A Letter to Myself

Dear Dale,

I know at times you may be doubtful and your hopes of being a baller can seem impossible to obtain. I know at times life can seem too difficult to bare and its uncertainty can be quite intimidating, but I want to remind you that you have always made it through. You, like everyone else in this world, are capable. Acknowledging your potential is the first step towards becoming the best version of yourself, but knowledge of your potential alone is not enough for success, unfortunately. Potential is much like clay. Untouched, you can attempt to imagine different possibilities of creation, but it is pretty difficult. It is not until you begin to mold this potential, that you begin to see more clearly what the finished product will be. I use this example to show you that even a boring glob of clay can become the most extravagant masterpiece. Now, think of the glob of clay as your dreams and wishes. It is not until you start manipulating your dreams and wishes that you can see what they will become. Dreams are nothing more than illusions without any action present. Dreams become refined as we chase after them. Dreams form into stronger, concrete goals as we devote more attention and energy into them.

In life, you are continuously becoming, constantly changing and moving forward. Becoming (molding your dreams into goals) is the key to life and essential to its beauty. It is never fully certain what will happen to us or what we will become, but it is certain that we will become something. In other words, you should not focus on the uncertainty of the world. No, we can’t predict every bad thing that happens but we do know that bad things will happen. You can only be certain of yourself and what it is that you want from the world. If you have a dream and you want to see it manifest itself, then you must live in a way that is conducive to making your dreams a reality. Remember the game plan:

Check Yourself

Everybody has dreams. Everybody is capable. Everybody can imagine what it would be like if they did this or if they did that, but not everybody knows what it takes. Not everybody is mentally built for this life. Do you really want this life you imagine for yourself? Are you willing to devote endless time and energy towards this life? If the answer to all of these questions is yes, then you must prepare yourself. You must rid yourself of all defeated and doubtful thinking, as well as all of the people, things, or actions that may evoke this type of thinking. It’s easy to set goals, but if your environment is not a productive one it can be difficult to find motivation.

Scout

After you have freed your environment of all toxins and pollutants, you need to get to work. You have to do research. Anyone who has ever been serious about anything has known a good bit of information on that thing which they were serious about. Not knowing about the field in which you are interested before dedicating yourself would give off the impression that you are not to be taken seriously. That would be like LeBron James not knowing about the accomplishments of Michael Jordan, or Cam Newton totally ignoring who Mike Vick is. You have to learn the foundations of what ever craft, industry, or skill it is that you are concerned with. What tools do you need? What are the basic techniques? How much money will you need? Who came before me and what contributions did they bring with them? These are often undervalued questions. Asking these early on can help eliminate stress farther down the road.

Practice

Often we hear “practice makes perfect”, but that’s complete bullshit. You could practice shooting a basketball granny style for years, but that would not make you much of a hooper. Perfect practice makes perfect. You have to dedicate time to mastering a craft. You have to try and try again. You have to be open to criticism. You have to go back and correct your faults until a flaw cannot be thought of, then polish it once more. There is always room for improvement and if you are serious about your goals you will continuously seek improvement.

Game Time

There will come a time when your number gets called and you will have to be ready for it. All it takes is one shot for your dreams to become a reality and you don’t want to get caught looking like a deer stuck in the headlights when all eyes are on you. Yes, you will be nervous. Yes, you will be unsure of what will happen, but you will be confident in your own abilities. For it is only your abilities that you can be confident in. You must remind yourself of the countless hours you put in. The sleep lost preparing for that one shot. If you have taken perfecting your craft serious, then you will be ready when your number is called.

Locker Room

After you have played the field and got your feet wet you have to do a post-evaluation of yourself. How did you perform? What did you do really good? What did you do really bad? What needs some improvement? You have to be your biggest critic without beating yourself up. If you want to be the absolute best you have to go farther than identifying your flaws. You can’t leave any room for mistakes so any shortcomings must be evaluated and you have to find a method of correction. Hit the showers, wash off last game’s bumps and bruises. Relax for now, but prepare to get right back on the grind because it never stops.

 

The key to mastery is continuously improving and being prepared to make changes. If we want positive outcomes we have to get rid of negativity so that we can focus on the good. We have to always be open to self-criticism and criticism from others. Our perceptions of ourselves are not always fully accurate, but through constant exposure of your capabilities you will become more sensitive to perceiving how good you really are. The finish line will start to seem more visible. Though the race may never end, you can run faster when you know where you are going. The bag is out there. It’s on you, and you alone, to go get it. Go secure that bag fam!

Peace & Love,

Dale

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