Where Amazing Happens

Once Michael gets up there he says, ‘Well, maybe I’ll just hang up here in the air for a while, just sit back.’ Then all of a sudden, he says, ‘Well, maybe I’ll 360. No I changed my mind. I’ll go up on the other side.’ He’s just incredible.

Magic Johnson

I love those NBA commercials that have the nice little piano tune and images of the players. I think it’s a concept that could be used to promote something more important than pro basketball.  If you haven’t seen them I’m sure they are on youtube.  I actually watched two basketball games last night, Toronto vs. Indiana, and L.A. (Lakers) vs. Phoenix.  I am a fan of the sport and play it whenever I get the chance.  NBA basketball, more than any other pro sports, allows it’s best athletes to perform ridiculous, circus tricks that bend the rules a little.  Last night Jamario Moon put back a miss while jumping over another player. Although you moght argue that he technically touched the ball in a somewhat illegal way, it was still a great play.  If you follow the Raptors then you’ve probably already seen it. My point in all this is that often people are drawn to flash points of briliance rather than larger bodies of work.  I think it’s an interesting contrast to our lives. We live for a reasonably long amount of time, most of which is filled with fairly boring events, like sleeping, eating, in my case sitting around.  Then periodcially we have awesome experiences that stand out in our memories.  When people sit down to write their memoirs they tend to pick out the funny, unique, informative, and interesting stories of their lives. They leave out all the mundane day to day business.

I have always been fascinated with what goes on between the plot points in movies and tv shows.  I don’t want to see how characters spend their evenings, or watch them drive to work but I always think about the many experiences they get to avoid because they are fictional characters.  I guess it’s a response to the fact that my life doesn’t get to be that way, and I get to spend my time waiting for the adventure to come.

Please take some time to vote on the poll in yesterday’s post and I will spend today enjoying a concert DVD or two, courtesy of you. Thanks for your continued support of The Alder Fork blog and podcast. I didn’t think anyone would read or listen, but there you are and I love you for it.

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2 Responses to “Where Amazing Happens”

  1. fallicule Says:

    I once heard in a movie something along the following lines: “A man only has five or six really important days in his life and the outcome of those days determine his ultimate success or failure in life.” When I heard it I agreed and I still believe it to be true today, for the most part. I do think many good things happen to people by accident or sheer luck. It could be a eureka moment, a chance meeting, being in the right place at the right time, or making a good first impression. Education, on the other hand, is supported by someone’s brute force effort, will power, and desire to achieve something over an extended period. This kind of sustained long-term effort underlies many of the moments of greatness or flashes of brilliance that people over the course of their lives. For example, it may be easier to make a good first impression if you have a higher level of education and eureka moments are probably easier to come by as well.

    I often wonder what percentage of pro athletes get by on pure athletic skill and which achieved pro status primarily based on determination and perseverance. Could anyone be a pro athlete and have flashes of brilliance given enough determination or is pro athlete-dom strictly the realm of the genetically optimized for it? I’m curious to know your opinion, Peter.

  2. ponpilate Says:

    Well for most athletes talent will only get you so far. You can be incredibly gifted, but in the current era of sports you need to work hard to truly succeed. Basketball is actually a good example. There have been many players who were dominant in college where the talent pool is stretched thin. But once they reach the pros, where even the worst payers are very good, they fail to put in the work required to excel. On the flip side some athletes who are not as gifted as others work extra hard at their jobs and succeed. It translates to other types of work. Some people are better at selling than others, but most people can learn to be better at it. Some may even work their way to the top. At the end of the day success often has to do with skill, luck and desire.
    There are examples of athletes who have ridden their reputation for a big pay day even if it is based on a single event. Desmond Howard was a mediocre football player who returned two kicks for TD’s in the Super Bowl one year and got a big contract the next season. Despite that he continued to be mediocre for the rest of his career. Sometimes short term success is the by-product of being in the right place at the right time.

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