I know it is football season, but I just recently listened to Steph Curry’s acceptance speech for being named the NBA’s MVP for the second straight year.  I heard a couple things that I wanted to share with you.  The first was all the people he thanked for his success – which of course is what you do in an acceptance speech.   But it got me thinking about how many people in our own personal and profession lives play such an integral role in our own individual development and success.  We don’t all have the public platform to thank those people collectively, but wouldn’t it be great if on a daily basis we reached out to one or two to personally thank them and show our appreciation for the impact they have had on our lives.  On the flipside, think about how many people we each have had a positive influence and/or help to reach their full potential?

Along those same lines, the second thing he said that impressed me, was that much of his success he owed to surrounding himself with people who pushed him to be the best he can be.  In order to grow, we need a certain amount of conflict and struggle in our lives.  If we have people around us who are always agreeing with us or taking it easy on us, we will never be challenged to improve.   I once heard Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice tell a group of college students “if all your friends agree with you, then you need a new set of friends.”   They say for a butterfly to be as strong as it can be, it must struggle against the sides of its cocoon before it breaks through and flies away.  Likewise, we need to surround ourselves with people who bring out the best in us and push us to be the best we can be.  And in turn, we need to push those around us to be as successful as they can be.

Keeping these two things in mind, it brings to memory the quote by the great American orator, Robert Ingersoll, who said “we all rise by lifting others.”  We should each make an effort each day to bring out the best in someone else.  If we do, we will all be MVPs.

I want to wish you all the very best and much continued success.

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