It’s the first day of a new decade and I would like to share some thoughts with each of you to approach this hallmark in your lives with a shift in your perspective. The equation in the title of this note may seem counterintuitive, but let me explain what I mean.
What would you think of a basketball player who missed 12,000 shots in his career? How about one whose team trusted him to take the game-winning shot 26 times and missed it, costing his team the game in some cases and the championship in others? And let’s not talk about the close to 1,500 free throws that clanged off the rim, if they touched it at all. Would you want such a player on your team? Most would look at these failings on paper and deny this person from playing a pickup game at the local playground. But personally, I think that Michael Jeffrey Jordan turned out to be a pretty decent player.
It is said that a mistake is simply evidence that someone tried to do something. Many will never find what they are good at in life because they refuse to take chances and try new things. They err towards the side of caution and safety and never experience the fullness of life because they live in a box of their own making.
Can I encourage you to step out on a limb this year? If you have never been involved in your school before, so what? Jump in with both feet this year and find your niche as others did in 2009. If you have been an active student, take your involvement to the next level this year. Be a leader and encourage others to join us for the journey. Try a new sport or start a new club at your school. Take a class that will test your intellect or do something for your community that it sorely stands in need of. And if you fail in your efforts, get back up and try again – your teammates trust you because you tend towards winning at the end of the game – not in the middle.
And let’s consider for a moment that Mr. Jordan missed those shots and free throws in front of a crowd that cheered for him on some nights and booed him on others. The crowd can definitely be fickle so whether they are cheering or jeering, stay focused on the game. If you do, you’ll end up in the hall of fame someday. And I’ll be there cheering in the crowd. After all, I’ll always be one of your biggest fans.