Finish what you started

Inky Johnson’s motivational speech

Please take the time to watch Inky Johnson’s motivational speech, above. I’ve heard him speak before but it never gets old. It’s not about football; it’s about life. It’s about challenges, problems, and obstacles. It’s about not cheating. It’s really about a mindset that many, maybe even most choose not to adopt.

What makes this speech so motivating to me is not only the life challenges he overcame to reach his childhood goals but also the habits that got him there. This culture is not about perseverance. In fact, we like short-cuts and superficial feel-goods. We avoid discomfort, naturally. However, we want the results without the discomfort. Sometimes we even expect the results. We are entitled to getting stuff we want. We are tricked into thinking we can have it all and are disappointed if it doesn’t come easily.

We are tricked into this trap by the media, the government, and even our schools. We hear that you can have anything you want….Just believe. Everyone can go to college. You can be whatever you want when you grow up. Yes, we have to believe but there’s also A LOT of natural-born talent, work, disappointment, and sweat equity that goes into being above average.


It’s not about being pessimistic (because I believe I was born an optimist). But, it’s about being realistic. We must be realistic about what it will take to reach our dreams. Then, we have to work at it. Not one day, not one action, and not one wish. We have to teach our kids that you create habits and a mindset that achieving will be uncomfortable and tough sometimes. How bad do you want it?

I love that Inky Johnson emphasizes how much work and practice went into not letting anything stop him from reaching his goal. You have to go after it.

There’s so much we are capable of. We limit or expand our possibilities by our outlook on life too. If we act like it’s too hard, it’s not worth the fight, we give up. If we persevere, we gain greater self-awareness and get the satisfaction of recognizing our strengths and weaknesses. It’s also really satisfying to see the results of sweat and tears in a culture that doesn’t want the work. We may be disappointed when we fail but it will be more disappointing in the long-run if we don’t try. In cost/reward, we must believe the pay-off is grander than the discomfort and set-backs.

The biggest takeaway I get from this speech is that you FINISH WHAT YOU START. If you have a dream, a little whisper that’s telling you this is your path, then decide that it may take some work. Don’t just wish it to come true. Figure out what you can DO to make it happen. Then, we have to accept that the path won’t be smooth. It’s going to have detours and obstacles. And, in a world that’s rushed, some things do take time. (That’s a big one and  a big challenge for me personally).

But, patience + perseverance = satisfaction





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