When Kobe Byrant took off in his helicopter from downtown Los Angeles on January 26th, he was a 5 time NBA champion. He was a 2x Finals MVP. He was a 2x Olympic Gold Medalist. He had won an Emmy and was a New York Times bestselling author. He had earned hundreds of millions of dollars in his career and raised a venture capital fund of more than $100 million, with stakes in companies like Cholula Hot Sauce and Alibaba.
Yet it goes without saying that he would have traded all of those incredible accomplishments, if he had been lucky enough to be offered the choice, for just one more day as a dad to his four girls. And you, whatever accomplishments you have piled up in your life, would do the exact same thing.
We know this. If asked, we would say it. Yet…yet…yet…look at our choices. You’d give up so much for one more bedtime with your kids, and here you are, on your phone while they’re in the bath. No amount of money could compensate you for one more morning with them, and here you are, grouchy because it’s early, put out because you’re sitting in traffic as you drive them to school. You’re away from home, chasing a business deal. You’re preoccupied with email. You’re thinking about whether the grass is greener on the other side of the marriage fence. You’re planning that trip with friends.
You have, right now, in your grasp the thing that Kobe Bryant, that Stuart Scott, that John F. Kennedy would have traded the Sports Center desk for, traded the presidency for, traded all their trophies for. Do.not.waste.it. Do not take it for granted. Do not trade it away for nothing.