Bill Walton, a heralded basketball commentator that played at a high level in the NBA for 13 years, was asked for his take on a recent basketball game where the highly favored San Diego State Aztecs team was beaten for the second time by the less athletic Brigham Young University team. While you may not play basketball or be a BYU fan, I think you will find his words inspiring and true about any real achievement in life. Let me share.
“The great thing about what BYU did, is that they represented all of the things that make life so special. They won the battle…of substance over hype, [we saw] the triumph of achievement over erratic flailing, the conquest of discipline over gambling, the triumph of executing an organized game plan over just hoping that you\’re going to be just lucky, hot, or in the zone. They also represented the conquest of sacrifice, and commitment to achievement over the pipe dream that someone is going to give you something, or that you can take a pill, or turn a key to get what you want.\”
Then his final thought that I can’t get off my mind.
\”Never mistake activity for achievement.”
Think about that. When did we first learn to focus on our efforts, or activity, rather than the results? Was it when our little league coach shouted “Good try!\” after the umpire shouted \”Strike three!\”? I understand that when we fail we may need a consolation prize, especially when we\’re young, so that we\’ll try again. But at some point in learning to achieve, the focus must shift from trying, to achieving. You must graduate from acting something, to becoming something. From trying, to doing. Once you’ve reached this level, a little failure is not going to stand in the way of your goals and dreams. You know it\’s within reach and your commitment becomes steady and sure. It’s hard core commitment to your final destination, or bust.
Tasting true achievement is the best kind of replacement drug. This kind of addiction leads to discipline, commitment, work/effort, sacrifice, all things our youth today need more of.
My greatest wish for parents, myself included, is that we will move beyond mere parental activity, to a reliable level of parental achievement. We’ll find ourselves at a place where we have consistently practiced, with an organized game plan, having a clearly defined goal in mind, until we find real success at home. The outcomes may vary from family to family and from child to child, but peace does come when we have personally achieved a greater level of consistency and maturity than ever before. It would be pathetic, frankly, to ask less of ourselves than we do of our teens.
In this month’s Notes from Home, we have reviewed an inspiring sports biography, offered stories from our own work, given you easy ideas to try at home and shared the link to our recent Expert Call on the topic of how to get your teens and yourself moving. We hope you’ll be inspired.