The Los Angeles Lakers played the NBA Leader Milwaukee Bucks at Staples Center. Time to show up and show out. 35-year-old Lebron James took on 25-year-old phenom Giannis Antetokounmpo, the 2019 NBA MVP. Giannis with his length, athleticism, and skills is the ascendant Superstar. Yet, at times Lebron versus Giannis occurred like Man versus Boy, albeit Super Boy. Lebron albeit Superman.
Giannis stands 6’ 11′, Lebron stands 6’ 9”. Giannis is long, broad, and chiseled. The shorter Lebron weighing in at 250 plus pounds is all diesel, the result of his 18-year evolution of relentless training. Lebron imposed his will upon younger Giannis. Lebron’s explosive dunks on Giannis punctuated his narrative, “I’m still here.” Still, they have nothing but mad love and respect for each other, and each other’s games.
The Lakers prevailed 113 – 103. They qualified for the NBA Playoffs, with 17 games remaining in the COVID-19 suspended season. Their first playoff appearance in 6 years. Lebron finished the night with 37 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists. Giannis finished with 32 points, 12 rebounds.
After the game, ESPN’s Rachel Nichols asked Lebron what goes through his mind as he matches up with players, the caliber of Giannis. Lebron said, “I don’t take it personal…” He mindfully does his best for his team, giving them their best chance to win. Otherwise, he doesn’t care. He does his job. Mad love and respect for Lebron.
Lebron James like the late Kobe Bryant inspires. Despite their God-given abilities and acumen, they continually work harder than anyone to be the greatest that they can be. Lebron and Kobe invented their greater-than version every day. They didn’t care about past achievements. It’s about “What’s next?”
In the bigger picture: Nothing’s personal. I try to train that way, too. On Match dot com, I’ve met some amazing women, and gone out on several wonderful dates. No, they didn’t work out. Either I wasn’t what they were looking for or they weren’t the one for me.
I send out messages to women that I’d like to meet, whom Match recommends. Sometimes, I get unkind responses, worded kindly. I’m short. I’m not handsome. I’m not a millionaire. Still, I don’t take it so personally. I keep looking at my daily list of profiles. I move on.
Maybe, there is a woman who wants to meet the dedicated Aikido Sensei, who writes about love and forgiveness for ourselves, who loves romantic comedies, and action movies starring The Rock? That’s possible.
Several years ago, I was laid off from the job that I loved. The Government Satellite Program I worked for experienced a 40% budget reduction. That sucked. Consequently, my career veered in a completely different direction.
My next job wasn’t what it appeared to be on the surface, undermined in its intentions. My unresolved childhood fear arose in my disillusionment. I worked with my therapist, Lance on my childhood trauma and depression. I began healing myself and ground it out. I stopped hating on me so much. I practiced loving and forgiving myself. I started making a difference for others, again. I was as authentic as I could be.
No, the Universe didn’t betray me when I got laid off. Nothing’s personal. I worked on healing and forgiving me. My best friend Chuck helped me find a new job, one that I loved. I discovered my love for writing. I reinvented my love for Aikido.
In the greater picture, shit can and will happen. It ain’t personal. Accepting that makes it a whole lot easier to grind out my next greater-than version. Mizukami Sensei said, “Just train.” There’s nothing to prove. There’s no place to go. I work on being as authentic as I can be.
The COVID-19 pandemic altered life for all of us. COVID-19 absolutely sucks. That being said: Should we take the COVID-19 pandemic personally? Hell, no. What happens, happens. I listen to Sensei, “Make it work.” That’s far more useful than falling into the “Poor me” abyss. Just saying.
In life: Nothing’s personal. We choose whether we take what happens personally, as a personal attack or not. No, the Universe doesn’t conspire against us. Rather, the Universe really doesn’t care.
In these “worst of times”, I have mad love and respect for those I share the journey with. I’m grateful to be alive, sharing my life with them. Most of all, I don’t take what happens personally. Nothing’s personal. Amen.
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