It Takes Everything To Win!

It Takes Everything To Win!
It Takes Everything To Win!
In my many years of studying personal human behavior, I have discovered that a person, in and of himself, cannot determine how far they can go or how much they can take. Neither, can they determine the extent to which they are willing to sacrifice, without something or someone coercing them to either their breaking point, or their refusal to break point. When you are pushed and shoved to exceed your personal limits, it demonstrates how your personal boundaries are not necessarily determined by you, as much as by your willingness to triumph against the person or challenge that is poised to conquer you.

Your internal drive and determination to win in life, sports, or business is not accelerated by the limits you have set, but by the challenge that pushes you to reposition the line of your capability, just to overcome. This is usually the story behind every great person who discovered that the boundary they set was only established because they had no opponent or challenge to impel them to reestablish their limits.

There can be no victories without encountering conflict. Whoever concedes to the pressures of life or the abilities of their competitor, cannot exceed the limits they have personally set for themselves.

As I watched game seven of the NBA 2013 Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat, I saw both teams display resilience and mental toughness throughout the course of the game. My thought was that a loss on either side would come down to one individual breaking down during the last seconds of the game. I thought the person that mentally breaks down and creates mistakes would not be a person who is not a good player, but one who has not consistently played well throughout the series. Unfortunately, that player was Manu Ginobili. The collage of negative thoughts that bombard a person after a poor performance, whether in life, sports or business, has but one aim—and that aim is to discourage and batter you until you find yourself rehearsing the mistakes that you are so desperately trying not to repeat.

Whether a team wins or loses, it is still a team. However, the individual role player on that team who isn’t mentally hungry and composed enough to want to do anything and everything to win, will allow their opponent to push them to move their mental and physical limitation, and they are just as responsible for the team’s loss as the team itself.

I heard LeBron James in an interview after winning the seventh game of the NBA 2013 Finals say, “The Spurs are a great team that pushed us to new limits.” In a nutshell, what LeBron James was saying was that his internal hunger to defeat the San Antonio Spurs became more intense during the game. It made him play smarter and harder than he’s ever played, dig deeper inside himself than he’s ever internally dug, and fight harder than he’s ever fought before.

My friend, this is what champions are made of. You will never realize how great you can be until you become hungrier to succeed than you are fearful to fail.

Recommended Reading:

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Heavy or Heavenly Decisions

The country waited with great anticipation, as cities such as New York, Chicago, Miami, and most of all Cleveland, stilled their emotions in hope that the great LeBron James would come to their town to play for their basketball teams. There has never been a time, when one person’s decision, would raise the hopes of so many and yet have the opposite effect of letting down so many at the same time. This young basketball icon, (by the way, who never said he was the savior of Cleveland), has never had to deal with the likes of this kind of pressure. Playing in the NBA Finals did not carry half the weight as the decision he had to make about his future basketball prospects. As fans from Cleveland and his hometown of Akron pleaded, prayed and begged that he would remain in Cleveland and become the legitimate hometown hero, who would help their dying city resuscitate from an economic meltdown and revive the hearts of the young and old by winning a championship.

Put yourself in Lebron James’ shoes and ask yourself, “How would I handle this decision making process?” What factors would you consider to help you make a well-thought out and balanced decision to remain in Cleveland or to leave it? It is easy for all of us to sit back and have none of the weight that this young basketball player has on him, where people have dubbed him the King who revived Cleveland. He is a basketball player for heaven’s sake, not Jesus Christ.

Lebron is surrounded by hands that are all asking for something from him and yet has nothing or very little to offer him in return, but perhaps cheers when he does something for their team to win. Everyone surrounding this young man has one major motive and it is most likely not Lebron James, but rather his or her own self-serving interest. I am sure that his mother may make the ultimate sacrifice for her son by giving her life; but the so-called fans that are cheering for him during a game will not consider giving him their only kidney if he needed one to survive just to continue playing basketball.

One day a chicken and a pig had spent days together, but neither had anything to eat. They were both famished and brainstorming what they could do to find food. After hours of deliberation, the chicken said, “I know what we can do; I’ll lay a couple of eggs but you must provide the bacon.” The pig said, “That’s easy for you to say because all you have to do to provide a couple of eggs is lay them, but for me to provide the bacon, it takes a total commitment.”

In truth, Lebron James is a young man who is expected to think and act like a responsible, well-seasoned, well-mannered person, but inside of him is a young man who is in need of fatherly examples that would foster maturity behind closed doors as well as in public. He has probably lived his entire life always being depended on. However, he needed someone else to lean on. I believe the decision he made to play in Miami was a very difficult decision to make because he does care for the city of Cleveland and I believe he does care about their economy, but he is not their savior. Cleveland is a city with many millionaires, white-collar professionals, large, medium and small businesses; as well as communities and suburbs where people will do what they have to do to survive. Moreover, Cleveland was there when Lebron James was born and it will most likely be there when he dies.

One man can make a difference, but only ONE MAN (Jesus) can save a world. Jesus Christ was thirty when He started his ministry and thirty-three when He was crucified. However, Jesus knew why He was in the world; Lebron James does not have a clue why he is on earth.

As I watched Lebron James interview on ESPN, as he courageously held his composure in place, with hesitancy in his voice, he verbalized his decision to play for the Miami Heat Basketball Organization, while unaware of what to expect. Finally, it is out! He paused before exhaling and then gave a subtle sigh of release and continued his interview. His response to those burning his number 23 Jersey and sad and disappointed expressions, exonerated his mixed emotions to a degree. The Cleveland owner and fans who cheered when he was in Cleveland are now ready to crucify him. This is demonstrative of people whose true immature reaction to a young man’s decision about his own future has cared nothing about him as a person. How sad it must be to be known only for what you do, but few really know who you are.

If I were asked by Lebron as to how to handle such an ordeal, I would tell him that basketball is a game and a business, but your future is your life. The decision you make today will affect more than just you. However, the decision you make tomorrow will affect more than just you. A person’s maturity is indicated by how he or she weighs what is of little importance or great importance. When you can unequivocally differentiate between the two, and make a sound decision without outside influences and live with your choice, you have arrived. People are important, but so are you. However, decisions will always affect others. Just make sure your decision is the one you sought God’s counsel.