My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.― Jim Valvano

My father gave me the same greatest gift. I know how much it meant to me many times in my career when I wondered or doubted myself.

Have you seen it yet? Have you seen the ESPN 30 for 30 SURVIVE AND ADVANCE show about the most improbable 1983 run of North Carolina State and Coach Jim Valvano to the NCAA National Championship.

If you are a basketball fan, you have to watch it. Even if you are not a fan, you have to watch it because what it teaches you about life and how important it is to believe you can accomplish big things.

If you haven’t watched the show, get started by reading: ESPN 30 for 30 Survive and Advance: Jim Valvano’s Uniqueness Led to Title. Here is the interesting conclusion:

In sports today, there is little room for coaches like Valvano. Fans would not tolerate his type of joking around without a great deal of success, and his questionable decisions would be second-guessed by media for weeks after every game.

Still, fans should be happy that they were able to see a person like Valvano for at least a brief period. His leadership in the run to the 1983 national championship was one of the greatest coaching efforts of all time, and it was something that no one else would have been able to accomplish.

Coach Valvano was somehow able to get his players to believe they could win it all against the best teams and best players in the country. He started at the beginning of the season when he had his players practice cutting down the nets. It culminated at the end of a Final Four game against Virginia.

Lorenzo Charles was fouled. Valvano called time out. Instead of saying: “Lorenzo, you’ve got to make these.” He told the team what he wanted them to do after Lorenzo made the two free throws.

When I work with lawyers one of the first things I do is to get them to believe. To be a rainmaker you must first believe you can make rain. One lawyer I coach several years ago kept a journal. At the top of each page he wrote or typed in large capital letters: THINK BIG. He thought big and accomplished bigger things than he originally thought he could accomplish.

So, what is your big dream for your career? Have you convinced yourself that you can do it?