My Take-Aways From The Book Never Give Up

By Mike Maddaloni on Friday, February 01, 2008 at 07:14 AM with 4 comments
Starting out another year of reading I chose a book I have owned not too long, given to me by my friend Eric when it came out a few months ago. Never Give Up is the autobiography of New England Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi. Written with Boston Globe sportswriter Michael Holley, it tells the story of his life, focusing mostly on the stroke he suffered in 2005, weeks after the team won its third Super Bowl.

Bruschi’s story made national news, both the stroke itself and his return later that year to the team. This story tells his side, "the inside" I would all the “real” side of what he encountered within the year of his stroke. The background of his life story lays the foundation for his path through this episode of his life.

My greatest takeaway from Never Give Up is you will never truly know what is going on in “the inside.” I call “the inside” the private interactions of one or more people, including business partners or a couple married or in a committed relationship. Whatever you or I may see or experience from someone, it is on “the outside.” This is not saying what see of people on “the outside” is not genuine. It may well be, but it may not be as well. What happens on “the inside” is just for those there. We can all probably think of a case where we didn’t consider there was an “inside” or everything was or was not ok. Friends going through a divorce and my own move from Boston to Chicago come to mind as negative and positive “inside” events respectively. In the case of Bruschi dealing with his stroke and recovery, this book gives high-level insight with details of people and experiences.

Another takeaway is we must keep in mind we may never know the true “inside” when we react on the “outside.” Have you ever wondered why we didn’t get some business or haven’t heard from someone? I know myself I tend to think the worst – it may not be that I am not good enough, rather it could be the project was cancelled or the client wasn’t in a hurry to tell anyone.

In the book, Bruschi talks of how various people reacted to his stroke. Some wrote letters, some sent food. And some changed their tune, especially when Bruschi came back to football, though most of this came from the naysayers who didn’t have “the inside” information.

My last takeaway – don’t listen to sports talk! Talk about an entire industry centered on not knowing the whole story! Though I do reserve the right to rescind this takeaway if sports talk personalities and their listeners follow my first two takeaways.

Never Give Up is not just a book on sports, but is a story of a stroke survivor who happens to play football. I recommend you read this book, especially for those who themselves or a friend or loved one goes through trying times with an illness or medical condition, or may do so, which means this book is really for anyone.


This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.


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