Present tense

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July 1, 2020

Brian Horn, Editor, Lawn & Landscape

ESPN recently aired an interesting documentary called “The Last Dance.” The documentary followed the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls during the final season of their National Basketball Association dynasty in the 1990s. If you are at all interested in sports, I recommend it.

Growing up as a Cleveland Cavaliers fan, Michael Jordan broke my heart a few times as he was particularly great at dominating them. But it was hard to hate him because he was so unbelievably talented. I mean, what kid didn’t want to “Be Like Mike?”

The documentary lets you in on how obsessed Jordan was with winning. I had read books and heard stories about his work ethic, so none of that information was really new.

But the documentary did make me look at his drive in a different way. I realized how much he cared about the present. Sure, he held grudges from the past, but he didn’t really focus too much on tomorrow. That type of thinking would have taken the attention away from the current task.

When the Bulls weren’t really playing for anything and wanted to hold Jordan out after an injury he had healed from, he was stunned. He didn’t care the team wasn’t going to go far in the playoffs if they made it. He wanted to try his hardest and win every game possible. Every win and loss has a lesson that you can’t fully digest if you are sitting on the sidelines.

“In the current economic climate, a lot of you are forced to focus on the present more than ever."

As business owners, you’re told to learn from your mistakes, focus on the now and plan for the future. In the current economic climate, a lot of you are forced to focus on the present more than ever. Who knows what the rest of the year may hold, so making the most out of today’s job is what will help you succeed and even survive into the fourth quarter of 2020 and into 2021.

Sometimes, we’ve missed opportunities because we’re too focused on what happened yesterday or what will happen tomorrow.

I think we all can learn from Jordan about living in the moment and doing our best right now.

At the end of “The Last Dance,” the director chose a great song, with a great line that sums up Jordan’s maniacal approach to winning – “Present Tense” by Pearl Jam.

“Makes much more sense to live in the present tense.” – Brian Horn