A couple of times a year, we have company-wide meetings meant to keep us all informed and engaged. Sometimes we even get a little entertainment. And this week, for our pre-holiday season kick-off, we were treated to a special guest speaker.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver James Jones made the trip to Dodgeville on a rare day off to share a bit about his personal story and how he kept focused on his dream of playing professional football.
James shared with us that he spent a good deal of his childhood living on the streets and in homeless shelters. By the time he got to college, he was (to paraphrase James) a little less than enthused about the going-to-class part.
After a call from a concerned professor, and a heart-to-heart with his coach, James re-dedicated himself to school and his future. To help stay focused, he took to writing motivational phrases on his closet door. And to this day, he still lives by this acronym: N.T.A.F.
Never Think About Failure.
As far as motivational messages go, it’s pretty straightforward. Not real flashy. Humble, even. Just like James himself. But it’s helped him achieve some pretty remarkable feats including playing in and winning Super Bowl XLV in 2011, and becoming the NFL leader in touchdown receptions in 2012.
Overall, James’ message was well received… even by the Bears fans among us.
As we made our way back to our offices and workstations, quietly reflecting on James’ story and the obstacles he overcame, we were reminded of just how fortunate we are. And of what’s genuinely important in life.
So as we hurtle headlong into November and Thanksgiving and all the attendant hustle and bustle, may we be the first to wish you and yours a warm, joyous and happy holiday season.
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