Pat Rile Has a Positive Attitude

Pat Riley on Positive Attitude

Pat Riley is the first North American sports figure to win a championship as a player, as an assistant coach, as a head coach, as an executive, and in various roles has reached the NBA finals in six different decades. 

Riley is a motivational speaker who earns more than $50,000 for each speaking engagement. He does not speak like Les Brown or Tony Robbins. He gets paid because he knows what he is talking about: winning.

So, if you want to become a motivational speaker, one way to get a seven-figure talent fee is to become a celebrated winner.


We can learn from Pat Riley too. Study his take on the power of a positive attitude.

“If you have a positive attitude and constantly strive to give your best effort, eventually you will overcome your immediate problems and find you are ready for greater challenges.” – Pat Riley 

The formula: PA + BE = OP / RN

Most people don’t have a positive attitude because they often use mathematics to measure the chance of success. They quickly find hindrances and obstacles.  

When I was starting my career, I realized that there are too many competitors. I have to compete with those who have been in the business for decades. I have to compete with those who got expensive certifications from the experts in the US of A. I have to compete with those who are in the “mafia.”

I have all the excuses to quit. The chance of defeats overwhelms success.

I don’t know about you. But very few people look into the assets they have and find ways to make the most of them, no matter how few they are. 

On Positive Attitude

When we have a positive attitude, we become appreciative of what we have. We practice a growth mindset. We turn our assets into multipliers.

When I started paying attention to my unique and valuable assets, I began to speak differently. I was no longer begging for a contract. I was no longer competing for the lowest price because I showed my clients how my training and speaking services would give them the highest return on their investments.

A positive attitude is a choice. If I have not chosen it, I will stay where I was, a starving artist, and my voice will remain unheard.

A positive attitude is also a skill. It is not our instinct. We have to hone and practice it repeatedly until it becomes second nature to us, more like breathing.

On Best Effort

The second part of the Pat Riley quote above is “strive to give your best effort.”

In my experience, I have to give my best effort physically, emotionally, intellectually, et cetera. 

Striving to give the best effort means that I have to put in the hours. Striving means I must deliver epic speeches, craft presentations that sell, market my services, create a website that works, negotiate, and write well. 

Striving to give the best effort requires me to study industry language. I had to unlearn many nice-to know concepts I got from my college education and teaching experiences — and replace them with real-world knowledge and solutions.

Striving to give my best effort means I have to change how I do things and acquire new skills.

Think about your goals. Consider the way you do things now. What do you need to do differently to make change happen?

On Success

Pat Riley did not use the word success. 

But you’ll get the sense that he is defining it as overcoming your problems and being ready for the next challenges. 

Success isn’t the endpoint. 

You fight for one game at a time. You give that one game your best effort. Sometimes, you win. Sometimes, you lose. You learn from your winnings and losses. You move on to the next challenges. Until you become a champion. 

And be prepared to defend it the following season.

Jef Menguin

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