Give Everything You Do, Everything You’ve Got

What hurts more. The pain of hard work or the pain of regret

Do you know that feeling of waking up tired? Or coming home from a day’s work completely paralyzed by fatigue? Sometimes you just feel like doing nothing, right?

  • “I don’t feel like working.”
  • “I don’t feel like doing groceries.”
  • “I don’t feel like going to the gym.”
  • “I don’t feel like taking public transportation.”

I feel you. I’ve been there. And now and then, I’m still there. But what if I told you that you’re wasting your life with that attitude?

You’ll probably say, “I already know that, man!” Exactly. Even though we all know it’s a bad habit, we still waste our precious time doing nothing.

Stop living halfhearted.

I’m a huge basketball fan. I played it for many years, and I follow the NBA closely. One of my favorite players in recent years is Isaiah Thomas, a 5 ft 9 point guard who plays for the Boston Celtics.

He’s one of the top players in the NBA. That’s not something people expected in 2011 when he was picked last in the draft to join the NBA. And one of the reasons people didn’t believe in him is because of his height.

You know how people often say “No matter how hard I train, I could never make it to the NBA because I’m small”?

Well, Isaiah did it with flair. He didn’t only make the NBA, but he also led his team to the #1 spot in the Eastern Conference. In case you’re not familiar with the NBA, that’s a big deal. Especially because they competed with Lebron James (arguably the best basketball player of all time), and his Cleveland Cavaliers.

And on Sunday, April 16, the Celtics were scheduled to start the playoffs against the Chicago Bulls. The playoffs are what NBA players live for. It’s the biggest basketball stage in the world.

But on April 15, exactly one day before the tip-off, Isaiah Thomas’s 22-year-old sister was killed in a car accident in Washington. A devastating blow. And I can’t imagine how it must feel like.

Imagine that you’re preparing for one of the biggest moments of your career, and the day before, you lose a sibling. Just thinking about it brings tears to your eyes.

But on game day, Isaiah suited up and played the game. He cried before the game. And he played with tears in his eyes. When I talked about it with friends, no one understood how he did it. He’s a superhero.

Isaiah Thomas, or IT as fans call him, recorded 33 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists. A strong performance. And he received a lot of respect from players, critics, and fans. But the Celtics lost that first game of a best of seven series. They also lost the second game.

Before the pivotal third game, Kevin Garnett, my all-time favorite athlete, who used to play for the Celtics, sent an inspirational message to IT. KG’s message was a reminder to stay present and to give his all. Isaiah’s teammate, Avery Bradley, told a reporter what Garnett said in that message:

For him to go out of his way to send us a message like that, that means a lot to all of us. Like I said, it was a reminder of Celtics family. We have to play a certain way because they are watching. There’s a respect, the way that we play, and we have to play hard. Every single time we step on the floor, we have to leave everything out there. That has to be our mindset.”

The Celtics went on to win four straight games to beat the Bulls and advance to the second round of the playoffs.

With everything you do, leave it all out there.

  • You owe that to yourself.
  • You owe that to the people in your life.

That’s also a part of the Celtics mindset. They’re always mentally strong. One of the greatest moments in sports history for me is when the Celtics won the 2008 NBA Championship. KG was brought to tears by that moment and screamed:

“Anything is possible!”

All the years of hard work and pain came out in one euphoric moment for him. That’s why I love sports.

I’ve written about the Celtics before, but they have this quote in their gym:

What hurts more, The pain of hard work or The pain of regret?

Next time you’re struggling to get up, remind yourself why you’re doing thisAnd you better give it everything thing you’ve got, no matter how painful it is.

  • Every day.
  • No excuses.
  • Challenge yourself.
  • Be in the moment.

It’s either that — or living with the pain of regret. I know which one I’m going to choose. What about you?

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