167: Merril Hoge is a former NFL legend & longtime ESPN football analyst whose motto “Find a Way” helped him make it into the NFL, overcome a heart condition and beat cancer! An exceptional person who has been goal oriented his entire life. Great inspirational story

September 4, 2020

Merril Hoge

Guest Merril Hoge discusses how he pushed forward into his football goals at Idaho State. “I wanted to play for the NFL. I’ve had that goal since I was 12… since I was 8. Since I saw it on television. So, all I looked at is, I can only go to one college. You can only go to one. You can have 100 scholarship offers. You can only go to one. So, that’s all I needed. I needed a chance. And when I got that chance, I wanted to start as a freshman.”

On this episode of Finding Your Summit Podcast, we talk with Merril Hoge, Former NFL Player for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Chicago Bears, ESPN Analyst, Inspirational Speaker, and Author, about the cultivation of his champion mindset. “I always like to use, A quitter/losing locker room versus a champion/winner/successful locker room. The language is different in both. When you look at a quitting locker room, this type of verbiage is used. This type of mindset is used. They point fingers. They cast blame. They make excuses. They create this recipe, ‘It’s not me. It is everyone around me. It is not me. It is something else happening to me.’ There is no accountability. There is no responsibility. That locker room will always be a losing locker room.” 

What You Will Learn:

Merril Hoge believes that every player, with a positive mindset, can mentally be in the winner’s locker room. “A champion locker room, a successful locker room. The first thing that champ does, successful people do, you self-evaluate. You self-evaluate. That is the most important thing that especially I have learned, that you must do if you want to grow and you want to get better. Then you have to make the correct changes. Then you create a plan and then you take action.”

What advice does Merril Hoge have for those working hard to enter into a desired occupation? “I was searching for things as a kid, and this is important for anybody that is trying to accomplish something or do something in life. Search out those people who are really good at it, that might have some insight and some wisdom that they could share with you to help you in the process.”

What is a positive mindset that we can use to feel fulfilled in our journeys towards personal success? “If you can have peace with, you did everything possible. You exhausted everything possible and wherever you end up, it might be the greatest of all time at whatever you are going for, and good for you. I hope it is like that. But if it is not, it doesn’t mean you are a failure. If you got the most; you did your part. You should have peace with that, no matter where you ended up.”

Merril Hoge talks about his deep desire as a kid to have his own bedroom to turn into his personal fortress for future success. “I had always thought, if I ever have my own bedroom I’d like a wall with cork made. Because then I could put goals up. I could really use that as my sanctuary. It is where I start and I end my day. I asked my dad and he said he would see what he could do. It gets done, and I had written out all of my goals. I still had junior high, high school, and college to play. But it was going to be a pyramid, if you will. All of these goals and at the top was going to be, I will be in the NFL.”

How important is state-of-mind to Merril? “Whatever resonates with you, man. That is what you want. I know what is possible for people if they put their minds working for them and use things they can learn from other people and put it in action into whatever it is that they are striving for or whatever they want, or whatever they are  passionate about. If you can get people in the right locker room with the right mindset, and the right approach, man, their lives are going to be enriched, because when you overcome things or accomplish things. Money can’t but that.”

After Football

Merril Hoge shares what it was like when his NFL career ended. “My career ended because, people say head trauma ended my career, a concussion ended my career, and that is actually incorrect. Improper care ended my career. If head trauma would have ended my career, I would not have played after the Monday night game in Kansas City… I got cleared over the phone to play five days later.”

Find a Way

During this episode of Finding Your Summit Podcast, Merril Hoge talks about where his whole ‘find a way’ motto comes from in his path. “Those words, find a way, when they popped into my head, I’m telling you, it sent an energy, it’s the words I always use. It gave me an energy that changed me. It inspired action. I have already mentioned that a little bit. But I thought, hey, listen, you’ve got control of this. You have a responsibility to go find a way to do that. That’s what sent me on the search for Walter Payton. That was what my first journey, what my first object was. I was like, let’s go find out things about Walter Payton I don’t know that might help. What more can I add to what I’m trying to do to help me build faster and more efficiently?” 

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