In 2015 Duke University head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski implemented a powerful strategy that would give his players an extra motivational push as they prepared for March Madness.
He designated a special team ball, and asked everyone — coaches and players — to sign the ball with the names of those who had helped them get to where they are in life. They wrote the names of coaches and teachers and pastors and parents and friends and family members, until dozens of people were represented.
And then they took it with them everywhere: team meals, airplane trips, in the classroom, in the locker room.
Significantly, the ball’s existence wasn’t public knowledge. It wasn’t intended to attract outside attention. It was intended to challenge the team to perform with gratitude-inspired excellence throughout the remainder of the season.
After the Blue Devils had won yet another national championship, everyone whose name had been written on the ball received a special note: “Thanks! You were with us every step of the way!” [You can read more about Krzyzewski’s gratitude strategy here.]
YOUR GRATITUDE LIST
There are, without a doubt, at least a few people in your life for whom you could say, “I thank God every time I think of you.”
What if you were to make a memento — a whiteboard, a blank page in the back of your Bible, or even a porcelain coffee mug — and cover it with the names of those who have helped you become the person you are?
What if you made it a point to live each day in pursuit of gratitude-inspired excellence?
Can you imagine the kind of championship you might win?