Michael Strahan on How Not to Be Your Own Worst Enemy

Michael Strahan
Professional Football Player and Television Presenter

Attitude is everything. Take it from pro football Hall of Famer Michael Strahan, who explains in this video how we too often underestimate the ways mindset and approach affect success. Wake up every day intent on being happy, and positive results will follow.

Strahan is author of the new book Wake Up Happy: The Dream Big, Win Big Guide to Transforming Your Life.

  • Transcript

TRANSCRIPT

Michael Strahan: It’s all within your head. I always say you have more value in your attitude than you do in your bank account. And it's the truth. You can wake up and choose how you want to be that day, how you want to feel that day, how you want to impact other people around you. We've all been in situations where you walk in a room and they'd love to say somebody's the life of the party. They give that party energy because they choose to come in there and they choose to be happy; they choose to be the type of person who exudes the energy that you want to be around. But then you've also walked into parties and you've had people that you know you better stay away from because they chose the other type of energy.

The happiness questions I ask myself every day? I ask myself how am I going to make it this day what I wanted to be? I think that's the biggest thing. I wake up. I put on my music and I think it throughout my day and I look at what I have to do throughout my day and how I can make it fun, how I can make it play and not necessarily work. For some reason at a certain point, we sometimes as adults forget that you don't have to be serious about everything. You can enjoy and we all have that child within us. It's important to find that sometime, to find time for play. And if you can mix a little play in with a little work or make your work seem like play, then the better you'll be for it. And for me fortunately I have the opportunity to do that.

I think we can be our own worst enemy. I know a lot of times I was my own worst enemy. I would talk myself out of situations or say I can't do this or I can't do that. And why? Why did I talk myself out of it? I found that I would doubt myself in situations more than anybody else would ever doubt me. And you are your own worst enemy if you allow yourself to be. 

I think people count of themselves out before they give themselves a chance because you are almost told a lot of times what you can't do more than you're told what you can do. And we all have a tendency to probably be more fearful of something that's unknown so that we don't even try. We count ourselves out. We think we'll never get that promotion. We'll never get that job. I can't fly that plane. Well, you need lessons to fly a plane, but so many things that we talk ourselves out of because — out of fear I think then more out of the ability to do it and out of what you think other people will think about you even trying. 

But now I look at it and think that we're all able to do anything we want to do if we make our minds up and we have the right attitude as we approach it. So that's how I apply that every day. I look and think to myself, "Why not me?" instead of, "Why me?"

 

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Big Think Edge helps organizations get smarter, faster by catalyzing conversation around the topics most critical to 21st century business success. Led by the world’s foremost experts, our dynamic learning programs are short-form, mobile, and immediately actionable.