#69 Be Willing To Make The Assist

There has been some major college basketball watching going on in our house this last month. Triumphs, failures, and even a pretty nasty injury have been televised along the way. One thing that always makes the highlight reel are the slam dunks. It would be hard to deny that a good slam dunk is a great sight. As you move through life I definitely want you to have a few of those take it to the bank slam dunk moments. Moments where you are in charge and in the lime light. Who doesn’t want that for their child? (Ok, maybe a few people).

However, one thing that is even more important to note is that many of those jaw dropping slams and critical three pointers would never have happened without a great and often overlooked teammate assist. To be a successful person in almost any field it is just as important to be able to make the shot as it is to know how to make a great assist. If you want people to back you up during your moment in the spotlight–you have to be willing to return the favor. A great assist can be the difference between a win or a loss, a triumph or a failure, life or death. As you go through life and start being involved in more and more things please don’t be afraid to go in for the assist.

In case you doubt that a great assist can be both amazing and helpful I would like you to watch this video of Steve Nash–king of the NBA assist and multi-time MVP as well as Hall of Famer.


#48 When in doubt, Just Take the Next Small Step

I think this is advice you have already learned in a literal sense. I think learning to walk freaked you out a bit. Which is understandable. At first you would only walk with your right foot..this made you do a lot of pivoting in one place. Finally you shuffled. Now you walk..and sometimes you wobble like a drunken frat boy but you still manage to sneak in the next small step. Eventually you reach your destination which much to my joy, tends to be my arms—or the volume knob on the surround sound.

It is easy to get caught up in the “big moments” in life and forget all the very tiny steps that got you there. Someday you will be running and climbing and will have long forgotten just how hard it was to take those first tiny steps. Sometimes life throws us curve balls. Sometimes you get the wind knocked straight out of you. Those are the times you might find yourself doubting.

Someday your father and I want to move out of our nice but small starter home. We have a lot of doubts about this process. However I know that if we take the small step of fixing up a few aesthetic details, we are one step closer to selling our home. Saving pennies means dollars in the long run and eventually a down payment on something else. When I look at the big picture of what will need to happen in our life to get where we want to be it can be overwhelming. When I take the time to pray and ask what is the next SMALL step to take, I can often clarify where to go and what I can handle.

Don’t discount the small things because they all add up to something.

This post is an elaboration on an article containing advice from Regina Brett which can be read here.

#32 Be On Time

You arrived 5 days after your due date. That is about the only time running late will ever be truly acceptable in your life.

In sports growing up I heard more than one coach use the phrase – “If you’re early, you’re on time — If you’re on time, you’re late — and if you’re late, you run!” That was some pretty good motivation to be at all practices not simply on time, but even a few minutes early. To be honest, I actually managed to get a lot done in those few early minutes. When I showed up early to practice I had time to warm up on my own, stretch, focus, or maybe ask the coach a question or two before it was time to get started with the day’s practice plans. I quickly learned that being punctual was important.

If my coaches weren’t able to get it through my head then my dad (Your Ba-Pa) definitely tried his hardest to get the point across. With him we were always at places approximately 5-10 minutes early. I have to admit there were times I didn’t understand the point. Other times, however, it brought some neat rewards. Being just 10 minutes early to Grant’s Farm in St. Louis, Missouri allowed my dad and I to get a close-up and rather behind-the-scenes look at their collection of Clydesdale foals. For a horse girl like your momma, that was a big deal! The workers weren’t busy with other guests and we weren’t being intrusive just patiently waiting for our early morning tour so they were more than willing to talk with us and show us around in places they couldn’t always take big groups of people.

Being on time is a great skill. It isn’t likely that your future boss will make you go running if you are late to a meeting or that your college professors will you give you a sneak peek at a test if you are early. However I can assure you that being late to a job interview significantly decreases your chances of employment. Turning in assignments late at work decreases your value to your boss and soon your value to a company. Not being on time to a test in college will often mean you don’t even get the opportunity to take it. Be on time–better yet be early.

Arriving early (we are talking 5-10 minutes here, not two hours which would just be creepy) to places benefits you almost every time. Try not arriving a bit early to an airport like Chicago O’Hare and I assure you that you won’t make that mistake again. When you arrive early to a job interview you have time to take a look around a potential place of future employment. You also have a chance to double check your appearance, glance over your resume, say a prayer, and collect your thoughts. Arriving early to a test means that you can take some deep breaths, make sure you have all your supplies, stare at your notes, and smile at those panicked flustered faces of your peers who are sneaking in the door at the last minute.

C’mon girl–set that alarm clock and please be on time!

Photo Credit