The tao of_olajuwon


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Hakeem Olajuwon, the retired Nigerian American professional basketball player, is the oracle for all wisdom, strength, integrity and growth. At a crossroads in life, love, career or identity? Hakeem has the answer. Look beyond the NCAA/NBA records, rebounding prowess and innumerable hoops-related accolades to discover the Tao of the Gentle Giant.

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  • Good evening, as stated earlier, I'm Meghan.   Brace yourselves.  I'm gonna teach you 'The Tao of Olajuwon.'  It's a sacred sect derived from NBA-fandom, founded by yours truly.   Hopefully by the end of tonight I will have recruited the roomful.  
  • Here's the pathway for our journey. As you can see, the Tao has been corrupted by many opportunistic shamen.   You think social media 'experts' are bad?   Try maintaining the integrity of the tao
  • There are some basics to cover before we dive into improving your love life & getting you a promotion. Allow me to introduce you to the godhead capable of answering all your personal dilemmas - Hakeem the Dream Olajuwon.
  • Hakeem's best known for his 2x NBA Championship winning leadership on the Houston Rockets. But his wisdom, achievements & poise span far beyond 1994-95 I could rhyme off some really impressive statistics & facts to correspond with this slide.   You know how to use  Wikipedia?  You trust me? Let's move on, then.
  • Admit that I don't have a lot in common with the man, we've never met & our moment of legalese - this is no way reflects Mr. Olajuwon's personal beliefs & that he in no way endorses my proselytization 
  • So why Hakeem?   Why now?   Why you? Well, as you know, basketball is the bling-ingest sport.   It's got the most bravado, ridiculous characters & over the top salaries & endorsements, as the recent LeBron James fiasco demonstrates
  • For the most talented star to stay sane in this ridiculous environment - speaks volumes to their integrity & should teach us something Not only is ball insane 1994 was crazier - NAFTA, Zapatistas at war, Mandela inaugurated as 1st black S/African president, OJ killed his wife & Nancy Kerrigan got whacked!
  • This goes beyond 1994, tho - lot of folks ask me about my faith & when i practice it. Like Hakeem - who fasted for Ramadan DURING the championships, there is no time when you SHOULDN'T be practising the tao of Olajuwon 2 examples - when you're at a stock photography shoot or burglarizing a WASPy family
  • Let's distill this into four actionable lessons from the man himself: • trust your gut. • bling is for chumps. • shake it off. • prioritize. Shall we probe?  We'll do map a Hakeem parable for each lesson
  • 1983 he won the 1st & only NCAA Player of the Year award for a player on a losing-team- the Houston Cougars He played college ball for another year & had to decide whether he'd stay in college or declare early for the NBA draft.   Turns out that 84 was the last year that 1st pick was decided  by a coin flip - & he said this.   He just knew.  
  • What does this mean to you? -  Don't worry if you're on a losing team for now - that'll change -  Don't get mentally stuck in arbitrary timelines - when it feels right join/leave/change -  If you're really good you'll be scooped before the Jordans, Barkleys & Stocktons of your time
  • Devout Muslim, humble, fluent in English, French, Arabic, Yoruba & Ekiti Earned over $99M in salary in 18 yr NBA career  He should be blinging bigger than Biggie, right?  Wrong. He endorsed this shoe by Spalding - retailed for $35 - one of the FEW players in any pro sport to not go w/ the high profile brands.  Why?
  • What does this mean for you? -  disregard pricetags -  don't endorse items/practices that don't align with your values -  titling your bio 'Living the Dream' is a supremely badass publishing move
  • The 'Dream Shake' is Hakeem's trademark move that consistently demonstrated his speed, power & most importantly CONTROL.   He traced this fake+spin combo back to his childhood spent playing soccer in Nigeria Dream shake is the apex of footwork among 'big men' & was lauded by every one of his peers/coaches/press/fans
  • What does this mean for you? - If it works, keep doing it.  That's the difference between 'cliched' & 'trademark.' - People are easily distracted.  Misdirect them purposefully when necessary. - Being 'unguardable' is hard work.  Pays off, tho.
  • He wasn't always the most zen player of all time - in college he talked smack to refs, had fights with other players & racked up technical fouls. Then something just snapped - he became a devout Muslim, changed his name to the Arabic spelling of 'Hakeem' w/ an 'H' & read the Qur'an every day During Ramadan he strictly observed abstention from food/drink during daylight - & in February of 1995 he still won Player of the Month
  • What does this mean to you? -  faith shapes work, work doesn't shape faith. - rise above petty fights with authority figures. - faith/discipline is a work in progress 
  • Some other nuggets of wisdom that didn't make it into the 4-pillars of the tao -  traded to toronto = kiss of death - invest in real estate - hakeem made even more millions as a property-flipping magnate in Houston - teach your daughters how to  play ball -  - seek out mentors.  be a mentor.  In 2006 - he opened Big Man Camp to teach footwork/repertoire; taught Yao Ming, as much as I hate to say this LA Lakers' Kobe
  • The tao of_olajuwon

    1. 1. the tao of olajuwon gentle giant-sized spiritual growth & business acumen meghan warby : @withoutayard
    2. 2. our journey <ul><ul><li>who  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>why </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>when </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>what </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>lessons 1-4 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>misc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>beverages </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. hakeem who?
    4. 4. hakeem who?
    5. 5. hakeem who? <ul><li>center                      point guard </li></ul><ul><li>january 21, 1963            september 19, 1980 </li></ul><ul><li>lagos, nigeria              parry sound, ontario </li></ul><ul><li>7 ft 0 in                   5 ft 2 in </li></ul><ul><li>255 lb                      none of your business </li></ul><ul><li>university of houston       university of toronto </li></ul><ul><li>pro career 1984–2002        pro career 2004-tbd </li></ul><ul><li>houston rockets (84-01)     austin music fndn(04-05) </li></ul><ul><li>toronto raptors (2001-02)   urban outfitters (05) </li></ul><ul><li>2× nba champion (1994-95)   eats a lot of cupcakes </li></ul><ul><li>nba mvp (1994) </li></ul><ul><li>12× all-star (1985-90,92-97) </li></ul><ul><li>2× finals mvp (1994-1995) </li></ul><ul><li>50th anniv. all-time team </li></ul><ul><li>basketball hall of famer </li></ul>
    6. 6. hakeem why?
    7. 7. hakeem when?
    8. 8. hakeem when?
    9. 9. hakeem what? the tao. <ul><ul><li>trust your gut. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>bling is for chumps. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>shake it off. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>prioritize. </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. lesson one &quot;i really believed that houston was going to win the coin flip and pick the number 1 draft choice, and I really wanted to play in houston so i had to make that decision.&quot;
    11. 11. trust your gut. <ul><ul><li>losing team? you'll still stand out. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ignore arbitrary timelines. join/leave/change. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>every year has its jordans, barkleys & stocktons.  do your thing. </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. lesson two  &quot;how can a poor working mother with three boys buy nikes or reeboks that cost $120? she can't. so kids steal these shoes from stores and from other kids. sometimes they kill for them.&quot;
    13. 13. bling is for chumps. <ul><ul><li>disregard pricetags. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>doesn't align with values? don't endorse it. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>'living the dream' = badass bio title. </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. lesson three  &quot;when you get to that level, it's not a matter of talent anymore - because all the players are so talented - it's about preparation, about playing smart and making good decisions.&quot;
    15. 15. shake it off. <ul><ul><li>if it works, keep doing it.   </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>people are easily distracted.   </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>being 'unguardable' is hard work.   </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. lesson four  &quot;i studied the qur'an every day...was soaking up the faith and learning new meanings each time i turned a page. i didn't dabble in the faith, i gave myself over to it.&quot;
    17. 17. prioritize. <ul><ul><li>faith shapes work, work doesn't shape faith. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>rise above petty fights with authority figures. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>faith is a work in progress. make time for it. </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. misc. hakeemery <ul><ul><li>traded to toronto = kiss of death. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>invest in real estate. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>teach your daughters how to play ball. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>seek out mentors.  be a mentor. </li></ul></ul>
    19. 19. honour hakeem. <ul><ul><li>trust your gut. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>bling is for chumps. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>shake it off. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>prioritize. </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. check it. <ul><ul><li>dreamshake pwnage: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>hakeem top 10: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>lame website: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>banal tweets:  @withoutayard </li></ul></ul>