Making of an Exceptional Human Being

This week just past was full of amazing experiences meeting and talking with friends both new and old. I met a martial arts movie star, a wrestling legend, and a football hero, each of whom spoke to those of us who had gathered. Those who had come to connect with each other were equally amazing: internationally known doctors, martial artists, attorneys, and other business people. The energy in the room was palpable. There was power!

Over the next few weeks, I'll introduce you to a few of these folks. I'll start today with the football hero.

Have you ever felt like your skills and talents didn't lead to the success you expected? Imagine being Archie Manning.

In both his college and professional careers, his teams just weren't very good. He still holds SEC records for his passing, and yet their won/loss records were ordinary.

When he moved to professional football as the second selection in the draft, it actually got worse. He was drafted by the New Orleans Saints, and played on losing teams for his entire career. He was elected to the Pro Bowl twice, though.

Today, most people know him only because he's father to two well-known NFL quarterbacks: Payton and Eli Manning. With Payton guiding the Colts to the Super Bowl win last year -- and earning MVP honors along the way -- Archie has had a taste of that success that seemed to elude him throughout his career.

Meeting him last week offered many insights.

First of all, he is a strong presence, and yet is exceptionally humble. His manner was disarming, but his message was full of power and energy. His humor was self-effacing, and yet laced with lessons of a lifetime.

He is living proof of the strength that comes through perseverance.

...and that is one key to the making of an exceptional human being.

Are you pushing through?

Let's go!

PS In chapter 4 of Open Your Heart with Skiing ( you read about the thrill of learning and the power of persistence.