Sunday, April 28, 2013

Paradoxical Commandment #3
I am a Spurs fan.  Always have been.  Though I have made my home in another city for the past 15 years, my hear still beats for the black and silver.  I have always appreciated their poise and character, and have dedicated my basketball fandom to the Spurs for all time.

There are those who hate the Spurs as much as I love them.  They see the organization as an upstart, broadcasting their team-first mentality in a sport full of me-first players.  The decry the lack of heroics, they complain about the lack of a flashy superstar, and they loathe the absence of drama surrounding the humble Spurs.

So, we arrive at the third Paradoxical Commandment:

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway. Spurs have found plenty of true enemies, though I have not encountered many I would describe as false friends (fans); I am sure they are out there.  Plenty of other successful NBA organizations have gathered false friends (I can visualize the flood of fans fleeing the Lakers bandwagon at the moment), and I count myself among the true enemies of such teams as the Lakers, the Mavericks, and the Jazz (I am shaking my fist at you, Karl Malone).

Have the complaints about the Spurs’ style stopped them from pursuing excellence on their terms?  No.  They believe in their formula and execute it to the best of their abilities, turning deaf ears towards their critics.  Their success has lead the Spurs organization to consistently rank at the top of the four major sports in the US.
Yes, this is Teen Wolf.  The original.  They
wanted the wolf.  He gave them a win.
We have all seen the movie where the hero stumbles as success goes to their head.  The false friends abandon them and the true enemies revel in their failure.  The story never ends there, though.  The hero gets back up, believing in the possibility of success, and tries again, achieving their goal no matter what it takes. 

We all have the choice.  Succumb to those around us or go out and find your success.  Find it no matter who follows in your wake.  Success is worth it.

- I first encountered an adapted version of the “Paradoxical Commandments,” titled “The Final Analysis,” while listening to a Wayne Dyer audio CD in my early twenties.  The meaning and message struck me as true, helping guide my thoughts and actions as I developed from a big kid into a real adult.  Later, I discovered the poem was not actually written by Mother Theresa at all, but adapted, framed, and hung on the wall in her Calcutta orphanage.  She cared about its message enough to use it to empower the weak and marginalized children to whom she gave her life.

The Paradoxical Commandments are reprinted with permission.  © Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001

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