If you were anywhere near La Pera Circle in the 80's you would have heard the echoing of a ball bouncing. I played basketball for hours in my early years. I didn't play pick up games nor did I play organized basketball; I just shot for hours...on my own. I would play out games in my head, keeping score against myself. I wasn't a shut-in, it was just a therapeutic way to end each day.
One of my first memories of observing the game of basketball was the championship that North Carolina State won in 1983. My dad and I watched this underdog team from across the country beat the unstoppable Phi Slamma Jamma. I was thrilled to see the underdog win. I always cheer for the underdog!
Their coach was an enigmatic New Yorker who was full of life and full of confidence. His determination and creative mentoring gave young people (all people) the feeling that they could do anything...and they did. Coach Jim Valvano left the earth 10 years later but he left us with many words of wisdom:
There are 3 things we should do every day....
Do you ever find that you are taking yourself too seriously? Professional life can be difficult so every day you need to assess and move forward. We stare at the ground waiting for our challenge...with tunnel vision...walking past the things that matter.
At a certain point, you come to realize that nothing is too important. You can miss a meeting to see your daughter's dance recital, you can miss a business trip to go to Disneyland, you can miss work to spend the day with your mom.
Disarm your guard and learn to laugh at yourself.
There is a solution to everything. You cannot hide from a problem or wait for it to solve itself. Hit the whiteboard and pick apart the puzzle. Find someone with whom to confide in. Most importantly, take a moment every day to isolate yourself in uninterrupted thought!
Put down the cell phone, reflect on the day, take a walk, stare at the wall. Whatever it takes....find a few moments each day to expand your mind.
Have Your Emotions Moved to Tears
My Son and I were watching a film in which an actor was moved to tears. My son felt sorry for the film's subject until I described to him that the man was crying because he was happy.
I remember the first time I cried from joy. It was in overtime in the soccer playoffs around the same time NC State cut down the nets. I dumped the ball into a friend and he scored the winning goal. We had beat the best team in the league. We had overcome a challenge and I was part of it. The joy was too great for me to contain...I cried....and it was glorious!
You can watch a movie, read a book, hear a song, or see your child help another. There are a lot of ways to move yourself to tears....if you can do it once a week you are living a life well served. If you can do it daily, you are creating perfection.
Jimmy V. was a real-life example that dreams come true. Not because luck is on your side but because preparation and hard work have a way of trumping natural skill.
Don't give up, don't ever give up!
Don't Forget to Remember!