Basketball season is just around the corner and I can not wait. Just the other day I was going through notes and files in preparation for the upcoming season. In one of my folders I found clinic notes on a coach talking about the late, great Coach Jim Valvano. Jimmy V is the inspiration for this week’s post.
Jim Valvano was a basketball coach but, more importantly, he was a fine human being, a respected coach, and devoted family man. His 1983 N.C. State team shocked the world by winning the NCAA Championship on a last second tip in. The famous scene from the game is Coach Valvano running around the court in disbelief at what had just happened, looking for someone to hug. What I remember most about Jimmy V is his unforgettable 1993 ESPY Speech. Coach Valvano was the recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award and gave one of the most inspirational speeches of all time. My favorite quote from the speech is, “If you laugh, you think, and you cry. That’s a full day. That’s a heckuva day.”
We can take the words from this quote, break them down, and apply them to our daily lives. The first daily goal is to laugh, laughter is the soul’s medicine. Think about it: every time you laugh, you smile (it kind of goes hand in hand.) We all should take time each day to sit back and laugh about the day’s funny moments. I always enjoy hearing humorous stories my wife has to share about her day. Laughing together not only instantly changes the mood but also sets the ambiance for a great night off with the family. I myself need to remember to write down or make mental note of the day’s funny moments because too often I forget about them. Upon self-reflection, I realized I need to not take myself so seriously. Too often we are embarrassed when we goof up and make an error. We need to learn to laugh at ourselves. A great line to remember is, “Don’t take yourself so seriously, no one else does.” Today I am going to make it a goal of mine to laugh…Laugh so hard my stomach hurts! I love that feeling and it’s great for the soul.
A second daily goal would be to think…which sounds simple but is so hard to do nowadays. It seems as though every time I get a free minute I incoherently start checking Facebook or Twitter. Why do I waste my time reading away about who’s getting married, or what someone had at Starbucks this morning? Ten minutes a day is all we need…just ten minutes to be alone in your own thoughts. I think we can manage that but, it has to be a conscious effort. I need to put the phone down, get away from the computer, and go sit somewhere quietly outside. Personal reflection is a must! We should all reflect on all the positive things we have going on in our lives. During your reflection, think of three things that are positive in your life. If you do this, you’ll be smiling in no time and probably laughing at a memory as well. Another fresh idea to get the mind moving would be to pick up a great B-O-O-K. Let me help, they are generally rectangular, and full of words. I guess you can use the electronic version too if it encourages this activity. I also find it helpful to even read something positive or inspiring right before you go to bed and right after you wake up. If you must stay with the social media movement, follow people online who motivate you, inspire you, and put their advice into practice.
Lastly, do not be afraid to show your emotions. If you know my family, you know the Elmendorf men are criers! Do not be afraid to cry. It’s human nature and too often we try to hide this to seem tough. Men are especially guilty of this. I’ll admit it, I cry in some movies. I cried like a baby at the end of [amazon-product text=”Marley and Me” type=”text”]B001REZM6K[/amazon-product]. Guys…if you didn’t tear up in that movie, there’s something wrong with you. Have you ever watched an inspiring clip that moved you to tears? I know I have. I tear up every time ESPN’s Sportscenter runs their “My Wish” series on sick children who have their dreams become reality through the help of professional athletes. Find material to watch or read that moves your soul, and then discuss that with someone you have a great relationship with. There is no better discussion than one of substance with someone you respect. Do not be afraid to put yourself and your feelings out there. It’s real, and what’s better than that?
So today, laugh, think, and cry. If you do, that will be one full day. As Jimmy V said, “A heckuva day!”
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Thanks for reading, have a great week, and be a RGP!