Be An Athlete

Jake Kahana
May 1 · 2 min read

Treating your work like there’s a championship at stake

Last night I’m sitting at a bar with a friend. While we’re talking, the tvs are all playing a post-game interview with some NBA players after a playoff game.

Kevin Durant and Steph Curry

Do some quick math and you’ll realize that most guys will never win an NBA title. Most pro athletes will never win the championship trophy.

But night after night, they go out there and try to put a lifetime of practice into action. Every game they get the ball and trust their instincts and coaching and teammates and make a move.


It doesn’t matter if they made the winning shot or made a critical turnover that lost the game.

Every night, win or lose, they sit down with the press and analyze what happened. They gather with the team and watch the footage. They talk with their coach about how to learn from what happened.

They’re learning to improve.

Sitting in front of a microphone, talking to a bunch of journalists who will criticize their performance, these athletes shipped their best work tonight. Or at least trust that they tried with everything they had.

They don’t have the luxury of iterating. So instead, they have to just put their best into each game. No apologies. No fear.
Just do it.

Most of us who are not professional athletes could learn from that. Ship our best work on game day, and use practice and all other times to strengthen our weakness and learn from our mistakes.

If you’re heading to work today, be an athlete about it.

Caveday is a company aimed at improving your relationship to work. We write regular posts on Medium and send out monthly Newsletters with productivity tips, life hacks, and recommendations. Sign up for the mailing list here.

Or sign up for Jake Kahana’s personal emails, called “The Email Refrigerator” here.


Ideas and stories to improve your relationship to work

Jake Kahana

Written by

Artist and teacher helping people thrive in a distracting world by leading them in unlearning. Cofounder of and US faculty at



Ideas and stories to improve your relationship to work

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade