The Sunday Paper: The Little Things

I read a book by Michael Jordan about 15 years ago, and literally one page and one quote from that book stuck with me since that time. I recently picked up a used copy of the book just to see that page again. You see, Michael Jordan was not just efficient and detailed in his approach to the game but in his whole life. The book’s title is “Driven From Within”, and if you haven’t read it, you should do yourself a favor and pick one up. I feel they should teach this to kids in school. A lot of people try to manage kids' expectations these days, but I rather let kids dream and be. So what if you don’t think that kid will make it? You never know, he/she may just surprise you. I was lucky enough that my parents afforded me with the freedom to dream. Others may not see the possibilities that you see, but that’s okay. They don’t need to see the vision, and it’s even more sweet when you do make it. When I was a kid I dreamed, like all kids do, about being a pro athlete or being this or being that, and my parents just went along with whatever. Whether they thought I could do it or not, we just did it. In my mind, I was going to be the best rugby player of all time. Now whether I was ever going to get there is not the point, but I shot for the stars. And you know, interesting thing about that is if you aim for the stars you may just hit it, and if you don’t, you will be far higher than if you merely just aimed for a lesser goal. To achieve anything in this world and in this life you really have to be all-in and uncompromised in your approach in all facets of life.

Now I didn’t make it there with rugby, as I changed course to fashion early on and pursued that path. But even then, I went into that believing I was going to be the next Ralph Lauren or something of the sort. And by no means am I there yet either, but the beauty is the journey is still ongoing, and happiness lays in this journey more so than the destination. People didn’t/don’t think it’s possible but that’s okay - they don’t need to. And you know, some people did see possibilities and have supported me throughout the years too. The doubters told me it was hard and that I should settle and work for someone else, but I didn’t see it that way. And ten years in, I am not where I want to be yet, but the journey has taught me a lot and the next ten years are going to be something special.

So back to that one line from MJ that stuck with me, “I focus on the little things. Little things add up to big things.” And that couldn’t be more true in any endeavor. Whatever goal you set for yourself, you can focus on the little 1 percenters because enough of those add up to a lot. Case in point, MJ would even pack his own bags for trips. He would try everything on, then pack it and have the cuff links in the shirt and all that. It was that level of detail and discipline that translated to the guy he was in life and on the court. He was the guy for me as a kid, and it was he who inspired me to be in America all the way back when I was 5 years old. And here I am today an American citizen and ten years into my journey. Let the journey continue…
Daniel Patrick