Today I want to share a simple speech with you that I saw online one day that greatly impacted my life and willingness to take chances and build a successful future. It’s one of the foundational ideas that has shaped who I am in life.
Steve Harvey is a famous comedian. He has done stand-up comedy and talk shows and game shows on TV. He’s most well known for being a TV host. He grew up in, of all places, Cleveland, Ohio, not far from where you lived with your mom as a toddler.
At the end of an episode of one of his Family Feud shows, he made the following speech, and this is a great way to think about success and life in general:
I’m going to share something with you. I’m going to tell you something that every successful person has to do, including you. Believe it or not, every successful person in this world has jumped. I’m going to tell you what I mean by that.Steve Harvey
You eventually, you are going to have to jump. You cannot just exist in this life. You have got to try to live. If you are waking up thinking that there has got to be more to life than it is, man, believe that it is. Believe in your heart of hearts that it is, but to get to that life, you are going to have to jump.
Now, I’ll tell you why I call it jumping. See God, when He created all of us, He gave every last one of us a gift at birth. He never created a soul without endowing them with a gift.
You just got to quit looking at gifts as running, jumping, singing, dance. It’s more than that. It’s if you know how to network, if you can connect dots, if you draw, you teach – some of you all fry chicken better than anyone
else – bake pie. Some of you cut hair, color hair. Some people do grass.
I’ve got a partner, man, never wanted to go out with us because we stayed out too late. ‘Come on man, go out with us. Nah, I got to get up early tomorrow. I’m cutting Ms. Johnson’s grass.’ We kept laughing at this dude. ‘Cutting grass, how much do they pay you?’ He got a landscaping company in Cleveland worth $4 million because all he do is cut grass, but he was gifted at it.
I got a partner who owns a detail shop who makes $800,000 a year detailing cars. He got six mobile trucks running around. $800,000 a year, and all he do is detail cars. That’s his gift. That’s what he loves to do. You’ve got to identify that gift.
Now, listen to me. When you see people in life, when you standing on the cliff of life, and you see people soaring by and you see people soaring – going to exotic places, you hear about them doing wonderful things, maybe you look up the street and your neighbor just gets a car every year or every two years, you know how is he doing that?
Have you ever thought, maybe this person right here has identified their gift and is living in their gift because your Bible says – this is your Bible – your gift will make room for you. Your gift. Not your education. You can go and get an education, and that’s nice. But if you don’t use your gift, that education is only going to take you so far. I know a lot of people that got degrees, man, they ain’t even using. It’s your gift.
But the only way for you to soar is you got to jump. You got to take that gift that is packed away on your back. You got to jump off that cliff and pull that cord. That gift opens up and provides the soar. If you don’t ever use it, you’re going to just go to work. And if you getting up going to work on the job every day that you hate going to, that ain’t living man. You just existing.
At one point in time, you ought to see what living’s like. But the only way to see what living’s like, you got to jump.
Now, here the problem. Let me just be real with you. When you first jump, let me tell you something, your parachute will not open right away. I’m sorry. I wish I could tell you that it did, but it don’t.
When you jump. It’s not going to open right away. You going to hit them rocks. You going to get some skin torn off on them cliffs. You going to get all of your clothes torn off. You going to get some cuts on you. You going to be bleeding pretty bad, but eventually, eventually the parachute has to open. That is a promise of God. That ain’t a theory. That’s a promise. His promise is true because, listen to me, you cannot name one single thing God has not gotten you through. Name it. And if He ain’t got you through it, He currently pulling you through it right now. And the living proof of it is, you sitting in here. If he hadn’t of got you through it you wouldn’t even be here. So, if He ain’t never not got you through it, why would He not let your parachute open?
It has to open, man. But … you got to jump though. Now, here’s another thing. You can play it safe and deal without the cuts and the tears and you can stand on that cliff of life forever safe, but if you don’t jump – I’ve got another promise I can make you – your parachute will never open. You will never know. You will never know what God really had for you.
You see, your God has a wonderful life for you. Once again, I’m going to refer to your Bible. Now, you go down there. You memorize these Scriptures. You don’t apply them to yourself. Your Bible says that He comes to give you life, and give you life more abundantly.
If I were you, I would jump because that’s the only way to get to that abundant life. You got to jump, man. You got to take a chance.
Now, when I get through talking, there are those of you that will discuss this in the car, ‘Well, I got bills, and I got bills.” Whether you stay on the cliff or you jump, you are going to have bills. ‘Well, if I quit my job I’m going to ruin my credit.’ If you got a job, you living check to check. Even if you got A-1 credit, you can’t buy nothing else no damn way. At one point in time, man, do yourself a favor. Go see what God really do. God hold you up, man. He ain’t going to let you fall. He didn’t bring you this far to let you fall.
Do yourself a favor man, before you leave this world, before you die, jump. Just jump one time. Just jump. Thank you very much.
I hope this speech inspires you as much as it inspires me. And I truly hope you find the courage to jump into the abundance of life this world has to offer.
You were my jump into fatherhood, and I have never loved as deeply as I have when you came into this world. I love you so much!
P.S. Can a kangaroo jump higher than a house?
Of course it can! Everyone knows houses can’t jump!
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I was completely motivated myself when I heard this speech not long ago. I’m glad I jumped and took the chance to start my own business and use my gift of 5 star customer service to my clients, which I learned from my father. It was not an easy decision at first, but a lot of the time, the best, most rewarding decisions are often the hardest decisions to make.