Wandering in a sporting goods store, I heard the typical child parent banter. I want, I need, I can’t live without.
As I rounded a corner, I can upon a dad with his daughter. She was in tears because he refused to purchase her a pair of Nike LeBron Basketball Shoes. The Price-$139.99.
As they walked toward the checkout counter, I heard him exclaim, “When you practice, develop the skills, and get on a competitive team, I will then consider the purchase. Until then, this $40 pair will be just fine.” By the time they walked out of the store, her sobs had softened. It appeared this was a ritual she expected. Her posture was tall as she reached out to grab his hand. The expectations were clear, the relationship had strengthened. The child may excel at basketball, or she may not. The lesson was way more important than any score, any game, any piece of equipment.
We are all given a set of skills; so many want to purchase before developing excellence.
Were the shoes going to make her a star? Were the shoes going to make her practice?
I have decided to make this my new mantra. “NO GEAR, UNTIL YOU HAVE PERFECTED THE GAME”
Life is like this you know. A series of games, a sequences of needs and wants. A series of random event that are really entwined in a life story.
I hope I have taught my children, as this dad was teaching his. Assess your skills, determine the true needs and then strive for excellence. The tools you need are inside of you, not on the store shelf. You never know which skills you need or when you will need them. Stuff can distract you. Life can beat you down. Life is complicated but stuff will not help you simplify.
Stay focused on the skills you were given and one day, you will be the person you were destined to be. Pricey shoes not included.