“It doesn’t matter if you’re black, white, Latino, Asian…it doesn’t matter if you’re 5’11″. It’s the heart that you bring.” Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks Quarterback
Russell Wilson, quarterback of the Super Bowl winning Seahawks has had his detractors. The 5’11’ QB was a third-round-draft-pick whose 2013 salary was less than what his Super Bowl opponent, Peyton Manning, makes per game. He shouldn’t have won the Super Bowl. In fact, he shouldn’t have even played in the Super Bowl.
When asked how he accomplished such a feat, Wilson said that when he was young, his father would tap him on the shoulder and say, “Russ, why not you?” Those four words became his mantra and his message to the Seahawks team.
We’ve all had set backs, we all have detractors, and we all have bouts of self-doubt. The winning combination is to be someone who’s confronted adversity and remained hopeful. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
In my experience as an executive coach, hope is one of the greatest indicators of personal success. Hope gives you the inspiration to move out of your comfort zone and aim for something better. Hope isn’t a rose-colored lens that projects limitless optimism. It’s a gut-felt confidence that no matter what happens, you have what it takes to pull through. It frees you to make difficult decisions and to aim for something far out of reach.
Russell Wilson is a great reminder that against overwhelming odds and an ocean of cynics, hope survives.
If he can do it, why can’t you?