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Burns turns his “Worst Day Ever” into life lesson

SEC Network commentator's annual Facebook post inspires others

SEC Network host Peter Burns was inspired two years ago to share some of the harder moments of his life publicly on his Facebook page.

He believes learning from those struggles helped lead him to where he is today: working in his “dream job.”

What was the inspiration for this Facebook post? It had been six years to the day since he had been fired from a job he loved.

“Six years ago that day, I thought that was by far the worst day of my life. I lost everything I had worked hard for, and yet, here I am doing my dream job. I started thinking about it again, and it was emotional for me. That was tough, but there were other tough moments in my life . . . and I bounced back from those.”

-- Peter Burns, SEC Network host

“I had a day off from [the] studio, and I checked social media and one of the Facebook mentions someone had given me was ‘so sorry to hear the news.’ I realized that it was the day I was fired,” Burns recalled.

“Six years ago that day, I thought that was by far the worst day of my life. I lost everything I had worked hard for, and yet, here I am doing my dream job. I started thinking about it again, and it was emotional for me. That was tough, but there were other tough moments in my life . . . and I bounced back from those.”

Burns began to write as he looked back on those tough moments, and more than 2,000 words later, he had what now comprises his viral “How The Worst Days Turn Into Most Important Ones” Facebook note.

“I didn’t even think I would post it,” Burns said. “I was so nervous, but I hit post and an hour later, I had hundreds of people reaching out with stories of their own.”

Every January, Peter Burns updates this Facebook post.

Upon posting the note featuring several “worst days” of his own and seeing the impact it had, he knew he wanted to include colleagues who had their own stories to share.

“Peter is one of the most introspective and thoughtful people I know,” ESPN commentator Adam Amin said. “So when he asked if I’d be willing to add my story to his, I knew what his intentions were and I felt that I could add to some important conversations.”

The original note has taken on a life of its own, with several ESPN talent sharing their stories as January 13 rolls around each year, including Amin and Adnan Virk, who was included as part of this year’s update.

Virk’s story was one of fear, but also forgiveness. He ends his story with “Out of misunderstanding and malice can grow love and understanding. Hope you all appreciate how amazing this transformation was to see, as someone who was there the whole way through, I can tell you it’s nothing short of life-affirming.”

“I originally wrote my blog post to just put it out there,” Burns said. “But I received such an overwhelming response and was so moved. I wanted to hear their stories. You never know how you can save someone’s life.”

Fans are encouraged to share their stories with Burns on Facebook and Twitter.

Amanda Brooks produced the video.