The 4 Pillars of Finish Strong

You may remember that the New Orleans Saints used my book Finish Strong as a motivational platform for their 2009 season. But just in case let me refresh your memory. Drew Brees, the QB for the Saints, gave every member of the team a copy of the book and a black silicone Finish Strong wrist band. Finish Strong became their rallying cry all the way to their Super Bowl victory. On the heels of their victory, I was invited to speak, do radio and TV interviews and even had a book signing at Borders (that was cool).

It was a busy spring for sure. One of the consistent things that folks asked me was “Dan, what does it mean to Finish Strong?” I have to admit, the first time I heard that I was a little bewildered. I mean, it means what it means right? Having lived the Finish Strong attitude for more than 15 years, I guess I took for granted what it really means. So, I began to explain the life philosophy, and I would like to share it with you today.


You must believe that: “The Cost of Regret FAR EXCEEDS the Price of Discipline” – Peter Lowe. I love this quote because it speaks to the spirit of Finish Strong. You can never recover this moment in time … did you make the most of it? Did you invest wisely (the price of discipline) or will you look back with regret in the future (the cost). Don’t settle for mediocrity. Will you lie down at night with a feeling of satisfaction or regret? It’s up to you.


You must take control of your emotions and actions and choose to Finish Strong. “It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you choose to respond that matters.” Recognize your “Finish Strong Moments.” The decision points in your life that challenge you to make a choice. At any given point in time, you and only you have the power to choose how to respond to the challenge before you. Take a breath, think about your options and then make good choices.


Resolve to be your own best coach, cheerleader or fan! You and you alone are responsible for your actions. Don’t let external factors influence or distract you from your objective. This is why I wear a Finish Strong wristband. It serves as my personal reminder to hold my self-accountable.


Set realistic goals, then work towards them one step at a time. “Inch by inch life’s a cinch, yard by yard life is a yard.” Resolve each day to improve your averages – wake up 5 minutes earlier than the day before, make it to the gym one day per week. Whatever tactical elements you need to reach your goal, start in small steps and keep improving your average success each day. But ALWAYS move forward in the direction of your goal.

Think of Finish Strong as a granite platform that supports your life. Then think of four granite pillars that hold it up. So here are the four pillars and the secret to Finish Strong in your life.

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