Monday Motivation: Who’s got it better than us? Noooobody!

The San Francisco 49ers had a great year. No, they’re not playing in the Super Bowl next weekend, but a lot of the players took part in the Pro Bowl yesterday in Hawaii. The Niners have been my favorite team since I was a kid. They’ve won 5 Super Bowl trophies in the past, but hadn’t had a winning record since 2002, until this year. That’s 8 seasons of sub-.500 football. This team, who was just 6-10 last year, went 13-3 this season, and earned a first round bye in the playoffs. Primarily, the team consisted of the same players as last year, except for a few well placed additions in the defensive secondary. So, what was the difference. Attitude. Namely, the attitude of the new head coach.

Jim Harbaugh is a former NFL quarterback and came to the 49ers after a successful run at Stanford University. When Harbaugh came on board, he brought with him years of both playing  and coaching experience. But the thing that payed off most for the team actually came from his dad. An attitude of gratitude, thankfulness, and focusing on what you’ve got, as opposed to what you don’t have.

If you followed the 49ers at all this year, you have probably seen some of the players wear these shirts. If you can’t read the shirt, the message is simple. The front asks the question: “Who’s got it better than us?” The back answers that question, “NOBODY!” This motivational Q & A served as the 49ers team chant before and after practices and games.

As I was researching where this came from, I found that it actually came from Jim Harbaugh’s dad, Jack. Here’s the story from an SFGate blog post:

“We were talking on the phone the other day and he said, ‘You know, it’s amazing. I can recall (saying) that in Crestline back in the early 1950s.’ We lived in the same neighborhood and we had a group of about 10 or 15 guys that would wake up every morning in the summer when the sun came up and go out and play. And at lunch time you’d run over to someone’s house and a mom would make you some peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches and then it was back on the playground. Then it was dinner time. And after dinner time, back out and you’d play a little kick-the-can because you couldn’t see the ball any more, but you’d put the can under a street light and could play until 8:30, 9 0’clock in the summer time. Mike says, ‘You know what? I can recall that. We’d be walking out to play. Or we’d be going home at night and we’d look at each other say, ‘Who’s got it better than us? Noooo-body.’ And that was a great life.”

Jack Harbaugh later passed the appreciate-what-you-have motto on to his children, who didn’t grow up with many material possessions.”

The motto is all about focusing on what you have, not on what you don’t have.

It’s about focusing on what could be, not on what isn’t.

It’s about being so content with what you’ve got, that you feel sorry for the rest of the world.

It’s pride and belief in yourself and those around you.

Oprah Winfrey has been quoted as saying, “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” While I don’t agree with everything that she says, I do agree with her on this point.

As you start out your week, in work and in personal life, make it a point to focus on the things that you do have. Count your blessings.

Finally, here’s Coach Harbaugh in action after an early season comeback win against the Philadelphia Eagles. You’ll see the team answer the question at the end of the clip.

Enjoy your Monday!


2 Responses to “Monday Motivation: Who’s got it better than us? Noooobody!”

  1. 1 Scott Warfe
    February 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    I’ve gotten the mantra written on my fridge as reminder. Simple, yet powerful.

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