Ray Allen’s Great Advice

Ray Allen was a role model for me when I was growing up in Seattle watching the Seattle Supersonics basketball team. I went to a game at the old Key Arena and he absolutely dominated.

Ray Allen went on to play 18 seasons in the NBA and was one of the most accurate 3 point and free throw shooters in NBA history. He was a 10 time NBA All Star and Won 2 NBA championships.

I saw a great quote from him on how to be successful that I wanted to share with you:

You’ll win a championship in Boston. You’ll win another in Miami. The personalities on those two teams will be different, but both teams will have the same thing in common: habits. Boring old habits. I know you want me to let you in on some big secret to success in the NBA. The secret is there is no secret. It’s just boring old habits. In every locker room you’ll ever be in, everybody will say all the right things. Everybody says they’re willing to sacrifice whatever it takes to win a title. But this game isn’t a movie. It’s not about being the man in the fourth quarter. It’s not about talk. It’s getting in your work every single day, when nobody is watching. Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade. The men who you are going to win championships with are all going to be very different people. What makes them champions is the boring old habits that nobody sees. They compete to see who can be the first to get to the gym and the last to leave. Your peers who think this is a cliché, or who think this doesn’t apply to them because they have God-given talent, will play their whole careers without winning an NBA title. »

Ray Allen

I couldn’t agree more with him. The key to success anywhere in life is developing good habits. What is a habit? It’s a behavior pattern that generally takes 21 days or longer to form, then you no longer have to think or use willpower to do that behavior. Most of my success in business and life have come from the habits I’ve managed to figure out. Scientists have shown that each time you have to make a little decision like whether or not to eat a piece of candy that takes a little bit of willpower… and the more conscious decisions you have to make, the tireder you get and the more likely you are to make a bad decision. Here are some habits I have tried to set up for myself over time that have been helpful:

  • How to avoid being tired at work (it is no fun to work when you’re tired)… ?
    • Go to bed at the same time each night (preferably early enough where you can wake up without an alarm)
    • Avoid looking at phone or computer screens two hours before bed
  • How to stay fit?
    • Only buy healthy food at the grocery store. Then when you are hungry, your only options are the healthy stuff… so you may not be excited to eat it, but you’ll eat it anyways. Eventually you lose the desire for processed sugar and natural foods taste far better.
    • Exercise every day…. Even if it is something tiny like walking around your block. Eventually this will build up to more and more.
  • How to be successful in your job and get promotions and raises?
    • Find out what KPI the company looks at for you and try to think of ways to improve on your scores each day
    • Ask for help and ideas to get better from your team lead
    • Complete all of your trainings as early as you can as this will leapfrog you ahead
    • Go above and beyond the normal effort in your work
  • How to avoid depression and be happy?
    • Studies show that humans need socializing each day. I use the time I drive in to work and the time driving home from work to call family and friends each day. I will try to schedule a fun activity like rock climbing or lunch with friends or things like that at least once a week
    • Daily exercise (as little as 7 minutes gets results) has been shown to be an enormous factor here, as is eating more fruits / veggies / nuts / seeds / white meats and avoiding sugars / processed fats like candy or butter.
    • Sleep more
    • Short commutes… our remote team already has this down, living closer to the LA office for those who work here is a big mood booster
    • Finally – just keep living… studies show that older people tend to naturally grow happier!

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Joel Gross

Joel Gross is the CEO of Coalition Technologies.

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