“The motorcycle crash that nearly killed me taught me how to live; to be a better person.”  – Jay Williams

At a management conference, I was asked this question.

“Fred, you’ve heard many of our managers say their ‘career cancer’ is anxiety and worry. How do you personally deal with worry and anxiety?” Fear of failure is the root cause of worry and anxiety. Each manager who named these two demons as their number one emotional cancer has Professional Failure Syndrome.

Jay Williams, the former Duke basketball and Chicago Bulls star, told his life story in his book, Life Is Not An Accident. Williams book has been my companion this vacation. In less than one minute Jay’s life was changed. Never to play basketball, loss of multi-millions of dollars, possible missed fame on and off the basketball court; all traded for what William’s called a stupid decision. A pro basketball player ending his career on a Roadhog two wheel power machine.

My life experience easily ties jay Willian’s story to the question on how I deal with anxiety and worry, which I claim come from the bed of fear of failure.

For Jay, it was a tragic bike accident. For me it was cancer. Both brought us to the end our life rope.  

Jay shares it took him over 10 years. My journey with dirty Mr. C began 13 years ago; the last 6 have been a major war.

Books like Jay’s and mine liberate the author. Jay’s message wakes me up to the reality that life is a one-time deal. We get a one-way ticket. One stupid move and we can pay dearly the rest of our lives.

Thank you, Jay Williams, for your courage, thank you for your story, thank you for your example, it is my goal to follow your example.

These are my three take aways:

1. Let the past be the past, don’t beat myself up for past stupid mistakes.

2. That both my successes and failures were not accidents.

3. Play the hand dealt me with the very best I have to bring.

Consider, readers of Words of Hope, life is not an accident; and your life, the way you find it right here right now, is no accident. Play your best hand, it may very well turn out to be a full house.


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