Why Strong Reasons Produce Results More Than Skill Does

In Mental Toughness
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From 2006-2010, 100% of what I posted online was either about, or a demonstration of, playing basketball.

Starting in 2010, that number dropped to 93% basketball: 1 out of 14 videos was a series I named “Weekly Motivation” that I released every Monday. Those videos (the series lasted nearly 400 weeks) formed the basis for every one of the 22 of the books I’ve written.

The Weekly Motivation series started because the basketball players who watched my workout videos asked me, plainly, what motivated me to…

  • Keep practicing in my teens when I’d been cut from the high school team 3 years in a row 
  • Work out every day when I was without a playing contract 
  • Put videos on YouTube for free back before “personal branding” or “content” were a thing 

Still, most of the questions I got weren’t about anything mental. They were about the physical.

How many jumpshots did I practice every day? 

What dribbling drills did I do?

Can I explain how someone can learn to jump higher? 

What should a player do to develop 6-pack abs? 

Last week, I posted a shirtless photo on Instagram of me in the boxing gym. A commentator on the photo asked if I could share my off-court workout program with him.

That question sparked the realization that, when we want to do things, we focus 93% on the “what” and 7% on the “why.”

When, truthfully, the 7% is what makes all the difference.

It’s true that I’m 6’4” with the 6’8” wingspan and have (had?) more fast twitch muscle fiber than the average man. 

It’s true that I put my “10,000 hours” in on the basketball court. 

It’s true that without both of the aforementioned, I probably wouldn’t have the credibility of “professional basketball player” next to my name.

But here’s the thing: there are 10,000 basketball players out there who have similar physical measurements to mine, who put in the same amount of time that I did, who never played a minute of pro basketball.

What’s the difference, then?

Luck played a part, for sure.

Other than Skill + Luck, the key for me was… Reasons.

— None of the coaches in my neighborhood ever took me under their wing or tried to mentor my progress. My teenage peers used to talk shit and ridicule me for not making the varsity team.

I wanted revenge.

— My last college coach kicked me off the basketball team my junior year of college, when I thought I was the best player on the roster.

I had to prove myself right.

— My parents were, to say the least, not impressed with my pro basketball aspirations when I moved back home after college graduation.

That episode pretty much guaranteed that I wouldn’t stop until I’d made it in basketball.

What separated me from every other athletic, hard-working 6’4” hoop-dreaming basketball player wasn’t the amount of hours I put in the gym.

What separated me was that I had strong enough reasons to turn that raw material into something.

***

I did a business deal a year or two ago where the client’s (the person hiring and paying me) budget was about 30% of my actual fee.

I liked the client, though, and the client did a good job of stroking my ego during negotiations. I accepted the business at a huge discount.

The work went great and the feedback was excellent.

But the client was taking too damn long paying me my money — the money that was less than half of what I’d normally charge for such work.

Late in the interaction, the client had the nerve to frame the situation as if I was the problem, as if me being vocal about them taking so long with the money was the thing causing all the trouble.

It was then that I decided that I was retired from giving discounts.

And, though I’m a big Michael Jordan and Jay-Z fan, I’m not making any comebacks in this game.

This Thursday, I’m hosting a live event where I’ll share more about this, and how you can stop (or prevent yourself from) making the mistakes I did in business. You’ll leave with plenty of reasons, PLUS the techniques.

You can reserve your spot here: http://WorkOnMyGame.com/Live

#WorkOnYourGame 

-Dre Baldwin

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