My friend Tom had an Oh-wow! moment this morning during a basketball game. You recognize those moments in life. Perhaps you’ve experienced them. I did on Monday morning. Friend Tom did this morning.
An Oh-wow! moment is when you do something that makes everyone else respond in amazement.
“Oh, wow! That was a great play.”
“Oh, wow! You brought tears to my eyes with that song.”
“Oh, wow! You aced the test.”
“Oh, wow! You got a big promotion and a bonus.”
Tom’s moment included a behind-the-back pass to a guy racing toward the basket. Even if it’s an opponent who does something great (and Tom was on the other team), you’re glad to have seen the moment.
My Monday-morning moment was similar to Tom’s, a surprising move, a pass to a teammate camped under the basket.
I thought about my moment and what got me there—a change of philosophy two years ago.
Two years ago, I feared making a mistake on the basketball court. I wouldn’t shoot open shots because I feared missing.
The only thing fear did for me was keep me from shooting. I made loads of mistakes. I almost always passed the ball away even when I had open shots. Because I didn’t shoot, opponents knew to wait for my pass. And plenty of my passes were intercepted. Big mistake.
Then I changed. A teammate said, “Tom, shoot the ball.” The teammate was talking to me, not my friend Tom. May have even been my friend Tom.
The teammate, whether Tom or not, gave me permission to fail. He really did.
From that point on, I stopped worrying about how I played basketball (well, mostly but not entirely). Missed shots became missed shots, not big mistakes.
Did you catch that?
A missed shot was just a missed shot.
Not a big mistake.
I started shooting more. I started making more. I started passing to open guys.
Like on Monday morning.
I had my Oh-wow! moment because I made shots. That led to a collapsing defense (which simply means the other team surrounded me) which left a teammate open under the basket.
Let me put it another way, one that applies to more than basketball.
If I fear failure, I don’t try.
If I do try and I fail, I learn.
If I keep trying, I get better whether I fail or not.
Try long enough, I move past failure and have an Oh-wow! moment.
And that’s nice.
Question: Have you had an Oh-wow! moment you’d like to share with the rest of us?