There May Not Be a Tomorrow

So unless you don’t own a television or have a Facebook account, or any other form of social media, then you have heard the devastating news that legendary basketball player Kobe Bryant and his beautiful talented daughter died in a helicopter crash on Sunday along with two other teammates of hers, their parents, the pilot, and the assistant coach to the girls’ basketball team. The news was, to put it mildly, shocking and honestly when I first heard it I had to ask was this another one of those death hoax things going around on the internet. Sadly the news was true and surreal.

Any time someone dies it sends your mind into overdrive thinking so many different thoughts you can hardly keep them straight. However, in instances like this with someone of this stature, someone who seemed almost invincible, and who had such a huge impact on the lives of so many people that he had never even met, it just hits a bit differently. You look at the legacy of someone like him and you start to think about the inspiring words he has said and the amazing things that he has done and the things that he still had on his heart to do. You almost immediately can feel how big of a loss this is for his family, his friends, his fans, and the lives that he had yet to touch.

There are many things that can be said about Kobe Bryant, whether you were a fan of his or not, and that is that he had tremendous work ethic and his ambition was certainly something to strive for. He definitely lived his life to the fullest with purpose and with intention. For that very reason, while I’m sure there are many things that he wanted to do with his second act after retiring from basketball, I don’t think he left this earth with any regrets as to the legacy he was leaving behind because he never let any grass grow under his feet. He had a plan when he was younger about what he was going to do with his life and he committed to that plan and much the same way he planned out his basketball career at a young age, he had planned out his retirement as well and he made strides to accomplish those goals with every decision he made.

We all think that we have forever to do something on this earth with our lives. We have these massive plans for what we want to do years from now but the truth is that we don’t even know if we’ll get tomorrow, let alone years from now. We all have loved ones that we may not talk to on a regular basis or that we hold some kind of anger towards and are withholding forgiveness for some distant time in the future when we can forgive them at our leisure but what if that day doesn’t come.

We don’t know how much time any of us has on this earth and at any moment our time could be up. Don’t keep putting off until tomorrow the things that you want to accomplish in your life and more importantly don’t keep waiting to tell the people you love how you feel about them. It shouldn’t take moments like the death of someone who even after accomplishing so much still had such a promising future in order to get people to stop letting the grass grow under their feet (myself included) and putting things off until some tomorrow that may never come. You are here for a purpose so stop planning for a big future and start living today. Stop thinking people know how you feel and just tell them. Stop saying I’ll forgive them later and forgive them now. Until next time #BePresent #BeMindful #BeinFaith

Jimmetta Carpenter

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If You Want it Bad Enough, You Have to Work Hard to Get It

“The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.” 

~Emile Zola 

When I was at the gym this morning I overheard a basketball coach giving two of the young boys that he coaches a lecture on practicing their skills.  He was telling them that they can’t just expect to become pro-basketball players without actually putting in the work to get there.  He was saying to his assistant coach that children just expect to wake up and automatically become what they want to be without putting in the time, the effort and the hard work it takes to get there.  I listened on as he spoke to them and I saw the young boys in there beginning to practice as he was lecturing them so clearly some of what he was saying was starting to sink in.  

As I continued to listen on I thought about the fact that it isn’t always just children who forget that things that are worth having, you have to work hard for.  Sometimes we adults forget that too.  We sometimes rely so heavily on the natural talent that we have to do whatever gifts we were blessed with that we forget that even with natural talent, there is skill involved and those skills have to be continuously exercised.  If we don’t practice our skill set, that talent can eventually fade away.  

We can’t continue to take our skills for granted and believe that no matter what they will always be there for us to use when we get around to putting in the hard work that it takes to make them work for us.  Basketball players don’t just wake up able to play basketball.  Sure they may have had the natural talent to shoot a ball in a hoop when they were younger but there would have been no chance of them making it to the NBA without continuously practicing that skill.  Had they not put in the hard work those skills would have just faded away. 

I’ve heard it said so many times by writers or singers or actors or athletes that it comes natural to them, and yet they still profess how much hard work their natural talent takes.  They take workshops to keep their words fresh, they have vocal coaches to keep their voice in tact, or they take ongoing acting classes to keep their acting skills on point, or they practice on a regular basis to keep their reflexes sharp.  Yes they may have this natural ability but they work hard at maintaining those abilities so that they don’t lose them.  

The same goes for anyone else out there trying to become successful at whatever it is that comes natural to them.  We all have something that we were born to do.  Now we just have to put in the hard work at practicing those skills to develop the success that we know we want.  So take some time to think whether or not you are really putting in the practice at making your skills work for you.  If you know you could be doing more then start now.  Practice equals progression! 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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