My high school coach was Coach Johnson. He was a tough old man. He had coached many successful programs in the state of Indiana where I grew up at both the college and high school level.

As I was going through some binders I came across one where I had kept many of the things he had us keep in our basketball binders as a player. I was surprised I still had them, but they must have had some sort of meaning to me as a person despite not fully embracing his coaching ideas as a player. I often did not see the significance in processing many of the messages he shared in the locker. I simply wanted to play basketball, not ponder life. I did not realize at least a conscious level how the game of basketball is simply a smaller model version of the bigger questions of life.

One of these was a piece of paper that read

“The Decisions you make, will determine the Direction you can go, which will determine your Destiny.”

original handwriting of CJ

At the time as a young player I would dismiss many of the life lessons he tried to instill in us through the game of basketball. Now that I am older I am constantly reminded by how much I SHOULD have listened to his words. I could have been so much better and the words “could have” fall into place with the the phrase

“Woulda, coulda, shoulda”

One of his best poems!

What will your decisions be? Are we doing the right things? Are we doing them for the right reasons? Or do we make a decision without thought? Or do we believe that we have to do something?

In order to make good decisions we have to have solid judgment. We must be able to see things clearly. Once we have a vision we can then use our reasoning skills to make the best decision.

Stick with me here. Don’t get lost in those last two paragraphs. As we reflect on where we are and where we want to go we have to put real thought and energy into our decisions. We have to put real thought and energy into our actions. It is a deliberate practice. If we can do this and push our minds and bodies beyond our comfort zone in order to perform at the next level comfortably, then you shall seek clarity and success.

And I promise by pushing your mind and body to the next level you will be much more successful and happier compared to growing up and being the “woulda coulda shoulda” club that many people are members of for life.

STEM Lead for AEA9, Microsoft Innovative Expert, LEGO Education Master Educator, PBS Digital All-Star, Minecraft Global Mentor, Makey Makey Ambassador, and more