LeBron James, Miami Heat, Don Gilbert and the ongoing work life balance challenge

Even though it may not seem like LeBron James, the Miami Heat and Don Gilbert have anything to do with the ongoing work life balance challenge, they do…and in a much bigger way than you may ever imagine!

LeBron James, professional basketball ultra-superstar, decided to leave the only team he’s ever played for, the Cleveland Cavaliers, to join the Miami Heat, who have also just signed two other superstar players, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.

And Don Gilbert, owner of the Cavaliers, is really mad… hopping mad!

In fact, Gilbert said this in an AP phone interview, “He [James] has gotten a free pass…People have covered up for way too long. Tonight we saw who he really is.”

Gilbert went on to suggest that James “quit” during the playoffs, meaning that he didn’t play at his superstar level when the team needed him the most.

Of course, that’s a matter of opinion and obviously Gilbert is currently very hurt and angry.

But here’s Gilbert’s clincher, “It’s not about him leaving…It’s the disrespect. It’s time for people to hold these athletes accountable for their actions. Is this the way you raise your children? I’ve been holding this all in for a long time.”

So Mr. Gilbert has felt this way for a long time…sounds like bitter resentment.

Whether or not LeBron James made the “right” decision will be debated for many years, but there are other dynamics connected to work life balance (believe it or not!) here.

Since most people generally put a huge amount of time and energy into their careers, here are some LeBron James-Don Gilbert-Miami Heat lessons to glean from this:

1.) Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi said, “Winning isn’t everything, but the will to win is everything.” Are you putting your absolute best effort into your work in life? If not, why? If you aren’t passionate about what you do, then why are you doing it?

2.) California Governor and former Mr. Universe Arnold Schwarzenegger said, “Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” When faced with adversity do you go forward into the challenge or quit? Do you “try and try again” until you find the seed of equal or greater benefit? Do you stick to your commitment regardless of the difficulties? Are you a “sticker” or a quitter?

3.) Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong said, “Winning is about heart, not just legs. It’s got to be in the right place.”  Where is your heart? Are you 100% committed to your mission?

4.)  Television minister and positive growth sage Robert H. Schuller says, “Winning starts with beginning.” Are you all in?

5.) And perhaps the greatest basketball player ever, Michael Jordan, said, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Do you face failure with a renewed commitment to get better?…to continually improve?…to win?

6.) And from John Wooden, who was probably the greatest college basketball coach ever, “Material possessions, winning scores, and great reputations are meaningless in the eyes of the Lord, because He knows what we really are and that is all that matters.” What are your values? What is it that is truly important to you? And what is the impression you’re leaving on everyone around you, especially the children?

7.) And last, but not least, if you – like apparently Mr. Gilbert – have a grudge, dissatisfaction or resentment, why are you not addressing it? Someone once said, “Resentment is like drinking poison, hoping the other person gets sick.” Only you get sick if you have the resentment!

Since you’ll most likely spend the majority of life developing your career, you may want to examine all the dynamics involved. Maybe it’s time to do a thorough inventory of yourself and your chosen career path, and really invite yourself to raise the bar and be your absolute best. Ask yourself all of the above questions…and maybe a few more of your own.

You’ll feel better about you and everyone around you will feel better too…and you’ll improve your work life balance!

P.S. And Marry YourSelf First!!

About Ken Donaldson

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