“It is one thing to study war
and another to live the warrior’s life.”
~ Telamon of Arcadia,
mercenary of the fifth century B.C.
Some of you may remember the 1997 NBA Finals
between the Chicago Bulls and the Utah Jazz. More specifically, Game 5 of the Finals.
Having lived in Chicago a good portion of my life, I remember it well.
In fact, it was one of the most memorable games in NBA history.
Jordan awoke on Tuesday nauseated and sweating profusely. He hardly had the strength to sit up in bed and was diagnosed with a stomach virus or food poisoning of some sort. Jordan was told by the trainers that he could not play Game 5 the next day (on Wednesday).
The problem was that the Jazz had just won two games in a row to tie the series, and Game 5 would be crucial. In the NBA Finals best of seven format, Game 5’s are important since the winner is just one win away from being crowned champion.
Against the odds, Jordan rose from bed at 3:00 p.m., just in time for the 6:00 tip-off at the Delta Center. Jordan was visibly weak as he stepped onto the court for the start of the game.
But, the point is, Jordan showed up.
Early on he displayed no energy at all, and John Stockton, along with Karl Malone, quickly led the Jazz to a 16-point lead.
Despite being slowed, Jordan started to sink shots in the second quarter. He scored 17 points in the quarter as the Bulls took a small lead.
Jordan dug deep…
Early in the 4th quarter the Jazz had reclaimed their lead and pushed it to 8 points. Jordan dug deep and turned it on once again. Scoring 15 points in the fourth quarter.
After tying the game with a free throw, Jordan missed his second free throw.
The Bulls got the rebound with under a minute left in the game. Scottie Pippen passed the ball back to Michael Jeffrey Jordan who swished a three-pointer to give the Bulls the lead and the win as Utah failed to score again.
With a few seconds remaining and the game in hand Jordan collapsed into Scottie Pippen’s arms. His mission was complete.
Michael did not have to convince his body to perform. He had to convince his mind. His body then did precisely what he told it to do.
Jordan negotiated 38 points out of his body that night.
I would surmise that he would have negotiated 40 if his team needed it. Maybe even 50.
I’m guessing he slept well that night.
How about you?
Are you sleeping well my friend?
When is the last time you left it all on the court?
I’m not talking about just saying that you left it all on the court. I’m talking about actually leaving it all on the court.
The truth is folks that one of the easiest methods we offer ourselves is rationalization. We may talk about those things that will make a difference if we do them.
But, are we doing them?
Or, are we rationalizing on why they can’t be done?
Is our day being spent doing ‘busy work’ or ‘the work’ that matters?
The work that will fulfill us.
That work that will have us sleeping peacefully.
Another truth is that you know the difference between the two.
So do I.
But, you want to hear something peculiar?
We can fool a lot of folks into thinking that we’re living it loud.
We can dance around and draw attention to ourselves.
We can get our pats on the back.
But only we know whether we are delivering or not. Living out our true potential.
My charge to you is to do that thing that will fulfill.
Lose yourself in ‘the work’.
Make this time in your life be ‘the time’.
Leave it all on the court and sleep well tonight my friend.
After all, you are the only you, you have.
Live it LOUD!