Did you hear the story about Gary Harris Jr. that has been in the news this past week?
Easily one of the best stories that I’ve heard all year.
Harris was drafted into the NBA by the Denver Nuggest last week out of Michigan St. University. After he was drafted his father (Gary Sr.) shared via social media the picture above. This picture hung in Gary Harris Jr.’s bedroom since he was eleven.
What is interesting about Harris, is that even through he was a standout player at Michigan St., he’s not a “physical freak”. In fact you could even say that he will be slightly undersized in his position at the pro level. But he’s going to be a pro.
Soon he will literally experience his dream of being an NBA player – a dream that he has visualized every single day by reading the banner that hung in his bedroom, visible from his bed, but more importantly, a dream that he has made real by taking action on it every single day from the time that he was a child.
This banner, in my opinion, perfectly characterizes what is necessary to achieve any exceptional undertaking:
Complete personal responsibility, and a willingness to work on it every single day.
What I love most about the banner is the emphasis on the word “you”. What did “you” do today that will get “you” into the NBA. As a young boy, Harris had to accept the reality that he couldn’t rely on anyone else. If it was going to be it would be up to him, and the actions that he was willing to take, every single day. He couldn’t blame others, or circumstances. It was a simple question that meant everything: what was he willing to do each day.
Obviously he was willing to do what it took.
You can count me in as one of his new fans. A guy like that deserves to be rooted for.
I think sometimes we discount the daily work that “pros” are willing to do to get their dreams, and by “pros” I mean anyone who shows exceptional talent, so you can group unusually talented business people, intellects, creators, innovators, and artists into that category as well.
We see their exceptional results and we assume that it was because of their talent, and sometimes we may look at our talent and think that since we may not have the natural talent that they do, we aren’t capable of achieving what they have achieved.
I think that for every “pro” that exhibits unusual natural talent, there are an army of Gary Harris Jrs. Hustlers – whose talent is a product of spartan discipline, daily action, and continuing self belief. I believe that great talent can be developed through heavy practice, and there are now studies that are giving credence to this belief.
I also believe that in order to achieve your “dreams” a daily effort is necessary.
Several years ago I decided that I wanted to establish myself as a writer. Since that time I have blogged hundreds of times, written many articles outside of my blog, published a book (which is selling well in Chapters / Indigo, Barnes & Noble and Amazon). I have much more left to achieve in this dream.
When I made the decision to pursue this dream I knew that it would take a daily effort, and I am happy to say that I can’t think of a day that has passed, over the last two years, where I haven’t worked on this dream in some way. The more I work at my dream, the more I want it, and the more I work, the better I get. I am no where near completing the dream (as I see it in my mind), but I believe exactly in the principle stated in the banner raised by Gary Harris Jr. as a child:
My dream will not come true if I’m not willing to work on it, every single day.
What is your dream? Have you taken 100% personal responsibility for it? Do you work on it every single day?