Greg Smith Keynote Speaker

Leadership Expert on Resiliency and Inner Strength – Greg helps leaders and teams “Go Full-Strength!” for maximum productivity.

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Inner Strength insights from the world of sports, disability, entertainment, business, politics and everything else I’d like to share with you.

Monthly Archives: March 2013

What Do You Believe?

If you can believe in God, you can believe in yourself!

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with Pastor of St. James United Methodist Church, LaSonya DeBose
 
 

Happy Easter! About a month ago, I had a spiritual discussion with my cousin Ben, who is a football coach and a minister. The debate was about faith. I’ve been thinking about my faith endlessly since then. I have watched “The Bible” on the History Channel. I have analyzed and processed the information. I’ve flipped through recommended scripture on my Bible iPhone ap. I have Google searched for scientific, natural explanations. And in the end, I have concluded that faith is trust. My faith is stronger than ever. And I’m not nearly alone. An annual Gallup poll consistently reveals that when asked the question “Do you believe in God or a universal spirit?,” 9 in 10 Americans say “Yes.”

If you are one of those nine out of ten, you believe in miraculous events. If are one of the 90%, then you believe things that no man, no science can explain.

If you have all that faith, then I have a question for you? It should be a Gallup poll question: “Do you believe in yourself?”

If a person has belief in God and belief in himself/herself, that person has true power… true inner strength. As I worship this weekend, I will pray that you realize that your very existence is a miracle, and so are the dreams you have for yourself. I pray that you believe in yourself and in your ability to make all your dreams your reality.

God bless…

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Greg’s cousin, Ben Barnes
 
 
 

The Inner Strength Movement

We can build our inner strength together!

Thank you for making yesterday a great birthday.  The “Inner Strength Movement” officially kicked off with a record number of site visitors and blog views.  And we’re just beginning.  We are going to make drastic changes our lives by helping each other discover the techniques to getting stronger.

I say “we” because I can’t do it alone.  We have to do it together.  I know that like me, you have high goals and dreams.  Always have.  And if you’re like me, you’ve spent years making your physical, emotional and financial investment in those dreams, only to see them countless times flattened by the power chair tire of life!

So what do we do?  We reach down, pick up our dreams and mold them like clay back into shape, and we continue, only to see them flattened again.  And we do that so many times, that we reach a point where we say, “Ya know what?”  And then we give up and believe that we should just be happy with what we have.

I’ve always had high aspiration, and I’ve accomplished a lot in my life, but I have been a great underachiever in my estimation when I compare my accomplishments to my potential.  And as 2012 turned into 2013, I decided that I was “mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”  Since then, my calendar has filled up, the web site and blog are looking great and doing their job, and I’ve met some wonderful people.  I’m having a blast!  Momentum has led me to a belief in myself, which has fueled an energy level I haven’t had since my 20′s.  And I want to share that with you!

We are “The Inner Strength Movement.”  We are people who are no longer going to settle for anything less than the realization of our dreams!  And we are going to discover that too often, we flatten our own dreams by allowing negative thinking into our process.  “The Inner Strength Movement” welcomes you and invites your active participation in our cause.

Please share this with your friends and and invite them to join our movement.

 

 

Best Birthday Memories

Father and Son Birthday Memories – 42 Years Apart

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I’m not one of those people who is big on celebrating birthdays.  Normally, I don’t celebrate them with very much enthusiasm.  A family dinner is usually it. I have vague memories of what I did on my 18th and 21st birthdays that cannot be shared here!  But other than those reflections, there is one particular birthday I’ll never forget.

For my 7th birthday, my father took me to see the New York Knicks play a game at Madison Square Garden.  I remember taking the subway from Jamaica, Queens where my aunt Charlene lived.  For a young kid, the ride itself was thrilling.  When we entered the building, I remember looking down at the crowd of people that walked below me because I was elevated, riding on the shoulders of my strong papa.  As we left the darkness of the hallway and entered the brightly lit arena, I was reminded of Dorthy entering the Land of Oz!  It was thrilling!  So much going on…

Dad gave the tickets to an usher who showed us our seats, midway down our row.  After being seated and removing my coat, I started to soak in all the activity going on around me.  It was mesmerizing!

“Get you popcorn here!  Popcorn!”

“Ice cold beer!  Ice cold beer!”

“Peanuts!  Get your peanuts!” And someone from the middle of our row passed money to the person to his left, and then to my dad, and then to me, and then to the person on my left.  And then the vender tossed the peanut bag right to the guy who ordered it!

The Knicks were warming up.  There were my heroes right there before me: Walt Frazier, Willis Reed, Bill Bradley, Dave DeBusschere.  And on the other side of the court, I could see the Philadelphia 76ers warm up.  The Knicks were my team.  I knew all of them.  But the only  76er I knew was #32, Billy Cunningham.

The noise level of the crowd was amazing.  Every time the Sixers had the ball, especially in the 4th quarter, we would all yell at the top of our lungs,  “Defense!  Defense!  Defense!”

I don’t even remember who won the game, but I will always remember that special birthday.

Forty-two years later, the same two guys attended another sporting event, this time the day before my birthday.  The 2013 Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic, Championship PGA Tournament.  This time, I drove Dad to Fallen Oaks Golf Course to see the final round of play.  Now that I’m grown, the relationship is different, but there is something about father and son that never changes.  I was reminded of that Madison Square Garden experience throughout the day.

My dad had golfed in the Pro-Am on Thursday and got to spend the day with Joe Daley.  Before Joe teed off, he took some practice putts on the “warm up” green.  Dad introduced us and Joe cooly took off his glove and autographed it for me.  We followed his group around for the first 9 holes and then took a seat in the Habitat for Humanity grandstand to watch the end of the tournament.  At the end, we were allowed access to the grassy area outside the club house and waited for Joe, who chatted with us before taking some pictures.  Yesterday was a special day that I’ll never forget.

“The Strength Coach” is 49 years old today.  I remember making deals with God to let me live to 50.  Now I’m making new deals.  In the land of people with muscular dystrophy who also have congestive heart failure, I’m a dinosaur.  But in my mind, I’m that same wide-eyed 7 year old, curious and amazed by the sights and sounds around me!  Maybe that curiosity and amazement is what keeps me going.  Can you relate?  If so, do me a favor on my birthday and share this with your friends.

Football Coach and Players React

“The kids got a lot out of it.”

I spoke to the D’Iberville Warriors football team on March 19 and delivered the keynote “Dumb Enough for the Lawnmower.”  Here are some comments from Coach Buddy Singleton and a few of his players.  (1-minute, 45 second video)

If you want to inspire young people with a compelling, exciting, memorable speaker, call me at 228-424-3896 or fill out the form and we can arrange something.  My messages to youth can be customized for any gathering of young people.  I love speaking to sports teams, or general school-wide assemblies.  I also have a more advanced presentation for college students.  If you’re planning something to inspire young people, call me.

 

How Football Forged my Future

Tuesday afternoon, I had the privilege of speaking to D’Iberville High School’s football team, and sharing with them the story of how I became aware that I had muscular dystrophy… and exactly what that meant.  It is a football story.  I hope you enjoy.

Realizing that I had muscular dystrophy and would never be an athlete made me modify my goals from athlete to announcer. And that led to my career in radio and eventually speaker and author.

“The Strength Coach” reminds you that sometimes you need to shift your goals in order to move forward and reach your destiny. The key is to have a dream and a goal and move forward towards a positive direction.

Reputation

Talking Inner Strength with Dwight Howard

Talking Inner Strength with Dwight Howard

LIfe’s instruction manual says your reputation follows you everywhere. That may be true, but there is no listing that says you have to follow your reputation.

I’m gambling that a case in point is Dwight Howard. For “Strength Coach” fans who don’t know basketball, Howard is one of the greatest physical talents in the NBA. For 8 years, he was one of the league’s brightest stars with the Orlando Magic. He was “Superman.” A dominating force in the middle.

But Howard grew frustrated about the probability that he could never win a championship in Orlando and around that time, his boat sprung a leak:

Drama surrounding rumors that he wanted his coach fired and didn’t want to be in Orlando… Then back surgery to repair a herniated disc… Then the trade to the Lakers… Then slow, painful recovery and starting a season without the normal off-season conditioning… And then a shoulder injury that he is ‘playing through!’

Interviews showed him being honest. Fans took it as complaining and excuse making. And they have been unforgiving. This is no “Superman!” His new reputation around the league? Crybaby. Whiner. Soft.

I got a chance to visit with Howard last week and I was surprised by his calm focus.

“My goal my whole life is to be great,” he stated. “People don’t understand how it is to hurt your back. I really had to learn from scratch just to walk. People don’t understand just how hard that was to force myself back to where I am today and even though I’m not 100% right now, I’m better than I would have been if I had not been focused mentally.”

Despite his new reputation, over the last 10 games, Dwight Howard has averaged 15 points and 15 rebounds and the Lakers have won eight of those games. Yes, Kobe Bryant has played MVP level ball during that spurt, but would the Lakers have won all those games without steady play from Howard?

“The Strength Coach” sees Howard as an example that it is important to ignore other people’s perceptions of you and create your own self-definition. For example, I don’t see myself as a helpless, dependent, lonely cripple. I’m a powerful 65 pound giant! I travel, speak, author, broadcast, parent, drive, inspire. I’m the wheelchair dude with the winning attitude!

Dwight Howard doesn’t see himself as a defeated, excuse making, overpaid, spoiled big baby the way fans have pegged him. He does not follow that reputation. He sees himself as the greatest center in the NBA today.

“I really don’t see obstacles in front of me,” said Howard. “All I see are my goals and all that I want to accomplish in my career.”

His immediate goal is a playoff run. Let’s revisit this article in June to see what Howard and the Lakers end up doing.

In the meantime, take a few minutes to think about your own self-definition and how that definition differs from the reputation that follows you. If your reputation is solid, congratulations. If not, be the difference.