How An Ex NBA All-Star Inadvertently Revealed The Mental Blueprint Of Success

Hey WordPress Fam!

I wrote a new article for Medium and you can view it here.

Basically I heard a quote that explained the mental side of motivation. Honestly, it made me reconsider some things.

I would appreciate it you read it in it’s intended form, but… you don’t have to. The article is posted below. Be sure to comment, share and tell me what you think. What motivates you? – Tony

As a lifelong Cavs fan, I hated Gilbert Arenas.

Gilbert Arenas was a Cavs killer. He had a clutch shot, smooth moves, a James Bond nickname (Agent Zero), and caused me more heartache than a lonely trucker coming home to find sweet Dolly, laying with the Waffle House busboy.

(No offense Dolly.)

Years later, I want to thank Gilbert Arenas for an insight that changed my life.

I guess in God’s divine wisdom, what you once hate, with new eyes, you can find reasons to love. Poetic justice keeps being written, I suppose.

Have you ever heard a piece of wisdom so good and so obvious that you get mad for not thinking about it first?

That was me hearing Gilbert Arenas speak.

Let’s unpack the story.

Lebron James is some kid from Akron who happens to be the world’s best basketball player. Maybe you’ve heard of him. He’s not to be confused with the other Lebron James, who works at the change oil station down the road.

He has a son named Bronny James, who, like his father, appears to be exceptionally talented at basketball.

Lebron requested that Gilbert Arenas, an Ex-NBA All-Star and certified court king give him a scouting report on his son. He recapped this on the “Load Management” Podcast and had this to say:

“‘He’s you. From what I can tell right now, he probably has a better shot than you did. Dribbles better than you. You guys probably have the same passing ability. You are probably faster, taller. He probably jumps higher.’ And he said ‘Dead on!’”

“And I said, ‘The difference between you and him at this point is you needed basketball to get out of where you were getting out of. He doesn’t need basketball because you did it already.’”

Damn. This is everything.

You needed basketball to get out.” That simple sentence is an otherworldly insight into the blueprint of mastering the mental game of success. Let’s magnify this one more notch to get to the heart of the matter. One word says it all: “Need.

That’s the secret.

Now before I get carried away like a little dog in a purse, I want to address the obvious; Lebron James is a genetic freak (in the best way.) This fact isn’t lost on me, as I too watch TV. A simple trip to the grocery store will confirm that there isn’t an abundance of 6’8 jacked guys shopping for eggs.

However, although Lebron does have a superhuman body, he also has a very human quality that we all have access to, work ethic.

Plainly speaking: Lebron became Lebron because he needed basketball to get himself out of a bad situation in Akron. He used his work ethic to put in the hours and pay the hefty price that greatness demands. He didn’t just want to change his life, he needed to change his life, and by golly, that’s just what he did!

Today, his accomplishments on and off the court are nothing short of admirable and leaves us with one important question to ask:

How bad do you need your own version of success?

Many of us on Medium are success-minded people. We want success. We want a new house. We want a million dollars. We want the new car. We want a new job. We want a swimming pool filled with jello to spite the damn neighbor.

How many of us needsuccess?

Because when you need something, it’s a need… it means you’ll get it done no matter what. Needing opposed to wanting is a mental super hack that causes you to get your ass off the couch and into your craft.

One of the most sobering moments of my life was looking at my career and asking myself do I want this or do I need this. For example, I’m embarrassed to admit that for the past three years, I’ve been saying, “I want to open up my own copywriting business,” and left it at that. No progress, just a measly want. Well, I found out that “I want to” is like a mirage in the desert. It gives you hope, but it doesn’t give you water.

I decided recently that enough is enough, and I attacked my goal like it was a need. Honestly, within three weeks of committing, I’ve made more progress than in 3 years of wishful thinking. I even have my first large scale deal on the line. This is all because I decided I needed it. Wanting only took me so far; it’s needing to accomplish my goal is what put my ass in gear.

Do you want it? Or do you need it?

“The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.” — Vince Lombardi

My question to you is this: when are you going to treat your goals like a need?

When are you going to decide enough is enough? When will you decide I’m going to make this happen no matter what?

Because when you decide to treat your goals like a need, that’s when your life will change. That’s when the opportunities will open up, and that’s when you’re going to put yourself into a position to win and win big.

Too often, we go through life wanting things and confuse wants with progress. With this notion, it’s easy to believe that the more we want, the more ambitious we are, the better life will be. But the difference between a want and a need is the level of seriousness.

Most of my wants haven’t been accomplished yet because I didn’t take it seriously. That’s the sober truth.

I genuinely believe that taking your goals seriously, aka feeling a need to accomplish them, is the mental edge world-class achievers possess. So what’s that tell us? It means to treat your goals like a red-hot, burning need.

The next time you feel like reflecting on your goals, dreams, and ambitions, I only want you to answer this iron question: do you want it? Or do you need it?

8 thoughts on “How An Ex NBA All-Star Inadvertently Revealed The Mental Blueprint Of Success

  1. If I stayed home from school, I’d probably spend the day babysitting. I hated to spend the day babysitting so I NEEDED to go to school to avoid that particular chore. Unlike housework, you can’t get the kid up early so you can kid your kid chores done with. Just plain showing up every day became my secret power. I was reliable and could be counted on to do a good job. When I got an additional year of credit for over 3,000 hours of sick leave, that NEED paid off in retirement income.

  2. Thank you for writing this blog! It’s time that I sit down and re-evaluate my “why.” Am I doing what I want to do or need to do? And, as for my goals, now I know why they always seem to be on the back burner, I don’t treat them as needs. I’m so happy you brought this to my attention. Shared your blog on Twitter and Facebook. Thanks!!

  3. It’s true! A NEED is a good & an experienced driver; driving us to the zenith of our goals.
    Thanks for sharing such a masterpiece.

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