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Here is a challenge:

Would you reject a multi-million job offer and instead choose a place where you can learn more but earn much less?

This is the story of DeMarcus Cousins. His signing with the Golden State Warriors has surprised fans for two main reasons: the amount of money he has turned down (he would earn 8 times more if he stayed in New Orleans) and the voices complaining about the absolute dominance of the Warriors in a league that is already unbalanced.

The choice made by the player has made me think about a few things that we could transfer to our lives:

  • People want to go with those who make good things happen. And sometimes this goes way beyond money incentives. Here the biggest incentive is  the option to transcend, to win titles and be part of a historic team.
  • Wanting to be with the best players shouldn’t be a right but an obligation. The only way to grow is by surrounding yourself with people better than you, with people you can learn from. And success is the most natural way of learning. Having a role model (or several) improves our personal and profesional performance. As a matter of fact, is there anything humbler than moving to a place where you are no longer the star but one more player? Where all you can see around you are people better than you? The bravest decisions are the ones that make us learn and they normally come disguised in fear and lost of comfort.
  • When we have to make a decision, we normally ask ourselves “why?” What if we asked ourselves “why not?” The former invites us to stay in our current position, since we must find good reasons to make that change. The latter, however, invites us to imagine ourselves in the new position and helps us overcome the fear to change, the fear of the unknown. If we ask ourselves these two questions the next time we have to make a decision, we might be surprised with the result.
  • Growth is a survival mechanism. If there is no growth, a company ends up dying. And if there is no personal growth, we won’t die but we will suffer and will become stagnant, which doesn’t look great either. Water is an element of life, but stagnant water is not so much….and it is still water.

Perhaps the most curious part of Cousins’ signing is the way it all happened: as free agency began, Cousins did not receive offers in the first few hours and decided to call the Warriors himself. “I prepared myself for this” he would later say.

“A winning culture and togetherness got us DeMarcus”, Durant said to a reporter via text.

Cousins’ story shows us that when the phone call doesn’t come in, we have to make the call ourselves, the best way to choose our future is to anticipate.

Let’s force ourselves to learn from the best and make those calls and moves.

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