Just because you CAN, does that mean you should?

by Kenny Eller on September 3, 2010

I can solve a Rubik’s Cube.

A couple of years ago a buddy of mine, Karol Gajda, brought the 80s phenomenon over to my house and I kept it.  I would sit around on the couch in the evenings and work on it.  When my wife and I would travel somewhere and she drove, I would work on it then too.  Then once I learned how to solve the rather famous cube, I would solve it daily.  Most of the time, solving the Rubik’s Cube was the last thing I did before I went to bed.  While I wasn’t as fast as the kids on YouTube, I did get fairly quick.  Certainly faster than anyone I knew who could solve it, which was no one.

I haven’t picked up a Ribik’s Cube in more than eight months.

Just because I CAN solve it, does that mean I should?

My brother and I, this past May, were at Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Orlando Magic and the Boston Celtics.  As the teams were warming up, we were discussing the less than stellar play of Vince Carter.  Vince’s struggles in the series had been the choice for many water cooler diatribes in the Orlando area.

The reason people were frustrated with Vince was because of his capabilities.  Because of what he’s done in the past.  Because at one time not too long ago he was a baaaaaad man on the court.

If the 12th guy on the team screws up, everyone yells at the coach for putting him in.  When a superstar doesn’t perform as expected everyone wants to know why!

In our seats as they were going through shoot around, I said to my brother Bobby, “Vince just shot one left handed!  He doesn’t even seem like he’s into it!  He needs to warm up GAME SPEED!”  I went on with something like, “Mike Jordan would never prepare like that!”

Bobby then responded with something that I thought was quite profound.  To paraphrase, he said that don’t you think it’s not about the money, because Vince has plenty.  It’s not about just basketball, because he’s done it his whole life.  He said he’s done it all.  The warmups over and over, the games over and over, the travel over and over.  Don’t you think after +25 years of hoops, he can just turn it on?

While my expectation is that Vince give basketball his everything the way Jordan did, that really is such an unfair thought process.

Vince Carter is a nice guy and there is a lot of great that comes with that.  While I was still at the television station some years ago, they sent me to Daytona to cover Mainland High School’s football team.  Vince had just won the Rookie of The Year award in the NBA and happened to be on the sidelines for the game.  He was encouraging to the players and very approachable.  He was a nice guy then and I’m sure he still is today.

The fire in me wants him to squeeze out and use every drip of his talent, but honestly have I done that with mine?

Have you?

Just because he CAN does that mean he wants to or should?

To all those whose faces are red and vocal chords burning from screaming, “HE MAKES 20 MILLION DOLLARS!!!”  I say it’s irrelevant.  He happens to do something that generates a lot of revenue and because of that he is compensated.  Sure he is paid highly to produce highly, but his past says he is more likely to produce than not.

Maybe, just maybe, he plays the game because he CAN, not because he has the same desire as others.

Vince Carter and I are basically the same age.  Both lay claim to the year 1977.  Both graduated high school in 1995.  Both possibly on a mission today to do something many feel is unlikely.

I know Vince can be dominate on the court again.  He’s got all the ability any player could ever dream to have…still.

Just because he CAN, does that mean he should?

It’s an interesting question to ask.

How many reading this post show up to work daily and do something more because you CAN, because you have the ability to do it, than due to your desire to excel in the given field?

It’s a question that makes me want to reach into the unknown to see what I might be able to grab if only I extend myself a bit further in what I’m truly passionate about.

I hope it does the same for you.

Just because you CAN, doesn’t mean you should.

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