Becoming who you are

NOTE: Recently, I was reading through posts I hadn’t published yet, most deserved to be left in the drafts folder, but this one still rang true to me, even a year after I had originally written it. So I thought I’d go ahead share it and hopefully it’ll kick me back into writing again. The context was last year when the Golden State Warriors were on their way to a record season, but before their stunning loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.

Steph Curry is amazing. Every aspect of what he has done is mind-boggling and it seems like it came out of nowhere. Nobody expected it, not even a couple years ago. After reading the great article on ESPN about how Nike lost Curry to Under Armour, it reminded me of Steve Jobs’ commencement speech at Stanford.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Everybody was looking for the next Michael Jordan and they were looking for that person by looking for people who were most like Jordan. They were pattern matching to his career and how he became successful. But Steph Curry showed that listening to your inner voice and doing what you do best is what would create the next superstar, not by living the life of Michael Jordan or playing like Michael Jordan, but just being yourself.

I think it’s an important lesson, the fact that you can win just by being yourself. It’s a hard thing to do, especially in today’s world where celebrity drives a lot of the attention of the general public. Somehow you need to develop blinders so that you can focus on your path, but you also need to figure out your super powers. It doesn’t have to be the inside game and the dunks from the free throw line, but it can be the insanely long threes where there is no distance from the basket that is safe for others.

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