Double D + C = SuperPower

Basketball Hoop Shot

What Does That Mean?

Why are some successful and other are not?  What separates winners from losers?   Why do some consistently outperform others? 

There are many answers to those questions, but I suggest success in almost any endeavor boils down to “Double D + C = SUPERSTAR!” 

Willfully exerting DETERMINATION, and DISCIPLINE and adding COMMITMENT will help anyone on the road to success.  

Many remember basketball superstar Larry Bird.  When I was younger, he and Michael Jordan, and the late Kobe Bryant were my favorite players, but all for different reasons. 

Nearly everyone could see Larry Bird was not a great natural athlete.  He was a high-level athlete, but, in my opinion, not “gifted” like Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant. 

While all there had a great work ethic during their playing careers, Larry Bird epitomized how average can be turned into greatness.  When he was a kid in school, every morning he got up early and shot 500 free throws before school….that’s right 500!  He was early to practice and often stayed late afterword to hone his skills.  Day after day, week after week, year after year.  Practice, practice, practice.  Determination to become better and more, discipline to stick to this training schedule, and commitment over years, and that is why he is a legend and a superstar. 

I believe Michael Jordan was born a great athlete.  But there are many born great athletes. How does one convert great natural talent into 6 NBA Championships in 8 years?  Like Larry Bird, Jordan practiced hard.  He often alienated new teammates who were not used to playing at practice as hard or harder than playing in an actual game.  He demanded perfection and excepted nothing less.  He was always determined to be better, disciplined enough to set the standard, and committed to excellence. And that is how he EARNED 6 NBA Championships in 8 years. 

Kobe Bryant was poetry in motion.  He didn’t run up and down the court, he glided.  He wasn’t a good shot; he was a great shot.  Natural talent but drive beyond what most knew about him.  He practiced at least two hours BEFORE each game…completing 400 shots.  His practice speed was his game speed.  He devoted his life to excellence.  He ate no sugar, (now that is discipline!) understood the value of good rest and sleep and lived a life committed to excellence. Teammates marveled at his work ethic, determination, discipline, and commitment to his goals. 


Now for a personal story: I was diagnosed with a kidney tumor in early 2017.  Four different physician specialists agreed it was cancer.  In fact, the first words the kidney surgeon said at my pre-operative appointment at a prestigious nationally known hospital were: “so you have kidney cancer.” 

He explained the size of the tumor was as big as a softball and was choking my right kidney to death.  He was 95% sure it was cancer, therefore no need for biopsy. He also had concerns about metastasis.  He told me the surgery was going to be long and I would have side effects preventing me from working and riding my bicycle for up to 3 months post op.  His earliest surgery date was 6 weeks away.

On the 2.5 hr. drive home, my wife asked me why I was so quiet.  Was I upset?  I told her yes, but not for the reasons she thought.  I told her I will survive the surgery and any subsequent treatment necessary, but the surgeon does not know me, so how can he determine how I will feel and how long my recovery would take?  Of course, her response was, he is the expert, he has been doing this for years, so he knows.  I was determined to prove him wrong.

I decided: I would “show” this doctor that I was not his typical patient.  I decided to increase my already busy work out schedule.  I increased my swimming from two miles a week to three miles a week.  I increased my biking from 50 -75 miles a week to 100- 125 miles/week, and I decided to increase my abdominal muscle strength by completing hundreds of stomach crunches a day. 

In the pre-op area the day of surgery, the nurse was taking my blood pressure as I was laying on the gurney and talking to my wife seated beside me.  The nurse said: “oh my”.  I turned my head toward her and asked if there was a problem.  She said: “your blood pressure is normal, but your pulse is 53.  Usually before surgery the pulse is much higher. 

I assured her that was my normal pulse rate and told her “I am ready for the surgical team and the hospital to do its job.  I have prepared by body the best way I know how for this surgery, now it is your turn. My expectations are your team, and your hospital will be excellent at your job, this will go well…and I thank you in advance!”  She smiled and said:” we will, and you are in good hands!”

At the one month follow up visit the surgeon confirmed the prior phone call I received from the path lab that the tumor was benign.  He said he was surprised as he expected cancer due to the size, shape, and color of the tumor.  I told him I went back to work after two weeks at home, and I asked when I could ride my bike.  He told me “you have made a remarkable recovery; you can start to ride…… just take it easy for a while.”  Later that afternoon I rode 10 miles, smiling all the way. 

I was determined to prepare my body for the surgery.  I was determined I would not permit him to categorize me with his other surgical patients not willing, or perhaps for many reasons not able to prepare for surgery like I was committed to do.  I committed to a rigorous workout plan and scheduled workouts around my other weekly activities.  I was determined, disciplined, and committed to stick to the task. I was determined to meet my goal of returning to work and other activities much earlier than the expert expected. 

No one should control your destiny: only you do.  While we cannot determine the outcome of every situation, it is YOUR choice to challenge yourself to commit to control the variables you can and exert the discipline and determination to take action to do so.  You also can enable and trust others do their job to meet your common goal.  


It’s up to you to use them to your advantage…. make it happen! 

Now you know why Double D + C = Superstar!