepare, take the risk, take advantage of your chance & GO FOR YOUR DREAMS!!

Coach Tomlin has really inspired me…how about you?