On the 8th. day of Christmas, A Jamaican gave to me…

Never, never give up!

Persistence: You can bounce back from a setback

Perhaps the biggest setback we faced as a team in 1988 was the crash on the third run of the four-man competition – it was seen and heard around the world. We never once believed that we didn’t belong in the sport. But with this spectacular crash it seemed we had given credence to our detractors. We were disappointed and upset with ourselves for making this happen.

The press was hounding us for an interview, and George Fitch asked me several times to go speak to them. I said I would but never did. I just did not know how to face the world and talk about one of my biggest failures.

Learn from the turtle!

No one is immune from challenges, setbacks, weaknesses, and liabilities. However, too many people use them as crutches. They frame their performance and anticipated success with the challenges they start out with. Most assuredly, with that attitude they are already defeated. You have to go after your goals as if there are no limitations and it is impossible for you to fail. You have to know that no matter where you find yourself – in the midst of a financial meltdown, health challenge, a relationship crisis – you can always make it through and take yourself to the next level.

This gift is an excerpt from Keep In Pushing: Hot Lessons from Cool Runnings, Devon’s latest book.

Gift Giver - Devon Harris, sharing a key principle from his Olympic preparation

Devon’s website
“Keep on pushing””!

Born on Christmas Day 1964, the greatest gift Devon ever received was the belief that a positive attitude and a “never−say−die” philosophy would carry him farther than a sense of injustice and a heart filled with anger. Devon also learned at an early age that one can either spill tears of laughter or tears of rage when faced with life’s many obstacles.

When not bringing his captivating message of inspiration and hope to audiences across the globe, Devon serves as an ambassador for Right to Play, an athlete−driven, humanitarian nonprofit organization using sport and play to enhance child development and build community capacity for youth in refugee camps and disadvantaged communities throughout the world.

About the author


I am an entrepreneur whose focus is on helping small businesses deploy internet marketing tools to leverage new customers and profits. I believe in the survival of the knitted, and thus champion those who are making a difference in our community.