In 1983, I remember being in 8th grade science class, pretending to do lab work. Instead, a group of us debated who would win the night’s men’s NCAA Championship basketball game.
I remember a boy named Tom saying that it wasn’t a question if the heavily favored Houston Cougars would win, but rather whether they would allow North Carolina State to cross half court with the ball.
I agreed with Tom and was as stunned as the rest of the viewing world when NC State pulled the huge upset at the buzzer.
ESPN recently did a documentary on the Wolfpack’s amazing run to the championship. (Great, improbable story. See below)
The players gathered to recount how their coach devoted an entire practice to cutting down the nets. No dribbling. No shooting. No passing. Just cutting down the nets. One by one, every player got to snip a loop. (If you’re no sports junkie, this is a traditional way to celebrate a championship).
Realistically, this team had no reason to think they could win it all. But their coach, Jim Valvano believed. And he understood that in order to create something you FIRST MUST BE ABLE TO IMAGINE IT.
He showed his players how to imagine, how to FEEL their desires NOW instead of later.
When they cut down the nets after their win, they said it all felt familiar. They knew just how it was all going to go…
After all, they had done it before.
It’s not a complicated formula. You become what you allow yourself to imagine.
However, in the face of “reality,” it’s an easy habit to set aside. We’d don’t allow ourselves to imagine much.
Who’s got time to dream with all this work to do?
Don’t be fooled.
The real work is in the imagining.
The rest is details.
If you’re inspired to watch, I found the whole hour episode online.