How We Rise: The Steve Nash Story


In college, one of my professors told me a story about Steve Nash and how he viewed his success in the NBA. Apparently Nash had told a reporter that his goal wasn’t to be the best player on his team, but to be the guy who made every other teammate the best they could possibly be. He knew that if he raised everyone else up that the team had a much better chance to succeed. That was his goal.

Tonight is just going to be full of memories from the past…just an FYI.

My dad taught me once that you always operate on an equation when you are going after a goal. He told me that your excitement for success has to be greater than your fear of failure. Of course, this is a sliding scale and you move back and forth from time to time, but in all, you have to really want it more than you fear it not working. That is what will keep you going each and every day. That will allow you to continue through the thick of it. Because the mud always comes and life  loves to slather it on.


Let your game speak. I’m reminded of a quote from another teacher who said “You either have the results or the reasons why not.” And it’s true. I mean how many times have we all committed ourselves to something and then have some sort of justification of why it didn’t happen. I think the quote above is really true. When you have a commitment to something, there are no excuses. You just do…and you do nothing short of it. You live a life that you are proud of and you tackle each and every day with vigor and white-hot passion. I am recommitting myself to my commitments. Funny sentence, but nothing but the truth.

Someone a while back asked me my definition of what makes a man. They asked me about my project and what I’ve found out through this whole writing process and wanted me to whittle it down to a couple of things. It’s really a tough question, but one of the first things that came to my mind was this. “The difference between a boy and a man…is that a man is responsible for himself. And because he is responsible for himself, he admits failure, shortcomings, and takes it upon himself to change.”

As I travel throughout this life, I learn more and more every single day. This only happens though because I leave myself open to learning. I believe that once you know something you stop learning about it. That can’t happen. It can’t happen with this project especially – and fyi I have been there before as well. Keep your heart and your eyes open. You can learn a whole lot.

– Evan Sanders

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  • Caron Eastgate Dann
    December 19, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Great post. This reminds me of something that happened to someone I know. He was promoted to a management position when still quite young, and the head of the company, a very successful self-made man, gave him some advice. He said words to this effect: “You cannot possibly know everything. But identify your weaknesses, and surround yourself with the best possible staff, particularly in the areas in which you yourself are not strong. That way, all members of the team will look like winners, including you, as the leader”. I wish this was the management style followed by all.

    • thebettermanprojects
      December 20, 2013 at 7:59 am

      That totally goes along with a famous quote that says you are the combination of the 5 people you hang out with the most.

  • thoughtsaboutveganism
    December 20, 2013 at 2:15 am

    wow – really good post! Change, openness – big words – great responsibilities!

  • sonworshiper
    December 20, 2013 at 2:45 am

    Aww man, this concept is on my list of blogs to write. I see it in our music team, where some people are there to bring the best out of everyone else, making the team sound excellent, and other people are there to show how superb they are, trying to make themselves sound good at the expense of the overall sound. Great post!
    Taking ownership is such a big deal for success in business. And it’s not even about constant success, doing everything right. It’s about persistent excellent effort, making mistakes and learning from it, fixing problems, getting back up and back on track. That’s success.
    The management courses I’ve been through call this internal versus external locus of control. An internal locus says I have the power to create change, thus I have responsibility. External means I feel the world is in control and I can only react to what happens and thus it’s not my fault because here’s all the reasons (excuses) why. You can guess which style is better for a team to work with.

    • thebettermanprojects
      December 20, 2013 at 7:58 am

      Internal vs. external locus of control is a very very good thing to be aware of! Taking personal responsibility is one of the most powerful things in the world.

  • sonworshiper
    December 20, 2013 at 2:51 am

    Reblogged this on Wanton Disregard for Safety and commented:
    I have some additional thoughts on this, but I found Mr. Sanders’ comments to be very accurate. I believe these same lessons apply to the spiritual life as well as the everyday life this post probably intends to address. When God calls us to a mission or project, we’re there not to show off our own greatness, but to lift everyone else up, thus making the whole effort more successful. Consider the Apostle Paul’s statement about the parts of the body and how each needs the other to succeed. (1 Cor 12)
    We’re given grace – divine empowerment – to make a change and live as God desires. Grace covers our sins but never excuses our sins. It “teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness” and yes to divine purpose (Titus 2:11-12). Grace is neither license nor liberty to accept less than our best effort.
    What will we do with the talents and the grace God pours out on us today?

    • thebettermanprojects
      December 20, 2013 at 7:57 am

      I really appreciate the extra comments on this. And yes there are tons of spiritual references as well. The journey is full of amazing things.

  • Tienny
    December 20, 2013 at 2:53 am

    Seems true


  • Shoes Summerfield
    December 20, 2013 at 6:07 am

    Great post Evan. I feel the same about Accountability and Responsibility being the virtues of a man.
    Keep on keeping on!!

  • ShethP
    December 20, 2013 at 8:03 am

    An amazing read… Thank you for this inspiring post! Also love the quotes you included… Make me want to keep on going forward and not stop or look back. 🙂

  • Coach Roberts
    December 20, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Great post! I took a little break from the “blog world” for a while, but your blog is the only one that I’ve always continued to visit…and it is because of posts like this! Your stuff is always top notch Evan! Thanks for sharing! I will be re-blogging this post on my blog (because of the basketball reference 😉 ) which I will be re-launching soon.

  • Facing Cancer Together
    December 20, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    I like your dad’s equation for the excitement of success being greater than the fear. Excitement can make all the work, risk and exhaustion very worthwhile. It’s kinda magical that way.

  • Jaclyn Katerina
    December 30, 2013 at 8:14 am

    Love that quote!

    January 3, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    Reblogged this on MERHA.