When asked how I am doing, I often respond that I’m “Living the Dream”.
Recently, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban got into trouble for comments he made that said, basically, we all have preconceived notions of various things. He was not promoting racism but pointing out that we all have flaws. However, the “Gotcha!”, sound bite crowd pounced on him. His comments were taken out of context and he was labeled a racist. Stephen A. Smith, a reporter for ESPN, rose to his defense. No surprise, the crowd and then pounced on Stephen A, blasting him for his position.
After the initial outburst of criticism, Stephen was asked about the backlash. The purpose of this blog is NOT to get into a debate on the Gotcha mentality, free speech or racism. I want to discuss Stephen A’s comments about living the dream. The video is embedded below. Please watch it and note where the conversation takes a turn from the racism debate to expectations. It begins to turn around the 3:11 minute mark and really hits it at the 5:27 mark.
To no one’s surprise, this hasn’t been reported. The truth isn’t news. I agree with Stephen A. about the American Dream. About living our dreams. It means taking small steps. It means being persistent. It means ignoring the special people who catch lightning in a bottle. It means seeing life as a marathon, not a sprint.
Stephen A. made his progress step by step by step. From being held back in fourth grade, having a public school education, graduating high school, attending a historically black college, graduation with honors, getting into the newspaper business, then CNN, Fox Sports and now at ESPN, his success didn’t happen overnight.
I began my corporate career as technician. I worked full time while attending college and over my career advanced to be a senior manager, step by step by step.
When I chose to battle stage fright, I did it step by step by step. I joined Toastmasters, studied improv, studied stand-up, performed stand-up, performed improv, hosted a radio show and got accepted into the Groundlings school, and this journey isn’t over.
You, too, can live your dreams, step by step by step. If I can do it, you can do it. If Stephen A. Smith can do it, you can do it.
Don’t try to catch lightning in a bottle. Take your first step.