Alley-oop!!

What this monstrous block teaches us about success

This is Steven Adams.

For the past few years, as proud New Zealander, I have been watching, clapping, cheering, oohing, aahing and fingernail-biting along with 4 million of my countrymen as our mustachioed Kiwi boy takes on the world’s best basketball players, alongside his Oklahoma Thunder team mates.

And this, above, is that Kiwi boy executing a massive block on Dion Waiters, from the Miami Heat. I bring him to your attention today because, incredible athleticism aside, he is also exhibiting one of the most important lessons you can ever, ever absorb if you truly want to create a life of success.

Stick with me a moment, while I explain what you see:

  • At the moment of Waiters’ break toward the hoop, Adams is situated about 4 meters (5 yards) from the attacking shooting guard.
  • At the time, he is tussling with Hassan Whiteside, using his body as a shield, matching every movement of the Miami #21 and blocking any path forward.
  • In order to execute the block, Adams has elbowed Whiteside aside with his right arm, taken a step forward with his right foot, leaped into the air and extended his right arm beyond the height of the hoop and into the path of the airborne ball.
  • All of this has occurred in less than one second — the time it takes for the ball to travel from Waiter’s hand, to Adams’.

To summarize, in less than one second, Stevens’ incredible brain was able to calculate the speed and trajectory of the incoming shot, send signals to his body to move into the path of the ball, calculate the height of the ball mid-flight, and send signals to his body to jump, extend the arm to its fullest and tap the ball away with fingertip control.

And here’s what’s amazing — your brain can do this too.

In every season of the NBA, we are treated to incredible feats of athleticism, and we are also — importantly — being reminded time and time again of what the secret to success truly is:

Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want.

Stevens was a troubled youngster at boarding school in New Zealand when his basketball coach set him a goal: learn how to do a tip dunk off a rebound. “He told me that he’d get me a pair of new shoes if I did it”, Adams once explained. From then on, that was all the young player could think of. “I just kept trying”, he remarked. “It took me a year or so. Finally one game, I got it.”

The first key to success is to carefully fill your mind, both conscious and unconscious, with the very things that you want to attract to yourself.

Only focus on what’s important in this moment.

In the video above, in the split second that Adams recognizes Waiters is about to attack, his thoughts are only on his desire to block the shot. He is not worried about what the crowd will tweet about him, or whether he has stuffed up in the past, or whether his expression is one of photogenic masculinity for the Sunday papers. His focus is on one thing, and one thing only. The incoming ball.

The second key to success is to give the present moment the purest, most absorbing attention you can. Banish the past and let the future take care of itself.

Stop thinking and get out of your way!

In one interview, after exhibiting his new one-armed jump shot, Adams explained his strategy: “I just throw it up there, honestly” he said. “I’ve been practicing and stuff. I just throw it up and hope for the best. It turns out OK.” Which explains that incredible block on Waiters and … and the power of your incredible brain.

You see, it is estimated that your brain is capable of processing up to 400,000 pieces of information each second. To put that into perspective, it took a super-computer in Japan 40 minutes to process just one second of human brain activity. It took Adams less than a second to put his fingertips in the path of a hurtling projectile.

With all of that computer power at your disposal, do you really think that you need anything else to be successful? Your mind knows how to learn; it knows how to calculate, project, strategize and clarify. And it knows, with the help of your inherent intuitive nature, how to discover and unlock the very path that will lead you to your greatest success.

And the only thing that prevents you from naturally and instinctively following that path is the rogue thoughts that rise up to sabotage you. The thoughts of unworthiness, or past failures, or worry, or concern about others’ opinions. It is these unhelpful yet prolific thoughts that run through your brain unchecked and that slow you down on your path to success.

The third and most vital key to success is to understand, acknowledge and embrace the fact that you already have everything you need to be successful. By mastering your thoughts through meditation, self-awareness and gentle retraining, you can open yourself up to the easiest path available to you.

It is here, in the place of focused belief, instinctive action and complete surrender to the moment that you align with your highest purpose and begin to notice the miracles, synchronicity and unyielding supporters that are destined to propel you toward your greatest success.


Kim Forrester is an award-winning author, educator and intuitive consultant with over 15 years’ experience as a professional intuitive and spiritual teacher. She combines cutting edge science with traditional spirituality to offer the latest understandings of psi, consciousness and holistic well being.