Here’s something you may not know about me: I love college basketball, to the extent that I jump up and down and scream at the television as if the players can hear me. See, I grew up just outside of East Lansing, Michigan during the Magic Johnson era at Michigan State University, which was a very exciting time in the world of college basketball. To this day, I still can’t help but caught up in the thrill of March madness.

This year, my Michigan State Spartans are headed to the Sweet 16 along with three other Big 10 teams—including Ohio State University—a team I typically would not dream of rooting for. Over the weekend, however, I found myself rooting for the team (sorry to my dear Iowa State fan friend) because of one of their players, Aaron Craft. He is an incredible basketball player, someone who plays with heart, leadership and belief, no matter what is going on in the game. I love watching this kid play basketball (unless of course, he is playing against Michigan State). Not only is he a role model on the basketball court, there is a lot he can teach us about reaching our goals.

The purpose of this quick tip isn’t to give you a play by play of the game (or to discuss any questionable calls by the refs), but rather to make a point about perseverance. The game on Sunday was a close one and Aaron Craft was having a rough second half. His shots weren’t dropping. He missed key free throws at critical moments. And yet…you never would have known it by watching how he carried himself on the court. He didn’t show any signs of being mad or frustrated, but instead he kept playing his game with just as much heart, leadership and belief as always. He continued to take shots. He continued to hustle on defense and try to make things happen. With less than a minute to play, the game was tied and Ohio State had the ball. It was Aaron Craft who had control of the ball until the very final seconds of the game…when he took one more shot.


Ohio State won!


It was incredibly exciting and inspiring. I hope you’ll keep this story in mind the next time you’re going through a rough patch and nothing seems to be going your way. We all go through those times—all of us do. And when we’re in the middle of a slump, it seems like it would be so much easier to simply stop moving forward, to pull yourself out of the game to avoid feeling any more disappointment or frustration, or missing any more shots. But don’t stop. Call on your past successes and use them to refuel your confidence and belief. Keep moving forward, and take the next shot. You never know…it just might be a game-winner.

As another “good” basketball player once said:

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six 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.” ~ Michael Jordan

Here’s to staying in the game!

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Aby Garvey is a creative organizing expert and simplify 101’s founder. She has created 14 online organizing classes, which she has been teaching since 2007, helping thousands of people around the world get organized. Aby loves to help people create positive change in their lives through her online classes and organizing eBooks.

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