Throughout watching the NCAA Basketball tournament this year, I couldn’t help but notice the parallels between the tournament and our journeys as explorers and leaders.
5 points stuck out to me
Nobody can really predict YOUR future. According to USAToday, nobody in recorded history has ever filled out a perfect NCAA bracket. Realizing our excitement with predicting the future, Quicken Loans and Warren Buffet teamed up to offer 1 billion dollars to anyone who submitted a perfect bracket. We love to call out what’s going to happen before it unfolds. It gives us the illusion of control.
Many people along your journey will try to tell you how you’ll end up and who you’ll become. I’ve surely noticed this along my own journey. Whether those predictions are good or bad, don’t give them too much consideration. Focusing on the praise or discouragement of others will only distract you.
It takes teamwork to succeed. Every team has their star player, that weapon they think can be their golden ticket to the top. Michigan State put all of their faith in star Gary Harris and still got beat by UConn, which advanced to the Final Four. Why? Because teamwork is more powerful than any one superstar.
It takes a dedicated team that operates like a close-knit family to be successful in anything. No matter how ambitious and hardworking the person, nobody gets to the top by themselves. It takes selfless teammates who believe in each other, and most importantly, the mission to get it done. Have you assembled your team yet?
Expect upsets. The bigger the goal, the harder the path. Anything of true value worth fighting for requires sacrifices to obtain it. I’ve found that you can still be an optimist and expect obstacles. Every year, there is at least one major upset in the NCAA tournament. There’s always that unexpected underdog that grabs the win right out from under the giant.
Expecting bumps in the road allows us to have the right frame of mind to welcome the challenge, and build the strength and confidence to endure and conquer.
The world sees but one fragment of your journey. I constantly have to ask myself along my journey: “For whom am I doing this?” It’s hard not to get caught up in the wrong reasons to succeed. It is so easy to get caught up in what everyone sees for those few big moments. But in reality, you put in your blood, sweat, and tears for years and years before anyone sees you under the lights.
There are no overnight successes. You know what you went through to get where you are, and what it will require to achieve your goal. Don’t let the world define success for you.
Heart ALWAYS wins! No matter how talented, experienced, or winning a team may be, nothing overcomes the X factor: heart. If a team plays with heart and leaves it all on the court, they will become champions.
I’ve noticed more and more that if I let my cards show a little more, and wear who I am on my sleeve, that goes much further than my skillset or my hard work. People value character and authenticity. Don’t be afraid to let you shine through.
Ok enough of the pep talk, let's get out there and play!