Fueling Your Heart

Each day we are given opportunities to choose the influences we want in our lives.  The videos we watch, the music we listen to, the books we read, and the people we spend our time with.  Each decision we make fuels our hearts with a worldview that will ultimately impact the way we carry ourselves.  So, the question is, what is fueling your heart?

It’s easy to gravitate towards popular content the world is selling to us daily, but it’s important to understand what those stories are telling us.  Just because something is portrayed as “cool” or “relevant,” doesn’t mean we should be consuming it.  We need to be intentional about fueling our hearts with substance, promoting growth and excellence in all we do. 

Here’s a few examples of what I mean:

Spotify has over 140 million users that consume over 1.7 billion hours of music each month.  Currently, the song that is streamed the most and sits at #2 on the Billboard Top 100, is “Rockstar” by Post Malone (Feat. 21 Savage).  The first lyrics that millions of people are actively choosing to put into their hearts when they listen to this song are, 

Ayy, I’ve been f****** hoes and poppin’ pillies. Man I feel just like a rockstar.
— Post Malone


Last month, the top grossing movie at the box office was “It,” earning $290,775,232.  It has played in over 4,000 theaters countless times, entertaining millions of people across the globe.  I understand the thrill and excitement that comes along with horror movies, but at what cost?  The description that lures people to buy a ticket to this movie is, “A group of bullied kids band together when a shapeshifting demon, taking the appearance of a clown, begins hunting children.”  Really?


In 2016, 68% of high school seniors said that they tried alcohol with their friends.  Their friends claimed they were going to harmless parties and having “fun” participating in drinking games.  Statistics also say that alcohol causes the most harm in people under the age of 21 and is responsible for over 4,300 deaths each year. 


The point of this article is not to tell you what not to do.  However, I think it’s important for us to ask ourselves the question, “what is fueling my heart?”  If we think about it, the shows we watch, the music we listen to, the content we read, and the people we spend our time with, influences our lives in a huge way.  If we want to be the best we can be, why wouldn’t we fuel our hearts with content that is positive and full of truth?  For me, it’s a battle every day.  I want to have fun and satisfy my need for entertainment, but I constantly need to examine what I’m fueling my heart with.  I encourage you to think about the influences you allow into your life every day and ask yourself if the fuel you’re putting into your heart is the fuel that will get you to your desired destination. 

Summer Workouts Aren't Enough: 3 Reasons to do Something Else

The off-season, or the "on-season" as Coach Kevin Eastman likes to call it, is a time to improve and develop your craft.  I'm sure you've heard the saying, "if you're not practicing, someone else is, and when you meet him, he will win."  Knowing this as a competitor drives you to work hard and push yourself as far as you can physically.  You spend countless hours in the gym honing your skills and you flourish in the weight room.  You come into the season thinking you're prepared to rise up to the challenge, but did you really do all that you could to become the best player you can be?  


LeBron James just won his third NBA World Championship and while he puts in tons of hours in the gym, he also does something that sets him apart.  He reads books.  A lot of books.  It's a well documented fact that LeBron is a student of the game and obviously knows his stuff when it comes to the history of basketball.  He's commonly seen on the sidelines with a book in hand and has also been known to read books in the locker room before games.  Not only does he read sports books such as West by West by Jerry West, but he also dives in to other genres of books such as The Hunger Games, or the Divergent Series.  When asked why he reads books, LeBron said, "Because it strengthens my mind."  When it comes to superstar athletes reading books to improve their ability, he is not alone.  Here are three reasons why you should read more books if you insist on becoming the best you can be at your craft.

[Reading] strengthens my mind.
— LeBron James; 3-time NBA World Champion


It's no secret that the best athletes are able to process and react to various game situations quickly.  They are smart and understand what needs to be done and how it needs to be done.  Science has proven that reading books improves your memory and keeps your mind sharper for longer.  Would you agree that as fatigue sets in & you need to execute the scouting report at the end of a game, you rely on a sharp mind and good memory?  You bet!  Give yourself an advantage over the competition in these areas by reading books regularly.


Every leader knows the importance of relating to people.  Reading books naturally allows you to experience the world from other people's perspectives.  As you create a vision and motivate your teammates to embrace the journey, your ability to empathize with them will determine how far you go.  By reading books, you will develop an understanding of how to build relationships and relate better with your team.


Communication is one of the most essential skills in any sport.  The best players and leaders are also some of the best communicators.  As you read books you will be exposed to a variety of words and in turn, will increase your vocabulary.  You will learn how to construct sentences and thoughts in a powerful and effective manner; a well sought after skill in any position.  If you want to convey a message to your team, on or off the court, your ability to communicate is extremely important.  Reading will naturally improve these skills. 

In conclusion, I ask you this question: 


If you need some help, here are a few recommendations that I would suggest you pick up ASAP!

Toughness by Jay Bilas

Wooden by John Wooden

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Talent is Never Enough by John Maxwell

Training Camp by Jon Gordon

I also have several books that I recommend on the "Bookshelf" on Check it out!

Photos: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBA/Getty Images