Basketball players practice shooting layups before every game because practice pays off. They think to themselves, “I know I’m gonna need that in the game.” In life, there are layups that we can practice daily too. There are fundamental right little things that we can do.  We can respect others, put in the effort, and be kind to others. The key is to develop good habits or rituals that you do no matter what. When you get the basics of life-layups down, things tend to fall into place. I have added many good friends to my life by always trying to be nice to others and it has brought a lot of happiness to my life.

It isn’t too difficult to do these right little things like being respectful to others. Using the words “please,” “thank you,” “sir,” “ma’am,” “miss,” “excuse me,” and “sorry,” is not that hard. Using the wits to let another person finish their sentence and not interrupt them isn’t much to ask. Performing the act of showing up on time or early to a meeting is a well received, respectful gesture. I guarantee you a lot of people judge you on your timeliness. First impressions can be ruined by being late so, making it a ritual to be on time or early is a great rule to follow. You also feel terrible when you show up late to things. I’ve never felt like more of a jackass than the few times in my life where I showed up late to a meeting I setup with someone else.

 

Working hard is something you can do in every aspect of your life to improve it; school, work, and most importantly, relationships. Hard work can guarantee a solid foundation. In school, it isn’t too hard to show up to class and do all the homework assignments. Even though I am not the best test taker, I am still able to do well in school. It is because I don’t miss the small, but important things in school of attending class and doing homework. In high school, I missed my first day of school on senior “skip” day. I loved going to school every day and seeing my friends. I absolutely hated missing class and getting behind things. (The real test comes in college when you already live with all your friends and you go to class just to go to class.)

Working hard to show up and do the required work pays off. In my job caddying the past six of seven summers, I have made a mini fortune for a kid because I’ve shown up every day. There hasn’t been a single day in six summers I missed work to sit on the couch for the day. All I see is $200 left on the table everyday if I’m not there. That, and more importantly, the love for my work has caused me to work hard six days a week happily. I am writing this in Bali and I just changed my flight to come home ten days earlier than I originally planned to because I miss it so much. You know where you are supposed to be when you love your work.

In relationships, making the effort to organize plans pays huge rewards in creating meaningful relationships. The more time spent together, the stronger the bond. I love my family and friends so, I am more than willing to make the time and effort to spend time with them. Across all three areas: school, work, and relationships, there is a common theme of love. When you love what you do and who you spend time with, working hard in them seems like the only legitimate option. It helps make practicing the layup of working hard a lot easier.

Another thing that only takes a moment of your time and a look back, is holding the doors for others. Now I am born and raised in the Midwest where it is very common to hold the door for others, but apparently, it is not common everywhere in the states unfortunately. I held the door for my friend Taylor from California one of our first few weeks of college. She told me excitedly “Oh my God, thank you. People are so nice here in Indiana. Back home nobody holds doors for anyone and everywhere I’ve gone, people have held the door for me. I love it.” Apparently, Californians are easy to impress. Either way, doing the simple kind isn’t that much effort and it can make other people’s day. So why not try to make it a habit to hold the door for others, help pick up something they drop, or to chase down someone who left their phone at the table? The act is worth the reward in seeing a person’s face light up with a smile. Being the reason for a person being happy is a hell of a feeling, the gift of giving is really the greatest gift there is.

The layups of being respectful, hardworking, and performing kind acts can vastly improve all areas of your life. So, find little good things to do across your life that you can easily perform and practice them daily. When you consistently do the small things right, your life seems to work out. So, go practice your layups so you reap the rewards.

Activity

Find layups in your life that can lead to a better life for yourself and others around you. Practice these little good things until they become a habit.

Exercise 21

What little good things can I add to my life that I can easily perform and practice daily?

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What can I always do to show more respect to others?

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What habit can I develop to become a harder worker?

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What gesture can I always perform to be kinder to others?

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3 thoughts on “Don’t Miss a Layup

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