I don’t watch NBA basketball because it’s NBA basketball. But I will watch Steve Nash, the point guard from Canada who plays for Phoenix and is the winner of the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award.
Nash is bright and personable. I first saw him on David Letterman. Last night Charlie Rose interviewed Nash in a show focused on leadership.
And Nash is a leader. As a point guard, he says he “mothers” the other 4 players on the team, thinking about what they need and helping them find ways to succeed.
But I found myself wondering even if a man is paid whatever basketball players are paid, what does he do to keep himself motivated and at his best? How does a 6’1” player, a self-described small guy, have to be in order to play in the midst of those sharp elbows and huge shoulders? And how does he stay committed during the long season, the training, the traveling, the endless tournament at the end of the season?
Nash knows what he has to do. This is what he says:
1) Since he’s a small guy in tough territory, he has to be creative. He has to come up with new plays.
2) He has to be mentally tough. When he’s jostled or intimidated, he remains “unflappable” because he has decided that “nothing will bother” him.
3) He has no fear. Without fear, he can charge into the midst of play.
4) He doesn’t give up because he’s committed “to stay the course.”
5) And he does it because it’s fun.
He smiles when he says that, and you believe him.
As a writer, here’s what you have to do:
1) Be mentally tough, even when you feel you’re out-manned or losing ground. You choose to let nothing bother you and to remain unflappable. You just keep going.
2) Like Steve Nash in basketball, you didn’t get to this level of writing by being a non-starter. You were training for this long ago. Remember that.
3) Character matters. Dig deep and find the courage to be fearless.
4) Keep your commitment to your team—even if it’s just a team of one. Or add a coach to your team and have someone along side of you who takes your commitment seriously.
5) And one more thing, Steve Nash plays hard and plays to win because it’s fun. You can make your work fun, too—writing is a challenge and challenges can be exhilarating. Choose that perspective.
You asked about motivation? Having motivation is a choice. It takes courage, discipline, and work to achieve a measure of success.
Motivation follows success.
Take risks and charge through tough places.
And then you, too, will feel the wind in your hair as you run fast in your arena.
To watch the Steve Nash interview, click on this link: http://www.charlierose.com/shows/2007/08/27/2/a-conversation-with-basketball-professional-steve-nash
Until next time,
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