by Marcus Jackson, Ed.D.

I did some reflecting this weekend and asked my daughter this question as it relates to various topics. Before I allowed her to answer, I shared a story with her.

The summer heading into my junior year in high school, I was one of the top basketball players in the city and attended Joe Dumars basketball camp. We worked on fundamentals, conditioning drills, and five-on-five games in the afternoon. One morning Joe Dumars and my idol Isaiah Thomas showed up during conditioning drills and again that afternoon during the five-on-five games.

The next day was the last day of camp and I won several awards including MVP of the camp. After receiving the award he pulled me over to talk to me, I was excited. The first thing he asked me was “Did I give it my all, during every drill and every game?” I responded with an emphatic YES! He then stated Marcus you’re lying, yesterday during suicide drills, you didn’t go all the way to the line twice and during five on five you relaxed three times, and your man scored. Honestly, you don’t deserve the MVP award as you didn’t give your all in EVERYTHING. I was crushed and surprised that he was paying attention to every detail of every aspect of the camp. I never forgot that question and ask myself the question often to self-reflect.

Now I pose these questions to you:

As it relates to your spirituality and being closer to God, are you giving it your all?

As it relates to committing to eating healthy and exercising are you giving it your all?

As it relates to parenting are you giving it your all?

As it relates to your effort are you giving it your all?

As it relates to you pursuing your dreams, goals, and ambitions are you giving it your all?

Most importantly, as it relates to you being the best version of you that you can be, are you giving it your all? Don’t mistake being busy, with giving it your all.

Finally, just as I told my daughter before you answer any of the questions take a look at the illustration above as Dennis Rodman provides an example of what giving it your all look like as he exhibits this by going all out to get the rebound. If your effort doesn’t look like this, the answer is NO.