The Time is Now, Be Present

So my journey down the military career of my option did not pan out. Unfortunately due to previous injuries sustained in my last tour of duty, they were unable to accept me for further operations. It was a pretty devastating blow. I did not go down without a fight. I tried many other avenues to get into that community, back doors, side doors, the whole kit and caboose. At the end of the day, time wore on me and eventually life closed in on me.

Since I wasn’t training 100% all of the time and being so consumed in that lifestyle, I had more time on my hands to realize what was going on around me. I started to practice basketball with the kids on a consistent basis. While I practiced with them before, it was always in streaks, just as everything else has been in my life. This time, I was able to enjoy the time I was spending with them and actually passing on something that was dear to me, basketball skills and ultimately life lessons.

Yes, we should all continue to grow and evolve in life. We should always try and be successful in everything we do. The other side of the blade in that train of thought is with all the hustle and bustle we do to obtain our goals we get locked into a snowball effect. We grow and grow in our careers and in life and we continue to try and make it to the next level. There will always be “the next level” in whatever we do. Even Michael Jordan, being the best in the game at the time, still continued to work and work because if he didn’t, there was someone right around the corner waiting to take his place.

So the question is, when do we allow ourselves the opportunity to relish in the success we have obtained and stop and enjoy it?

This is the question that has alluded me for quite some time. I shouldn’t say alluded me, I should say neglecting, refusing, preventing me from addressing. I was stubborn. I was selfish. I am selfish. I compare my life to others. I have obtained a lot in my life. Eminem wrote a song, “Lose Yourself”. Basically, you only have one shot, one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted in life. Is this true? Some may think. But I looked back at my life and I tried to look for those “one moment” opportunities and they really don’t exist. I can make a stretch and reach for a potential one, but it’s how you look at it.

When a basketball team is tied down by one point, no time left on the clock and a player has two free throws to tie and ultimately win the game. This is one shot, one opportunity. If he misses both, his team loses and he can never have that exact moment back again. But whose to say that the opportunity wasn’t lost during the course of the game? How about a free throw or two, a jump shot, a layup, an errant pass made in the game that has brought this player, this team to this situation?

I feel this is true about life. It is not the one moment or the one opportunity that you have to seize everything you ever wanted, but it is the culmination of events and decisions a person makes in life is what determines if s/he will seize everything s/he’s ever wanted in life.

There haven’t been so many “one shot, one moment” in my life time, but there has been so many “gametime” moments in my life, where if I made a bad decision, or a couple of bad decisions, I would not have emerged the victor. Many times I was tested in Iraq, as a platoon leader, in regards to my leadership and my combat skills. But I was victorious, why, because I came home alive, with all my Soldiers. I played professional basketball. I have two beautiful children. I travel the world. I have a Master’s degree. I have a home. I have a dog. I have a car. I have my brothers. I have my parents. I can breathe. I can walk. I have life.

Are we too greedy in our lives where we continue to ask ourselves, what more can I have? What more do I need? What more do I want? Stop for a second and look at what is important to you and determine if you have it. If you do, stop and enjoy it, because more often than not, you’re not.

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