Last week a friend shared a speech given by the late basketball coach Jimmy Valvano.
It wasn’t the “Never Give Up” speech he is most known for – where he literally got off his death bed to accept the ESPN Courage award and announce the formation of the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research.
It was a lesser-known talk given at a sales meeting several years earlier. In his note, my friend said, “Do yourself a favor and take the time to watch it. I promise you it isn’t a chore. It is extremely entertaining. The portion of his speech about his dad rings especially true in your message today.”
He was right. Valvano was a gifted storyteller and could have been a comic if coaching didn’t work out.
The story he tells about his father revolved around what he called the greatest gift you can give someone – your belief in them.
After several attempts to describe his story, I’ve realized that I can’t do it justice. So please, go to this clip at 41:30. It’s only four minutes long and promise you it will be well worth your time.
After watching this, ask yourself these questions:
- When was the last time you told someone you believed in them?
- Does your belief in someone lift them up when they are down?
- Beyond your words, when was the last time “you had your bags packed for someone?” This phrase will make sense after you watch the clip.
Valvano noted that while our belief in someone is the greatest gift we can give, we too often withhold it. We see this play out in our families, our workplace, communities and as a country.
In reflecting on these questions, I can point to many moments in my life where someone’s belief carried me. Sadly, it’s a little harder to find as many moments when my belief in them did the same.
Fear, doubt and the experience of failure can cause our belief in ourselves and others to wain — even with those we love the most.
Emerson wrote, “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”
Fill this want for someone today. Share this post to say you believe in them and then start “packing your bags” to prove it.