One of the consequences (perks) of dating the sports dude is that the NFL Network (or ESPN, or Fox Sports) is constantly streaming in the house. If it wasn’t, I would not have awoken from a mid-day nap on August 7th to  Emmit Smith’s incredibly inspiring induction speech (video, or read transcript) to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

I can’t get the speech out of my head, which, for those who know me well, is testimony to the power of Mr. Smith’s words.

After thanking the men who inspired him as a man and as a player, Mr. Smith laid out how he achieved his success (emphasis added):

Now let’s talk about some specific steps I took that were critical to sustaining my vision. There’s a difference between merely having a dream and fulfilling a vision. Most people only dream. I only not had my childhood dream, but I did everything in my power to fulfill it.

For example, I wrote down my goals and how I was going to achieve them because Dwight Thomas used to tell us, It’s only a dream until you write it down, and then it becomes a goal. By the time I was 20, I wrote, I want to play in the Super Bowl, be the MVP, become the all-time leading rusher, and finish college, because I promised my mother I would.

Over the course of my career, all of those things came to pass, and I know that writing down my goals was an essential strategy.

Another critical principle is consistency. Consistency shows value. Consistency is necessary for trust, durability and longevity. You have to show up every week no matter how difficult the game or life might be.

I not only showed consistency, but I did everything in my power to be the best that I possibly could. Over time consistency will allow you to achieve your goals.

Next is balance. As I stated earlier, balance was the key to our success. We had all the balance you could possibly have. I exhibit balance in my personal life when I put my family in its proper place, and that is number one.

During the course of my day, my week, and my year, I have the propensity to lose sight of my goals, and, when I do, they then revert back into dreams.

I suppose it’s time for me to do a personal audit: What are my current dreams? Are my dreams written down so that they may become goals? Do I maintain consistency?? Am I always doing my best? Bringing my “A” game every day? Do I always show up, no matter how tough, how inconvenient? And where is my family in all of this? My children? My parents? The sports dude?? Are they number one, or am I?

I hope you take the time to listen to Mr. Smith’s poignant remarks. Reading the transcripts will not do them justice. So, grab a cup of coffee, and perhaps your lunch, and click here.

Photo via Emmitt Smith’s enshrinement | The Pensacola News Journal.