It was no surprise. After scoring a record-breaking 42 triple doubles, Russell Westbrook claimed the top spot as the best player in the NBA of the regular season.
Upon accepting his award, Westbrook presented a tear-jerking speech, thanking everyone from the staff and fans of Oklahoma City to his immediate family and wife. During his sincere display of gratitude, Westbrook left every onlooker, spectator, fan and critic with a lesson. He gave us what I call "breadcrumbs," or clues about his successful journey, that can help us to find our own level of achievement.
Whether a fan or not, you have to consider this man's history. He wasn't heavily recruited. He didn't receive a college recruiting letter until the summer before his senior year. He had college coaches to tell him to run track instead of play basketball. There were even people who didn't think he was a good draft choice, according to Westbrook's speech. So, how do you go from being underestimated, to celebrated? Just take his advice.
Westbrook laid out the fundamental principles of life that could teach us a thing or two about being valuable.
1. Compete consistently at a high-level.
When many of us have a goal or dream, it's easy to go after it with determination, until fatigue sets in or there's a bump in the road. When you're in your lane, don't just coast. Dominate your field.
2. Surround yourself with the right people.
Westbrook emotionally pointed out his parents, brother, and wife as being his support systems. Whether it's our friends, significant others, or mentors, having a support system keeps you grounded and focused. It also helps to have people in your corner to lift you up.
3. Be loyal.
I hear some groans with this one, and maybe this number may be a bit premature. However, when you become a person of your word, a person that someone can put their trust in, you have an opportunity to build meaningful relationship with others.
4. Be a solution.
Instead of adding to day-to-day problems by complaining, thinking negatively, or being inactive, be a solution. Step up and take action. You never know what your gift can do.
5. Be humble.
No one "makes it" on their own. Acknowledge your team, family, friends and others in the world who have conspired to help you along your journey. It makes the trip more satisfying.