If there was 1 thing I would say to my younger self, it would be:
When I was younger, all I could think about was where I wanted to go and what I wanted to accomplish.
I feel like it consumed me where I wasn’t able to enjoy what I had or the experiences I was going through.
It led to a lot of stress and worrying. It made me idolize the game and what I wanted to do and accomplish. That ended up sucking the joy and passion for basketball.
It got to the point where I couldn’t eat before games or sleep well before games. I had no appetite and at sometimes I would call my agent the day of a game to get myself in the mindset.
A lot of it was a fear of failing. I was obsessed with where I wanted to go and what I wanted to accomplish that if I didn’t achieve it or have a bad game… I wouldn’t accept it. This created an extremely stressful and high-pressure situation.
Eventually, as I got older I learned that even if I accomplish and hit my goals, it wasn’t enough. The goals would be replaced with new goals and it kept going on and on. For example, after Linsanity and setting new NBA records, it felt like it wasn’t enough. It’s kind of like flying coach and then you suddenly can fly first class. But first class isn’t enough anymore, after first class you then need a private plane. There was always a hunger for more success which led to much more pressure.
After 7-8 years in the league, it feels like everything flew by and I wish I could have spent more time to appreciate each of those years.
So going back to what I wish I could tell to my younger self. Slow down and enjoy the journey. Maybe success isn’t determined by how many goals we reach and where we end up, but success is learning to enjoy each and every month, each and every day.
Because tomorrow is never guaranteed!