Taylor: Definitely something I wouldn’t have asked for at the age of 25, but it certainly gave me perspective. The biggest thing for me was the support I received from parents, players, friends, and family. I began to realize the impact I was having. It reaffirmed my reason to wake up every day with energy, passion, and enthusiasm. I also realized really quick being in the hospital frequently over the course of five months how many people were going through way worse situations than I was. I felt fortunate. It’s definitely something I try to remember when I get bothered by something small or petty that we all have an infinite amount to be grateful and there is always someone wishing they could trade their problems for yours. Ames: Very well put! As a nurse that works on an oncology floor, I know a lot of people don’t want cancer to be the main chapter in their story and Taylor epitomized this in his book and perspective.
Ames: I just finished your book Leave the Better Than Found, and I loved it. I told my husband he has to read it next, and was telling him how you quote everyone from our former Pewaukee High School football coach Clay Iverson to Eminem. How did you go about compiling all of the inspiring stories, people, and influences into one place?
Ames: I found your take on making specific goals versus having a clear vision and being willing to make daily commitments to the vision to be different from the mainstream ideas of goal setting. Can you explain this concept and tell us what led you to this mindset?
A: One of my favorite quotes is by John Wooden; he says that “I have yet to meet a cynic who can describe for me what you can do beyond one’s best.” I know when I was younger, it was constantly engrained in me to set goals. I put so much focus and pressure on the goal itself, that it decreased my performance in everything. Most goals are outcome-based. Many people focus their attention on the result and forget about the process it takes to get to the result. We don’t always have complete control over the amount of money we make, over winning the championship, or acquiring the big promotion. We do control our attitude, effort, and how we treat others on a day to day basis. When you let go of outcomes, and trust in the process- I’ve come to find that our outcomes are actually enhanced. Some people need goals to give them direction, but I believe in having a vision and making commitments to it everyday. It’s so easy to write out a list of goals as you sit on a comfortable couch with a beer in your hand, but it’s hard as hell to get up every day and make the commitments necessary towards achieving them. So instead of focusing on goals and ultimately putting external pressure on things that aren’t always in your control, I think it’s more beneficial to wake up each day with a clear vision of WHO you want to become, how you want to be remembered and commit to the actions that will allow you to do so. I am not a psychologist or a genius, and it may not be for everyone, but it has worked well for me.
Taylor: We do control our attitude, effort, and how we treat others on a day to day basis.
Ames: You seem to give SO much energy to your athletes and business, do you find it hard to balance your life outside of work? Any tips for striking balance?
Ames: Give us a peek into what your weekly workout routine looks like.
Taylor: I try to keep up with my basketball skills 2-3x a week so that I can demonstrate and provide examples to players in camps and clinics. I don’t play live games much anymore as my body has become a little fragile and in the line of work I do, I can’t afford to have an ankle or knee injury that puts me on crutches for a couple of weeks. I also do a 30-40 minute circuit 2-3x a week and try to do yoga once a week. My schedule is a little different from the norm where my hours are all over the place, so it’s important that I block out time at the beginning of each week for my workouts.