Day 90: “Dare Nothing, Gain Nothing.”
Editor’s Note: This is the fourth installment of Dear Life! Every month Bisi let’s us glimpse at the physical, mental and emotional challenges of endeavoring a professional dream. She hopes her real-life struggles might inspire others to take risks for their dreams.
The Cavs won the number one pick in the NBA draft lottery for the third time in the past four years. In case you haven’t the slightest inkling how the NBA Draft Lottery works, it’s a lot like a raffle:
- The 14 teams that missed the playoffs are given a number of chances (“raffle tickets”) to obtain the first pick—and technically, second and third—in the upcoming NBA Draft.
- The worse a team’s record, the higher the number of chances they have to win the lottery. The team with the worst record has the most (250 out of 1,000) chances to win the lottery.
- Each chance is represented by a combination of four ping-pong balls in any order. For example, 1-2-3-4 or 3-2-1-4 equal one chance for the Cavs.
- The lottery only determines the first three picks. The rest of the 1st round picks (4-30) are determined by the record—from worst to best—of the remaining 11 non-playoff teams and 16 playoff teams and any trades that may have been madecommercial water slides for sale.
What’s your point, Bisi?
With the 9th worst record of non-playoff teams, the Cavs had a 1.70% chance (17 “raffle tickets” out of 1,000) of winning the 1st pick. The chances of them winning the draft lottery two years in a row: 0.2652%.
Point two six five two percent.
Americans have a higher chance of living to 100 (1.73%).
Yes, Bisi. I get it AH-MAZING! But ESPN already drooled all over this. So get to the point.
My point is this: you never know what is going to happen. Odds are just that—odds. I had to remind myself of this as I recently had the opportunity to join some teammates in a preseason game.
Initially, I was giddy with excitement and anticipation. WOOT WOOT! FINALLY! PRAISE BE! I committed to playing and that was that…until the day before the game.
Friday morning, I distinctly remember my stomach dropping and my toes going numb when the realization of what I had decided to do crashed and burned into my reality.
All the excitement was quickly replaced by the mind-numbing what-ifs and the fear of making a complete and utter fool of myself. This is the kind of fear that makes a person shutdown and not want to try at all. Or in my case, this is the kind of fear that makes you overdramatically collapse on the floor and flail your limbs in panic, then curl into the fetal position in the non-judgmental privacy of your kitchen for a minute or two…
I gave myself those two minutes and then flipped the switch back to reason and rationality. (Being able to flip a switch is a very useful professional tool, let’s just say another post, another time.) The one thing I’ve been telling myself day in and day out is you just have to try. This whole journey started because I just wanted to try. The odds are not in my favor; I don’t even know what they are. But still, where’s the harm in trying?
In my opinion, it’s much worse to do nothing and live with a lifetime of regret. Daring to do nothing and dreaming of nothing means that at the end of the day, I will have achieved nothing; I will have gained nothing. Something is bound to come of trying; something is bound to come of dreaming. Yes, that something may not be what I was looking for, but that something is bound to be profound and will give me perspective for future endeavors.
So off I went at the crack of dawn Saturday morning.
Suffice to say, the world didn’t crumble around me. In fact, it was all too familiar and the adrenaline of playing fixed the fears. Naturally, there were great moments and not-so great moments, but in my head, it was all glorious! So glorious in fact, something came of it: I had enough energy to participate in a postgame agility and conditioning session (which in turn reminded me there is still work to be done).
The real something was just being reminded how much fun life is when you dare to try and do something, rather than nothing at all.