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Peyton Manning’s Retirement Speech

Peyton Manning, QB who led the Denver Broncos to win the Super Bowl 50 title, gave a heartfelt farewell speech last week. As happens with all public figures, especially in the sports world, his fans and his critics weighed in. I am a fan, and here are a few things I wanted to point out from his well-prepared speech about what it takes to be a GOAT (or at least close to one!) in your life.

Manning talked about his rookie year with the Colts and how difficult it was, but even in his first game he realized he could play in the league — he was good enough. That is where success starts, on or off the field/court. You have to stand for your success, even when you begin at something and especially when you lose at something!

He thanked those who helped him in the good and difficult years, “Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson). These are great words for our mentors and coaches to hear, but it is also valuable for our own self-talk. We tear ourselves down, when we should be building ourselves up.

Peyton loved the game. All those who do extraordinarily well, whether in sports or life, love what they do. Find what you love, set your course, and do everything that supports you in that aim.

“How are you going to scratch that competitive itch you have while playing?” Asked by a reporter, Manning responded that he will get great support and mentoring for his next phase. What mentor or coach do you work with? Do you have a coordinated team?

“I didn’t always throw or run perfectly, but no one could out-prepare me, so I have no regrets.”

Peyton is now done playing football, but he is very engaged in discovering what’s next. “Life is not shrinking for me, but morphing into a whole new world of possibilities.” Will he get in trouble and throw some interceptions in life? For sure. But I bet he will turn those setbacks into learning opportunities, to become better prepared, and to get closer to his goals.