Each coaching session I am a part of here in Ireland I try my best to put myself in the shoes of those I am coaching. This is not a tall task as I once stood in the place of many of the youngsters I am around today. That place may not have been in Ireland and may have been in a more developed program but at one point in my life I too was a 12, 13, 14 year old kid with basketball dreams as big as my mind would allow. While trying to see things from the perspective of my players is an attempt to better understand those I coach, it is also an opportunity for me to reflect on my own personal journey. When I see these kids working on certain moves or the mechanics of their shot or even talking about their upcoming secondary school exams, it provides me with a realization of how far I have come as a basketball player and person. It feels like just yesterday I was in their shoes, worrying about my next high school game or whose house we were going to hang out at after school. With the blink of an eye it feels like 10 years has passed. This is when I am reminded of a very important quote:
“The days are long but the years are short.”
At first thought it seems like the last decade of my life has sped by, but when I look back on everything I have done over that span, both good and bad, I realize that those years were anything but short. We as a people often are so caught up in our daily lives and short term goals that when we take a step back and look at our surroundings, years have gone by seemingly unnoticed. Time as a concept is infinite, but when applied to the individual it is very much finite. We all only have so many days, years and months in this world, but I truly believe that a person’s life is not defined by the amount of years lived but rather the amount of life within those years. We try a plethora of ways to apply a bit of predictably within our lives, but our lives, by nature, are unpredictable. Regardless of how much you plan and schedule your life, unexpected occurrences will always happen. So instead of constantly working towards some future status, being so focused on the next task ahead that when you look up from it you are 20, 30, 40 years older than you were, take the time to reflect on the life you are living. Not knowing how much sand is left in the hourglass of your life should be all the motivation we need to pack as much value and experience into each day we are blessed to live. This does not mean that you have to go parachute out of a plane or bungee jump tomorrow to get the most out of the day, it simply means that whatever your day is filled with, take the time to appreciate and reflect upon it, because you never know when it may be your last.