I was watching ESPN last night, you know, the sports channel. Man television. I know, I know, lots of fashion going on there right? I can’t help it, I’ve never met a collegiate sport I didn’t like and it is time for March Madness. But that’s not why I watched, I was watching a story about the 1983 NC State basketball team. NC State had a coach named Jim Valvano and I was amazed at how insightful he was and the success of the team all started with a dream from one person. When Valvano started coaching at NC State every single year he would dedicate one practice entirely to everyone on the team cutting one link to a basketball net. The first year the players thought this very strange, but by the fourth year, the habit ingrained, the symbol of a winning team came to fruition. They won the National Championship and got to do the symbolic taking down of the net.
He was an incredible man, this coach. A positive influence to so many people but always so quick to give thanks to those who helped him. In a motivational speech he was giving he stated, “My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” What a profound gift indeed. Imagine, a father, or mother who decides to step back and let their child make their own decisions. A parent who says, “you will be fine, and do great things, because I believe in you.” Like this outfit. If I showed up at my parents house and said “dad, I am going to be fierce and rule the world”, I’m just not sure “I believe in you” will be part of the ensuing conversation. Coach Valvano’s dad, in blind belief, kept a suitcase packed for several years and every time he saw his son he’d say, “see this bag? It’s because I am going to be with you when you win a National Championship.” Thats the kind of parent I want to be.
Take from? Of course! Blind faith. Belief in yourself. Dreamer. Are these such bad habits? Set yourself a goal, visualize yourself obtaining the goal. Don’t tuck it away as a some day kind of dream. Live it, breathe it. A great example of this is weight loss. Buy that little black cocktail dress a size too small, visualize yourself in it, live it, breathe it. Work daily to obtain it. If you do, I sure wish I could be there to see you cut down that basketball net.
As an aside, I personally want to thank each and every one of you who participated and made the 2013 Fashion for Life in Second Life a grand success. Be a Dreamer. This dreamer’s dream came true. You all gave me such a huge smile. Over twenty one thousand in US dollars was raised for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. I chose Coach Valvano on purpose for this blog. While teaching his players to dream, to visualize winning the National Championship, he was terminally ill with cancer. He didn’t choose to quit and suffer in silence, he continued on with his dream, after all, he was one of the people who had a specific loop of the net to cut down. I think when he gave a speech at the ESPY awards, he taught us one more lesson (he died a few months later) He said: “To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”