New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a Super Bowl champion, Super Bowl MVP, and 10-time Pro Bowler. That much you probably know.
What you might not know is that Brees is also an extremely successful entrepreneur. (Yep, he's an "and" -- and definitely is a serial achiever.) Brees owns or co-owns a number of Jimmy John's and Dunkin' Donuts franchises and has invested in a number of startups.
And what you might not have known -- until last night -- is that Brees broke Peyton Manning's record for career passing yards last year, which earned him an ESPY for the "Best Record-Breaking Performance" last night.
All of which is very cool.
But what he said during his acceptance speech was even cooler.
I feel like I've learned so much throughout my career, and that's a product of being around so many great people. Great teammates, great coaches, great mentors.
Gratitude. Humility. And respect. The three greatest qualities you can have as a human being. But what is amazing is that sports will teach you things like that.
The more that I've had a chance to play, the more grateful I've been able to become, the more humble, the more respectful of the game and those that play it, and the relationships from it.
The Power of Gratitude
According to one study, couples who expressed gratitude in their interactions with each other experienced increased relationship connection and satisfaction the next day -- both for the person expressing thankfulness and (no big surprise) the person receiving it. (In fact, the authors of the study said gratitude was like a "booster shot" for relationships.)
Of course the same is true at work. Express gratitude for an employee's hard work, and you both feel better about yourselves.
Another study showed people who wrote down five things they were thankful for once a week were 25 percent happier after 10 weeks.
Gratitude means focusing on what you have, not on what you don't have. It's motivating to want more in your career, your relationships, your bank account... but thinking about what you already have, and expressing gratitude for it, will make you a lot happier.
It will also remind you that even if you still have huge dreams, you have already accomplished a lot -- and should be genuinely proud.
The Power of Humility
Everyone can be their own PR agent through social media. It's easy to blow your own horn and bask in the glow of your "accomplishments."
Truly successful people don't blow their own horns. They know their success is based on ambition, persistence, and execution... but they also recognize that key mentors, key connections, and a little bit of luck also played a part.
And that's why truly successful people also reap the rewards of humility by asking questions and seeking advice. By knowing they don't have all the answers. By knowing that other people are smarter, more experienced, more talented...
And by recognizing and praising people who smart, experienced, and talented.
The Power of Respect
Respect is the most important thing you can give the people you know, work with, and meet.
Because when you do, everything that is good in life will follow.
Great football teams win because their most talented players are willing to make sacrifices in order to help their teammates succeed. Great business teams are made up of employees who help each other, know their roles, set aside personal goals, and value team success over everything else.
Where does that attitude come from?
People like you.
People who respect the people around them -- and show it.