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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Jordan

The good, the great, and the extreme…

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I was reading something the other day about the great Tiger Woods. I read about how he may have lost his drive because of all the distractions, and how he’s more or less a regular person now because of his eventful past year. Which got me to thinking…people always talk about drive and hunger thrusting the greats to where they want to go. There is of course, a flip side to that coin. I also used to think that it was a drive, a thirst, an insatiable need to be something, to make your mark in this world. I read another story from an NFL player telling rookies about the difference between a good and a great player and the questions it involves. The way he broke it down as one of the best athletes in the world seems a bit more credible. Nonetheless, both takes offer perspective.

I have also been persuaded to believe that the hungry and ambitious have something about them that simply compels them to achieve. I have also noticed how many people who are neither high achievers or otherwise noteworthy tend to have something compelling them as well. I have noticed this in drug abusers, womanizer’s and women who sleep with men looking for affection. I have noticed it in people who hate their mother, who hate their father, who resent their brother or sister and those who show all sorts of compulsive behavior.

As far as drive and thirst and ambition are concerned, I am thinking about something else that is the lowest common denominator when it comes to this subject. I’m talking about running. Okay, maybe its just another way of saying someone has some compelling reason to be who they are, but its a little more than that. For example, I know a brilliant man who is sort of a psychopath. He is very successful, and by most accounts he is well-regarded in a lot of circles. Of course there is some background that I know about him that he never displays to the world. Then on the other hand, I know a brilliant woman who is not interested at all in achieving what we might call success. She isĀ  not very well-regarded in most circles, and again, there is some background that I know about her that she would be loath to show to the world.

Both of the above people I wrote about above are running. I would include Tiger Woods in there as well. Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan as well, myself and a host of other people out there. Look at Ted Williams. He stated many years ago that all he wanted to be was the best hitter there ever was and by all accounts, his hitting is legendary. Of course, his children fought over his remains instead of burying him and his body sits without a head in a cryogenic freezer in Arizona. Now we all know that the best of the best are usually the worst kind of people. Of course we could turn that around and see that the worst kind of people are usually the best at something.

The real jewels of our society, the real people who make the world go round are the ones who are not driven, and who are not so hungry that they snatch the food out of the hands of their own children. They are the even-keeled, the janitors and street cleaners, and garbage truck drivers…the role players, the servants. The people who give so much of themselves that the ones that us hungry and ambitious have left behind have something to eat. The ones who, dare I say, have the strength to ignore the call to be noticed. Those who are not preoccupied with standing up and being counted.

It’s easy to be compelled to do something, to be driven. It takes real strength to walk, not at a leisurely pace, but merely to walk so as not to run over anyone on the way to where you want to go. To be careful and notice where you are, not in a sense of living life to the fullest, but because its crowded in here. It takes real strength to stay calm even though you have been truly served with injustice. Not just calm on the outside, but to forgive, make a decision and move on. To not bury those feelings bubbling inside of you, but to release them through love, hard work, and thoughtfulness. Yes, flowers and babies and sunshine and all of that good stuff. Genius is totally overrated and on top of that those with that capacity are usually extreme in one sense or another.

Tiger is running, and so are many of us. Being ahead of the pack only ensures that we leave humanity behind…

Running from the rest


Written by lionoah

June 22, 2010 at 10:00