A hero has left earth

Today, I received an email informing me of the death of motivational speaker and former NBA star, Keith Harrell.  I am so saddened by this loss.  He is a hero of mine.  I only had the pleasure of seeing him speak one time.  Earlier this summer at a YMCA conference in Salt Lake City.  But, he had an impact on me in multiple ways.

First, Keith’s primary message is that Attitude is everything.  His secondary message is that we all have a gift and we are all built to win.  As a motivational speaker he used humor, research/data and his physical presence to convey his message in an entertaining but totally in your face way.

Some wiszims from Keith that I repeat frequently:

A dead battery can’t jump a dead battery

You are either on the way or in the way

The person who doesn’t read isn’t any better than the person who can’t read

FEAR – false evidence appearing real

Protect the ear gate (which means, don’t let the negative in. SHUT it out)

NBA – natural born abilities

These are but a few of Keith’s wiszims that I remember frequently to help me keep a positive attitude!


It is a dream of mine to one day have the privilege of being a key note speaker and author.  I realize that I am in the beginning stages of moving towards that goal.  So to watch someone like Keith who honed his craft and stayed true to the message he was put on this earth to give inspires me.  I won’t speak like Keith or have his style, but I CAN take cues from how he built his career.

1.  He honed HIS message

2.  He practiced and practiced and practiced

3.  He released his faith.  What does that mean?  4 years ago, he spoke at the same YMCA conference in a break out session.  You know, those smaller rooms with smaller audiences.  After speaking for the YMCA he released his faith by saying that in 4 years at the next conference, he would speak in the main auditorium!  Well, this summer, 4 years later he did just that.  He believed that if he practiced his message and honed his craft, then God would open the doors for him.  God did just that.  Keith had surgery on his spinal cord in May and did everything in his power to be present to speak in July.  It was clear the way he walked on stage that he was in pain.  Yet, that pain did not stop him from coming and it didn’t lower his performance either.  Keith knew God had given him an opportunity and despite the obstacles of health, he made it to that seminar.  Little did any of us know he was in a battle with cancer that took his life earlier this week.

Thank you Keith for your message and your inspiration.  Thank you for leaving a legacy in your books and videos.  You said that any day you woke up above ground was a good day.  Well Keith, your body may be entering a resting place below ground, but I know that your spirit and soul are in heaven with our fabulous God! So, it IS a good day for you!  See attitude is everything.

You can go to http://www.keithharrell.com and view some of his inspiring talks.  I know I’m getting his book, Attitude is Everything in the very near future.


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