Jimmy V

Posted: December 7, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Jim Valvano will always be remembered for his tremendous coaching ability, electric story telling and the creation of the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research.

Each year during Jimmy V week ESPN will air his famous 1993 ESPY acceptance speech. And each year I find myself glued to the TV for that brief 10 minutes in awe of the courage, passion and inspiration that man created with his words. There are so many takeaways and lessons to be learned that it seems to have a different effect on me each time that I see it.

This year, as I sat in the living room watching the speech with my two best friends/roommies/business partners there was one point that Coach Valvano made that really rang true to me. He talked about the importance of trying to take the time to laugh, think and allow emotions to bring you to tears each and everyday.  Laughing, thinking and crying, everyday Wow, what a powerful yet unbelievably simple concept.

Looking back on the past few months here at Camp Sabi these words make so much sense to me…  Laugh, Think, Cry. In hindsight I can see how easy it is to forget to do these fundamentaly basic things.

  • How easy it is to be too busy to take a step back, laugh and truly enjoy something.
  • How easy it is to work so hard and frantically that you don’t have to time to sit and put thought into what it is you are actually doing.
  • How easy it is to put your emotions on the back burner as you fully emerge yourself in a task.

It was easy for me to see that the moments of frustration the feelings of helplessness and the road blocks almost always occurred when we, for one reason or another, simply forget to do these three things.

On the other hand I noticed that:

  • Everything seemed to click for us when we could get all of our work done and still have time to laugh and joke like the best friends that we are.
  • We made the most progress when we could take a day and just really think about everything that we were doing.
  • We felt we could conquer any obstacle in the world when we expressed our real emotions (manly way of saying there were tears) and were truly open with each other.

I’m not here to tell anyone how to live, or how to operate a business…Shit, I’m way too young for that. But one thing I do know for sure is a huge part of taking on a project where you truly have zero experience is you have to learn from every possible person or situation you encounter. Today, I learned from one of the greatest teachers of all time, Jim Valvano.

Check out the video, and tell me…What did you learn from Jimmy V? Feel free to leave a comment below I would love to hear your take on this man’s 10 minutes of wisdom.


  1. x says:

    Wow- I can actually remember when this happened. It was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. I love when he talks about: “Where are you now, where did you come from and where are you going?”

    I think that is a great way to look at your life and where you are at each day. If you can keep these things in prospect in your life you will always have a direction and a strong sense of who you are.

  2. a says:

    “and that screen is flashing 30 seconds right now. Like I care about that screen right now, hah! I got tumors all over my body…like I’m worried about some guy in the back flashing 30 seconds!”

    my favorite part. hands down. This guy just has a few months to live, and they’re trying to warn him he’s only got 30 seconds left on stage! ESPN was trying to rush from one segment to the next to create a “good show”..and in the process almost ruined a transcendent speech that would make it a great show.

    We all do this from time to time in life right? rushing so fast to make everything good that we often miss chances to connect with people and make something truly great.

    anyways, thats what I learned from this amazing speech by the late Jimmy V –

  3. I says:

    I think it’s awesome that your partnership with Shaan and Dan is still going strong! Of course it’s still early in the game, but then again, if you are able to keep being open and laying it all out there with each other, I don’t see any problems in the future!

  4. jkoz says:

    “How do you go from where you are to where you want to be? You have to have an enthusiasm for life. You have to have a dream, a goal. You have to be willing to work for it.”

    I am a teacher in low-income school district, and this is a message I try to relay to my students every single day. Especially the last part. Because of where they are from, these kids are not likely to succeed. And without having a dream and working constantly to make it happen, they will not succeed. This is the single most important thing I can teach them this year. They’ve been taught how to multiply and graph lines for years, and maybe by May they still won’t get it, but the passion for life and the belief that they can achieve whatever they want to if they work hard enough is something that has never been instilled in them before. And that is something that I can change.

    “Be enthusiastic everyday…Keep your dreams alive in spite of problems…Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.” Jimmy’s words of wisdom are motivation for both me and my students, and that is the magic of his speech. If I come to school frustrated and worn down, I’m not enthusiastic. I let the problems of lack of understanding or misbehavior kill my dreams for my kids and myself as a teacher. I give up on them when they refuse to work or don’t understand something after I’ve explained it a hundred times. That is not the way to accomplish anything. If I come in with the most positive and encouraging attitude and show these kids my passion for them and for life, then I can convince them that they can reach their dreams despite many setbacks. And so can I. But we have to work relentlessly for it, and we can’t ever give up.

    I’m showing this in class today. Thanks Jimmy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s