Many of life's lessons can be learned on the football field.

Discipline, teamwork, and so much more. Tonight Jim Tressel links two words we usually don't combine.

Every inductee into a hall of fame expresses gratitude --sometimes to their family or friends or colleagues, and almost always to their mother.

These expressions of those deserving a place in any hall of fame are a demonstration of an attitude of gratitude.

After studying the lives of a number of extraordinary people, I've found that one common denominator is that they were sincerely grateful for their blessings.

Gratitude is an attitude, one that needs to be practiced over and over again. With our teams, we made it a practice to have quiet time each day for the players and staff, time to reflect as well as time to write down one thing we were grateful for.

By practicing gratitude, you learn to control your attitude. Spending a little time every day thinking of the things that are going right in your life is a powerful way to activate a sense of gratitude.

One message we share with our students at The University of Akron is that it's impossible to be grateful and unhappy at the same time.

I learned this from my own mother. When she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, she agreed to try an experimental treatment.

She told us: "If it works, I get to stay here with the people I love. If it doesn't, I get to go to heaven and be with the people I love. I'm just grateful for the life I've lived and the blessings I have had."

Even at the end, she expressed gratitude for the opportunities and joys that life had given her.

She lived that attitude of gratitude. And I am grateful for it.