Elements of The Lab
In The Lab
What does that really mean? Is it just a brand? Is it a place?
Our audience knows In The Lab as being a basketball brand/company. Sure, that’s true, but where does that stem from? In The Lab is a concept and it’s anywhere and everywhere. For anyone with a craft, you guys know it’s all about getting better. To me, being In The Lab is about just as it sounds: experimenting and practicing. Scientists learn through conducting experiments and trying different things. Once they find something that works, they practice that and experiment off of it. Who’s to say that we aren’t all just scientists and we all have our own labs?
Just as chemistry has tons of elements, there are different elements that play key roles of being In The Lab. We’re going to focus on three that I think are incredibly important: Energy, Effort, and Time.
Where your focus goes, your energy flows. When you’re working on your craft, you need to stay locked in. With social media these days, there are so many distractions. I can’t lie, sometimes when I’m working, I’ll randomly pick up my phone and start scrolling through Instagram. That’s what you don’t want to do and that’s something that I know that I can work on. This is also one of the reasons I wake up early in the morning. I wake up typically somewhere between 4:30 and 6:00 AM every day, depending on what time I go to sleep the night before. I try to wake up as early as I can (while getting enough sleep) for the sole purpose of making time for myself. With that, I’m able to focus and start my day off with the right intentions and put my energy into the right place. When I get up, my main focus becomes trying to set the tone for the day. Energy is one of the most important elements of being In The Lab because you’ll get right back out what kind of energy you put into the Lab. That pretty much goes with anything that you do. When you put in positive energy into something, chances are, that’s what you’re going to get back: something positive. With that being said, the amount of energy that you dedicate to putting into the Lab all pays off and comes back as results. Put your energy and focus into the right places. It doesn’t always look like things are going to go our way, but keep putting the work in and the Lab will reward you.
Effort goes hand in hand with energy. Hard work tends to lead to success. With effort, you need to be intentional. Everything you do, do it with a purpose. Whether that’s walking to class, lifting weights, editing photos, or writing a blog, make sure there is meaning behind everything you do. Don’t simply go through the motions. Of course, this all requires effort. One thing that I’ve heard coaches say over and over again from when I used to hoop was that you can’t coach effort. Effort comes from within and that stems from the desire to actually be great. One thing that I’ve thought about a lot is how many people say that they want to be great. Anyone can say that. However, try breaking down the process to somebody and they probably won’t want the early mornings and sleepless nights.
I just read Kobe’s new book The Mamba Mentality. I think that all hoopers and anyone serious about what they do should spend some time to read the book. Kobe is the perfect example of putting in extraordinary effort to become, well, extraordinary. In the book, Kobe breaks down the way he played the game and what made him so successful. I won’t say too much about it, but this all goes back to people and their willingness (or lack of it) to put in the work. Kobe broke down the game into all of its intricacies and put in work that most of us would not be willing to do. Read the book. If that doesn’t inspire you to do more, I’m not sure what will.
Imagine that every day, you’re given $86,400. You’re free to do whatever you want with this money. Here’s the catch though. At the end of the day, your bank account goes back to 0, regardless if you used it all, and replenishes with $86,400 when you wake up the next morning. In this situation, you’d want to use your money as wisely as possible and make sure every dollar was worth it, right?
Now change dollars to seconds. Every day, you’re given 86,400 seconds. You’re free to do whatever you want with this time. At the end of the day, the amount of seconds goes to 0, regardless of how you spent your time, and restarts at 86,400 when you wake up. You would want to make sure every second was worth it, right?
Time is one thing that we use that we can never get back. This is where the idea of 10,000 Hours comes into play for In The Lab. For those who don’t know, the theory of 10,000 Hours comes from Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers. In short, this theory explains that it takes 10,000 Hours of practice for someone to become exceptional, become a master, at his/her craft. Being In The Lab takes time in itself. The pursuit of greatness takes things to a completely different level.
Use your time wisely. Going back to earlier points, there are so many distractions. This is where we need to ask ourselves what is really beneficial to our lives. To me personally, this actually doesn’t mean to only work on your craft and not do other things. When I was in high school and part of college, I was so dedicated to everything that I was working on that it got to the point where I was wearing myself out. I didn’t go out very often, my eyes would twitch for months straight from lack of sleep, and my body started to break down because I wasn’t taking proper care of myself. When I say use your time wisely, this includes self care. Make sure you take time off when you need it. Listen to your body. This applies to every day and just life in general. For me, I make sure to set aside time to go on trips, do fun things, take naps, etc. The tricky part about this is making sure that you stay true to what your mission is and what the job at hand is. Be true to yourself and what you want to do. Spend wisely.
When it comes down to it, the idea of being In The Lab is about growth. The only person that you should really be competing with is yourself. How can you put your energy, effort, and time to its best use on a daily basis to help you get to where you need to be? Of course, there are many other elements that play a role in being In The Lab, but these are three that I feel play a dramatic role in the process.
“Good, Better, Best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best.”
Compete with yourself and end each day being a better version of yourself. Stay hungry, stay humble, and stay In The Lab. The Lab is where you are.