LIVE A LIFE UNLEASHED LIKE THE SEATTLE SEAHAWKS’ SHAQUEM GRIFFIN
The world belongs to people who see life through the lens of possibility thinking. And in that sense, the world definitely belongs to a man named Shaquem Griffin.
If you haven’t heard of Shaquem Griffin, that will probably change soon. He was a mid-profile linebacker at the University of Central Florida for the last few years, and he was just drafted into the NFL by the Seattle Seahawks. In that sense, he’s not unlike the 223 other players who were drafted in 2018. He’ll compete for a job and strive for starting minutes just like everyone else.
In one very public way, however, Griffin is very unlike those other 223 players. In fact, in this way he’s different from the thousands of players who’ve ever been drafted.
Shaquem Griffin only has one hand.
Griffin was born with a condition that prevented the fingers on his left hand from fully developing. His hand was fully amputated at age four, and ever since he’s made his way in sports as a unique figure. His older brother was always considered the bigger prospect, and when he was drafted by the Seahawks a few years ago, everyone figured he would be the last Griffin drafted. Especially since Shaquem wasn’t even starting at Central Florida at the time.
That definitely didn’t stop him. Shaquem fought through the noise, became an All-American caliber linebacker his senior year and landed on the Seahawks’ radar. The same Seahawks that drafted his brother, in fact.
So how did Shaquem Griffin overcome all of history by being the first one-handed linebacker to ever play professional football? The answer is something we understand at FPG quite well. It’s because he had possibility thinking, not problem thinking. You can see that beaming through his quote here.
“A lot of people told me that football football was a two-handed game, not one,” Griffin said. “I knew then that I had to work harder and fight through adversity and prove everybody wrong, and I knew that was going to be at every level of my life.”
The idea of possibility thinking came to me after I read Carol Dweck’s paradigm-changing book Mindset. In it, she talks about how something as simple as the way we think about things can totally alter the way we approach life. She talks about a fixed mindset versus a growth mindset. If we view our lives as just one long continuum of growth, and not as a series of negative things we have to overcome, then we’ll become more and contribute more. All it takes is mindfulness.
Possibility thinking means approaching every single thing you encounter in your life with the idea that it’s working for you, not to you. Mentally, when we see life as a series of problems, we’ll be less likely to find motivation and more likely to shirk responsibility. When we see life as a series of possibilities, we’ll be more likely to achieve, succeed and break our comfort zones.
I built an entire series of programs off this idea of possibility thinking. Our Warrior Selling program approaches the customer as though every single prospect is capable to buying to improve their life the day you first make contact. Our Leadership Sales Coaching program tells coaches that they have everything within them right now to be a world class coach. All they need is the right mindset and the right training. But everything they need, they already have.
That’s why Shaquem Griffin’s story should inspire for years to come. He’s a living monument to what’s truly achievable when you live your life with possibility thinking, not problem thinking.
What’s one thing in your personal or professional life you’re viewing as a problem right now? I want you to just decide to view it as though it were happening for you, not to you. How is it working to mold you into a better version of you? Commit to viewing everything in your life like this, and you can’t lose.