Larry Bird Quotes: The World Through His Eyes

It would be sacrilegious for a long-time Boston Celtics fan to write blog post #33 (and yes, I’m counting) about anything other than “The Hick from French Lick,” also known as Larry Legend, #33 for the 1980’s Boston Celtics … you know … Larry Bird. In his honor, I will be talking a bit about his history (both personal and professional) and sharing some Larry Bird quotes of wisdom.

Bird’s Highlights

According to Nat Berman’s post “The 10 Most Inspirational Quotes by Larry Bird,” Larry Bird is the only person in the history of the National Basketball Association (NBA) to be named Most Valuable Player, Coach of the Year, and Executive of the Year.

After spending 13 years as a player with the Boston Celtics, during which he was an 11-time All Star, and won a trophy case full of awards, three NBA Championships, and an Olympic gold medal, Larry Bird retired from playing in 1992 and moved on to coaching.

 Just as he excelled as an athlete, Larry led the Indiana Pacers to some of the biggest franchise moments, including a 2000 NBA Finals appearance against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Larry Bird Quotes: In His Own Words

What better way to acknowledge the greatness of the man than to share some great Larry Bird quotes:

• “I don’t know if I practiced more than anybody but I sure practiced enough. I still wonder if somebody-somewhere was practicing more than me.”

• “I learned what my weaknesses were and I went out the next day to turn those weaknesses into strengths.”

• “A winner is someone who recognizes his God-given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals.”

“Push yourself again and again. Don’t give an inch until the final buzzer sounds.”

“I’ve got a theory that if you give 100% all of the time, somehow things will work out in the end.”

• “Don’t let winning make you soft. Don’t let losing make you quit. Don’t let your teammates down in any situation.”

• “You can make all the excuses you want. but if you’re not mentally tough and you’re not prepared to play every night, you’re not going to win.”

And there you have it, the world thought the eyes of a legend, Larry Bird. Take notes. There’s a lot we all can learn from “The Hick from French Lick.”

5 Things to Be Thankful for This Thanksgiving

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, so many people are busy preparing food, watching a parade, starting their holiday shopping, or cheering on their favorite football team. But this year, I’d like to plant a different seed in your mind: things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving; things that you might have taken for granted in years’ past.

Face it: most of us blow through the holiday season at warp speed. But when you wake up this Thanksgiving morning, I want you to pay special attention to the following events throughout the day. And without further ado….

Five Things to Be Thankful For

1. Freedom to travel. If you are traveling to a Thanksgiving Day destination, stop and think for a moment about how fortunate we are to have the luxury of freedom of movement — be it across town or across the country — via our method of choice. Also, consider the fact that there are no restrictions placed on where we can spend our holiday or with who(m) we choose to congregate, both foreign concepts in some countries.

2. Freedom of expression. Sitting around the Thanksgiving table, most families become engaged in conversations ranging from the Thanksgiving Day parade and NFL games on TV, to … ahem … current events (and, no, I’m not talking about the weather). Regardless of the subject matter, we have the freedom to express our thoughts, ideas, and philosophies of life with one another (hopefully in a civil manner) without fear of incrimination.

3. Friends and family. As you sit down for your Thanksgiving meal, take note of the family members and friends around the table. This moment, for many, can be a time of both joy and sadness, as we reflect on family members and close friends no longer with us. Now, I’m by no means trying to bum you out. What I hope is that you recognize and acknowledge how much you appreciate those special individuals gathered with you on this Thanksgiving 2019.

4. Freedom of beliefs. Before the Thanksgiving meal, families may choose to offer a blessing for those gathered, former family members, and the food itself. We have the opportunity to express our beliefs and gratitude (or not) in the manner of our choosing without restriction. And the Thanksgiving meal can be whatever we and those with us want it to be. This again is a privilege we should recognize and appreciate.

5. The positive changes you’ve made this year. Lastly, I want you to think about how your life has changed in 2019. Have you initiated these changes — personal, professional, health etc. — or have they been forced upon you? Which changes are you most proud of? And how can you experience more joy and happiness in your life and with loved ones in the New Year?

There you have it. Five things to be thankful for this year that you may not have thought of otherwise. Wishing all a safe and Happy Thanksgiving 2019!

It’s Not Always About You

I woke up this morning with a thought. I honestly can’t even remember what it was any more. But it was important to me at the time. Then I heard a little voice in my head say, ”It’s not always about you” and that literally stopped me in my tracks. And that voice was right. It’s not always about me. Or you.

What Does That Really Mean?

As humans, we naturally spend a lot of time thinking about ourselves. What are our needs? Our wants? Who do we want to be with? What do we want for lunch? Why is something hurting today? All of that is a normal part of life, and in many ways crucial to our survival.

But many of us forget that, at the end of the day, we are just a speck in a huge world full of billions of people, animals, plants and other living things. And we all have an impact on one another: trees help us breathe, pets bring us joy, and humans love and support one another. When too many individuals become hyperfocused on themselves, they begin neglecting other members of this vast ecosystem that we are all intended to support.

Real-Life Examples

Let’s say you want to get together with an old friend and it’s just not working out. You’re getting frustrated. Why? Because “you” can’t get together with your friend.

But did you ever stop to think that maybe your friend has a legitimate reason for blowing you off (e.g., a health matter, family matter etc.) that you just weren’t aware of? In this case, it isn’t about “you” at all? Because after all, it’s not always about you.

Now let’s use that same scenario but this time you do get together with this friend. The entire conversation seems to be about his life and very little about what has been going on in your world. And you’re feeling kind of ignored and unimportant.

But again, did you ever stop to think that maybe your friend was at a tipping point and just needed someone to vent to? Once again, it isn’t about you at all.

When We Realize That “It’s Not Always About You”

Now, you may be sinking in your chair right about now; sitting there thinking about all the times that you were focused on yourself and how you felt.

But look at this as a growth opportunity; a chance for you to make the world a better place by focusing less on yourself and more on the people around you. Maybe it’s time for you to say “I’m sorry” for those recent moments in which you’ve focused on yourself when maybe you should have been thinking about other people.

I believe, from time to time, we are selected to do things for the purpose of helping others. We just happen to be the right person, at the right time, to perform a necessary task, like listening to our friend who really needed to talk. And yet often we have no idea of the who or why we are performing this task.

This is the beauty of life. We perform certain actions without fully having a grasp on the unintended consequences of these actions. We make the world a better place without even realizing it.

And to do this is so incredibly simple. All we have to do is realize: “It isn’t always about you.”

The Simplicity of Saying “I’m Sorry”

When I was writing the last blog post… It is what it is or is it, I started thinking about another saying or phrase that I’m not sure I totally buy into. That would be the title of one of Elton John’s classics from the 1970’s: “Sorry seems to be the hardest word.” In fact, I would venture to say that saying “I’m sorry” should be one of the simplest and easiest actions you can – and should – take.

What Elton John Gets Wrong … The “When” of Saying I’m Sorry

In listening to the song (and in particular, the lyrics) multiple times, I noticed that one stanza caught my attention and it goes…

It’s sad, so sad
Why can’t we talk it over?
Oh, it seems to me
That sorry seems to be the hardest word

Is it possible that Elton John (and songwriter Bernie Taupin) made a common human error in writing these lyrics? Namely, they didn’t lead with the apology.

Following the train of thought in the song, the lyrics say, “Why can’t we talk it over?” Then they go on to note that,sorry seems to be the hardest word.”

To me, the reason why we (or Elton) can’t talk it over is because we/Elton didn’t lead with “I’m sorry,” and then suggest “let’s talk it over.”

Sometimes it’s the order that matters.

The Simplicity of Saying I’m Sorry

Let’s put the song lyrics into a real-life situation. When I’m upset with someone, the last thing I want to do (at least initially) is to talk to them about it. So, ”why can’t we talk it over is not even in the cards in the beginning.

However, if that person gets in touch with me and simply says, “Hey bro, I’m sorry for whatever…” no reason or excuse is needed or wanted at that point. As a matter of fact, I think the less that is said the better, at least in my case.

In short, an apology doesn’t have to be long and drawn out. It doesn’t need to involve explanations about what happened or trying to make it up to someone. All it takes is a little self awareness, honesty and a few simple words: “I’m sorry.”

Why It’s So Important to Apologize

Anger, conflict etc. in your life creates internal turmoil and stresses the body. It’s as if you are walking around with a weighted vest on and that’s not healthy for the mind or body. That’s not good for either the person who made the mistake, or the person who was hurt by it.

When you have situations in your life where you did somebody wrong, find it in yourself to apologize. If this allows you to reset a relationship, great. And if the response to your outreach is negative, you will have peace of mind knowing that you did the right thing, and then move on and don’t look back.

How often in life can two simple words have so much impact?