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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Trust Your Next SHOT - A Guide To Living A Life of Joy

David A. Zimmer
David A. Zimmer, PMP
Chief Business Strategist
American Eagle Group

Trust Your Next SHOT - A Guide to a Life of Joy
Meadowlark Lemon with Lee Stuart

One Sunday morning, the Clown Prince of Basketball showed up at my church. Meadowlark Lemon was always one of my favorite boyhood entertainers along with the rest of the Harlem Globetrotters. I usually watched them on my black-and-white TV, but I did get to see them live when they came to a city near my home town. I was always amazed by the antics and abilities of the players on the basketball court. In the center of attention was Meadowlark Lemon. He was skilled and funny. I learned from his performances you could be professional and personable at the same time. I learned professionalism was no€™t always the uptight, straight-laced, everything-under-control posture most people consider to be professional. I learned you could be approachable even when steeped in knowledge, expertise, experience and ability.

Almost fifty years later, Meadowlark Lemon is still just as jovial and personable as he was back in the Sixties. Although his profession has changed, he is an ordained minister, he is still Meadowlark Lemon. His book, €"Trust Your Next Shot -€“ A Guide to a Life of Joy,"€ is part auto-biography and part motivational. I learned of his humble beginnings and how a wire coat hanger and tin can started his basketball career. I realized it does so matter what you are given in life, it'€™s what you do with it that makes the difference. He set his goal to become a Globe Trotter (it was two words when he was first introduced to the team, but eventually become conjoined around the time he was asked to be on the team) and certainly accomplished it by becoming synonymous with the team. He was asked to become the clown of the team at which he excelled.

His ministry today, from both a spiritual and secular sense, is a life of joy. He brought happiness to many during his career and continues today through his advice on life. After a biographical description of how he attained his status, Meadowlark begins to provide life-instructions using basketball terms. I am not a basketball fan or even knowledgeable in basketball terminology, but I was able to follow and understand how he applied the metaphors to everyday life. Similar to other books that motivate and provide advice concerning living, Trust Your Next Shot reminds me again of the obvious, everyday things I gloss over because of the concerns for the day. Keeping them forefront in my mind helps me realize the current crisis is temporary and with proper attitude and actions, it’ll be overcome. Whether it is a sad, frantic, scary, panicky, or painful situation, using the book'€™s advice, I can return to a life of joy. 

Meeting Meadowlark in person and playing with him in a golf tournament the next day was certainly a pleasant encounter in my life. To meet someone I watched as a boy, remembered as one of my favorite entertainers and actually being able to spend time with such a legend was a very pleasurable experience. Reading his book helped me realize this was an ordinary guy from humble beginnings who reached stardom by doing what he loved. And yet, even with the fame, he was still the same down-to-earth person he started out to be. His book captures his journey and opens his life to me for my learning.

Overall, even though this book provides some light reading, it does cause me to think beyond my technical or business work and continue to hone my skills of being professional, personable and approachable because I can operate from a position of joy rather stern-faced, uptight and stiff-upper lip posture.

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