November 11th, 2013 | Uncategorized
A little while back I saw a photograph of Muhammad Ali trying his hand at the Gaelic sport Hurling (see the accompanying picture). He looks completely focused on trying to make contact with the ball… he also looks like he’s failing miserably. Strange to think that the greatest boxer, and one of the greatest athletes, of all time could whiff so bad on the ball. It made me think about how even the most successful people on Earth can be absolutely terrible at tasks outside their field of expertise.
I’ve played basketball for almost my entire life, and for the vast majority of that time I’ve been pretty good at it. When you spend so much of your life doing one activity like I have, and doing it well, it’s easy to forget how bad you are at so many other things in life. But that’s the reality. Everyone has their talents be it in sports, art, communication, networking, or anything else. But we’re also all pretty bad at a LOT of things. Things we don’t like, things we don’t practice, things we don’t think are important, and things we’ve never even thought of or knew existed.
From the day I ended my basketball career almost two years ago, I’ve had a crash course in all the things I’m bad at and all the skills I lack. Trust me, it’s a long list. I no longer had that anchor of basketball holding everything together, boosting my confidence and distracting me from other aspects of my life. And I do think anchor is the right word. Because as much as I love basketball and everything it’s brought me, in a way it held me down from doing a lot of other things. It skewed my perception and changed my priorities. It made me look one direction when I should have been looking in the other. This year is about re-focusing on the things that matter and looking to the future.
The one positive about being bad at so many different things is that there are a lot of opportunities to grow and develop. As it stands, my future is up in the air. It’s a little bit scary, but a little bit exciting too. I’m not sure where I’ll be in the coming months and years but with the focus of my life moving away from basketball and into ‘real life’ situations I’m confident I can turn my failures into successes… Or at least one or two.