September in NYC. Sports at its best. End of baseball. Beginning of football. Yankees, Mets, Jets, and Giants dominate the Headlines.
I’m at a bar in the Lower East Side. Hair of The Dog, on Orchard and Stanton. The quintessential divey sports bar. Fun crowd, pint glasses clinking, top 40 music during commercials, and everyone cheering on the Giants.
Professional sports, it’s the ultimate results driven business. Win, or lose your job. Make money, or the franchise goes under. It’s that direct. That’s a lot of pressure.
It made me think back to LeBron James. His interview before game 7 of the NBA Finals this past summer.
He was first asked, will this game define your legacy?
LeBron “No.” The reporter, “You don’t see it that way?” “No.”
One game does not define a player’s legacy. One event does not define a person’s life. LeBron knows this and does not get caught up in the hype about legacy. That’s unnecessary baggage to carry.
How much of a motivation is delivering a title for Cleveland?
“I’m going to give everything I got, to my team mates and my coaching staff, like I’ve always done, and LIVE WITH THE RESULTS. The one thing I can’t live with is not giving everything to the game. Not be true to the game. That would stop me from sleeping. But I’m ready to go.”
Living with results is equivalent to letting go of results. He completely let go of attachment to an unknown outcome. He’s not thinking ahead of himself. He’s just going out there and playing.
My life would be a lot easier if I lived like that. I wouldn’t worry about future results or if things will “work out.”
When you say you can live with the results, have you always been able to do that? If so, what got you to that point?
“I still think about playoff games in the past. What I mean when I say live with the results is about asking yourself: Did you give everything you have? Did you prepare the best way you can? Did you leave it all on the floor? If you can look yourself in the mirror and say yes, that’s it.”
“Sometimes there are things you can’t control. You control what you can control, and the uncontrollable you can’t allow that to play with you too much. It’s not always been that way. I think from my growth I’ve matured over the years. I know what’s real and what’s not real.”
This is pure wisdom from King James. This shows his humility. He’s human. He thinks about his past failures. We all do. However, he also has the awareness of what’s real and what’s not. Controlling your actions is real.
Controlling an unknown outcome, with 9 other players on the court is not real. This awareness will prevent the past, as well as future expectations from haunting him during the game.
The whole arc of your career has come to this point, for a championship. What’s the magnitude of this situation like? How do you feel?
“I came back for a reason to bring a championship to Cleveland. That’s been one of my goals. But I don’t add more pressure to it. I trust what I’ve been able to do, the work I’ve put into it, and the work my team mates put into it. You go out there and you see what happens.”
Of course, his goal is to win a championship. Setting a goal is part of life and can give life meaning. Goals help me grow and reach my full potential. However, I don’t have to be attached to the goal, while pursing it. I don’t have to let the fruits or future results take me over. If I do my best, and control what I can control, the results will take care of themselves.
The results are none of my business. My business is my habits. When I trust this, the results will exceed my expectations. Letting go of results, will give me the best results.