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Today, I had the pleasure of being invited to hear Dr. Kevin Elko speak. Derek Johnson, of Servis1st Bank, invited me, and I couldn’t wait to go. I was fortunate to see Dr. Elko a couple of years ago at the BBVA Compass Bowl luncheon, and I listen to his Monday Morning Cup of Inspiration and his Thursday Night Pep Talk each week. Both are very inspirational and educational.

Who is Dr. Kevin Elko? He is a consultant on psychological attitude and life. He has been hired by numerous college and pro football teams as well as various corporate entities. Some of the teams and corporations are: University of Alabama, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Penguins, ING, Tyson Foods, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, and more. You can read his biography here.

I thought I would give you some of the lessons he taught today along with a couple of stories and jokes. If you ever have the opportunity to see him or read his books: Nerves of Steel, True Greatness, etc., you should do so.


  • How do you talk to yourself? What do you say? Start thinking about what you think about and what you tell yourself.
  • Events don't cause what you feel. If you lost everything you had today and got it all back tomorrow, tomorrow would be the best day of your life.

STORY – He told the story of when he was asked to go speak for a team, and when he got to the airport, his driver never showed so he had to take a taxi. When he arrived, he asked, “What happened to my driver?” The person said that the driver’s daughter woke him up in the middle of the night. Dr. Elko interrupted and said, “My daughter wakes me up and bothers me constantly to ask me this and that and tell me she can’t sleep.” The person responded, “No, she wasn’t feeling well so she gave her Nyquil, but apparently she was diabetic, and she died last night.” Dr. Elko has never let his daughter’s waking him up bother him again. It’s all about how you talk to yourself and what you say.

  • You either live in vision or you live in circumstance. These aren't bad times in our country. They are changing times. Can you see a blessing where other people see a curse? Can you see opportunity where others see failure? We suffer from post traumatic faith disorder in this country.
  • Attitude is not a gene. Attitude is a muscle.

STORY – Dr. Elko was at Disney World with his family. He had been there for four days. He was tired and beat up. He was ready to kill Mickey Mouse. They were at a show called “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” and they asked for two volunteers. Two little girls came up. One 10 and one 11. Both bald. They were there with the Make a Wish Foundation of TN. They were happy. Their mothers were happy. They had probably been through hell and were going to go through hell, but at that moment, they were happy. It made his attitude change – what do I have to be unhappy about with my two healthy girls at Disney?

  • See a little, see a lot. See a lot, see nothing. Pay attention to the little things.
  • Be a blessing to someone today. Play out the blessing before it happens. Decide how you will be a blessing in morning, and say it to yourself all day. You have to spend time with you in the morning.
  • Align expectations with reality.
  • Your real wealth is your time. Everything has a shelf life: material and nonmaterial objects alike. You have a shelf life.
  • How do you spell "LOVE"? Answer: T * I * M * E.

JOKE – Doctor tells patient he has one year to live. The patient asks the doctor, “What should I do?” The doctor says, “Give all your money to charity, move into a shack, and marry the first woman you meet with nine children.” The patient asks, "Will that save me?" The doctor responds, "No, but it will be the longest year of your life."

  • Three essential considerations: 1. Intentionality 2. No mental clutter 3. Pay the price.
  • Intentionality – You catch a cold, You don't catch a strong spirit. You catch a cold, you don’t catch hell. You catch a cold, you don’t catch wealth. You have to want it and want it on purpose.
  • Mental Clutter – Worry is praying for what you don't want. Whatever you ask your head to do, it gets good at it. Last December while preparing for the National Championship against LSU, Alabama had a saying: “Casualness causes Casualties.” Put in your head what you want, and remove what you don't want.
  • Inattentional blindness (buy a car and all of a sudden u see the same one everywhere).

SIDE NOTE – Nick Saban has built 58 homes since he's been in Alabama. That’s something you can root for.

  • I'm not looking for blessings in my life. I want to be a blessing to others.
  • Pay the Price – There are two pains in this world: the pain of discipline and the pain of regret. Getting what you want is hard. Everything has a price.
  • Go love and care about people, and value will come back to you.


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