Taking a slightly different perspective in life can change your entire attitude and outlook. After playing professionally overseas, David Nurse pivoted into his new career path and worked his way to being in the Brooklyn Nets shooting coach in 2015 to 2016 season, helping them go from third to lowest three-point shooting to first in the NBA. David is an NBA Performance and Life Coach who has trained over a hundred NBA players on the court, as well as being a mentor and life coach to these players. Today, David joins Thane Marcus Ringler to talk about his book, Pivot & Go, and to share how making perspective shifts can lead to immense changes in your everyday life.
Listen to the podcast here:
David Nurse: Pivot & Go: Making Perspective Shifts On Life
David Nurse, welcome to the show.
Thank you so much for having me on.
We have been scheduling it for a while, so I’m glad it worked here before I hit the road for a new place. I am going to miss this California sunshine. I have to start here, who in your opinion, is the best shooter of all-time?
The best shooter of all time is Steph Curry. His ability to shoot is even better off the dribble than he does off the catch. It is very rare. The things that he’s been doing is not just even his shooting percentages or the record that he set, but he’s literally transcended the game as a shooter. The game is all three points shooting. Before, it used to be all big men. He changed the game. I would like to personally say and biased Kyle Korver since I grew up with Kyle in Pella. He’s a good friend and I’ve trained him, so I’m going to go with Kyle, but overall, Steph Curry. The best form of all time is Klay Thompson. If you’re a kid out there reading and you want to learn how to shoot until you shoot eight trillion shots like Steph Curry, don’t shoot like him, it’s unorthodox, shoot like Klay Thompson.
When you think about shooters of old, is there any way to properly compare Pistol Pete versus Steph? There’s always the argument. It is the same with Michael Jordan versus LeBron. They didn’t play in the same era, so it is hard to compare the greats. It is the same with golf, how would you compare Tiger Woods with Jack Nicklaus? It is pretty hard.
People are always improving. They’re going to be better. If Steph played Pistol Pete, Steph would destroy him, but it’s relevant to what you have, the surroundings, the circumstances and the area you’re in is how you can compare. You can’t compare it together. Even if you compare Jordan to LeBron, it’s such a hard comparison. Jordan is in such a different era. If people had social media when Michael Jordan was playing, it will be a different ball game. People would be thinking that he’s a god, that Nike pretty much created him to be. Everybody’s always improving, optimizing more, but how they do for what era therein should be the definition.
What about you as a shooter? You’ve been known to be a pretty good shooter. You had two Guinness World of Records for the most threes in one minute and five minutes. I saw the video for twenty in one minute. How many attempts did you have at this?
On that one, it was probably five. It wasn’t many attempts. I had a good rebounder who didn’t let it hit the ground and that was the key. The only thing I could do when I was playing was shoot. I’ve shot as many as Steph Curry pretty much. I am just standing and shooting. If I don’t have to move, I’m great. It wasn’t too many takes and I did it as a fun thing to promote some basketball camps that I was doing and then it got caught on and ESPN got a hold of it and put it out there. It’s my claim to fame. I don’t want any Steph or Klay Thompson trying to beat it. Don’t mess with it.Everybody's always improving and optimizing more, but how they do for what era they’re in should be the definition. Click To Tweet
How many were in five minutes?
It was 81 out of 90. That was one take. I didn’t have any energy to do it anymore.
With a name like David Nurse, what were your nicknames growing up?
My only nickname that has ever been is D Nurse. My NBA players call me that like, “I’ve got the question, are you a doctor?” At least four billion times, but that’s the only nickname that I’ve had.
What’s your middle name?
Hopkins, my mother’s maiden name. I should’ve gone by that for a stage name for acting. It’s way cooler.
Did you dabble in the acting?
No, but my wife’s an actress. She’s amazing. I’m steering clear.
One of the nicknames that I’ve found for you was Basketball Gypsy. How would you describe a basketball on gypsy?
When you don’t live at a residence and you live out of an airplane, you travel to 51 countries running basketball camps, sleeping on couches, random people’s houses, airports and car parking lots. Literally, you have a bag of basketballs and you have a mode of transportation, you do camps.
How many years was that your life?
A solid 4.5 to 5 years. It was from when I finished playing over in Spain until I got picked up by the Brooklyn Nets as their shooting coach. It was amazing. Most people would think like, “You didn’t have a house.” I enjoyed it so much. It was a grind, but it was such a fun grind.
What would be a few of those memories that stand out most as you think back on those 4.5 years? Are there any moments that are the most vivid or memorable from that?
I was in Brazil one time and I was pretty sure I was lost in a random city and no one speaks English. I got down on my knees and prayed to God like, “I need you to get me out of here.” Not three minutes later, a guy who didn’t speak any English, who I briefly met earlier on in the day, knew that I loved Açaí and he came and drove five miles and thought I would be at that spot. It’s unbelievable. There have been times that I’ve been all over in Australia. I almost died in China eating a chicken skewer in Tiananmen Square that’s probably an undercooked cat. I had many crazy adventures, but being able to meet many cool people. I have families. I’ll call them families in many countries, South Africa, Australia, Japan, a couple of places in Europe and Brazil. That’s the coolest part about the whole basketball gypsy. You force people to let you sleep on the couch and then you become close with them.
What culture did you experience had the biggest impact on you?
They’re all different, but I probably have to go with Japan. I’ve been there many times and the culture is amazing. The way people care for others. I’m trying to find a train and somebody will give up their spot. They’ll miss their train to walk me 500 yards to find my train. They are caring and kind. It’s an amazing culture of all being together in a community. It’s also interesting because then there’s also things like, they don’t have much of faith or belief, which is something that I’ve been trying to spread while I’m over there. I think it’s had such an impact on me and hopefully, I’ve had an impact on them.
There’s a book I read by Shusaku Endo, it’s called Silence. He is a Japanese author and it’s a fictional novel based on a true story. It’s about a Jesuit priest in 1600 that went over to spread the gospel and evangelize in Japan when it was close. It’s a fascinating and hard book to read for my own faith. It was good questions that it asks about views of, “Is this helpful or not when other people are dying for these priests’ actions and how you deal with that and reconcile?” I can’t recommend it enough, but it is interesting culturally, how a culture views religion or even God and the way they approach that and how that’s spread in America. Krishna is secularized too, so you have a weird blend, but other cultures are different. It is helpful to be able to see our own culture with a clear lens when we’ve been at other places.
It’s cool to see all those differences, but at the core, what I’ve found and I’m sure you have too, everybody knows there’s something more out there. There’s something bigger out there, whether they want to admit it or not. It’s always innate in people.
In a soul level, you can’t quantify as much. The other thing that I was fascinated to find out about you was during the summer that the tournament goes on.
The TBT. It’s unbelievable.When you have two good options to go after, you've got to decipher which one is good and which one is great. Click To Tweet
Tell me about the TBT because I don’t have any idea until I came across it. It’s like, “This is insane but cool.”
The coolest thing is the $2 million winner take all-tournament is set up like the NCAA tournament. ESPN has it on TV and promotes it. Years ago, I got some of my friends’ guys that I’ve trained and worked with, we put together a team, didn’t practice once and rolled all the way to the final game. We’re playing on ESPN for $2 million for one game. We had two in the fourth quarter. I’m not going to say the rest wanted this team to win because they haven’t ever lost a game in TBT, but there might’ve been some sketchy calls. It was such a fun run. The crazy thing is probably because I didn’t have the $2 million in hand, I didn’t feel bad about losing out on it. I felt more upset about the run, the camaraderie, the brotherhood that we created in those weeks. I’m missing out on that but it’s a fun time. In 2019, we made it to the Elite Eight. Probably we weren’t as talented that year and in 2020, we’re putting together something dominant. I was on a call with the other person that I worked with. We’ve got our people and we’re ready.
It’s such a genius idea. It’s been going on for several years. For you, was that your first head coaching experience versus being a shooting coach specifically?
I’d been around head coaches a ton. I know how it works and I can do it given the reigns. It’s not X or O base. You’ve got to have your plays, but it’s how do you motivate players? How do you get them to buy-in? How do you get them all to play together as one? At the core, what I found I was good at. I can juice people up and get them to believe in themselves so much. It’s what I’ve been doing individually for NBA players for a long time. Collectively, when they all have that belief, it was magical. I got calls from agents who represent coaches after that, asking to represent me if I wanted to go into coaching. I don’t think that’s my path as far as coaching back in the NBA, but it was cool.
Your uncle is a coach in the NBA.
He won the title with the Raptors.
What makes you know that it’s not the route for you? What does that inkling for you that you feel called to something else? How do you go about discerning that? When there’s an opportunity we often think, “I could go down this road and there are a crossroads.” We have to make a judgment call of, “Which path am I called to or am I best suited for?” How do you go through with that process?
It is a tough process. I know it sounds like an extreme first world problem to have when you have two good options to go after. At the end of the day, it was like, “I love what I did with individual players.” I’d been on the team side before. I feel more called to going and speaking to large amounts of people and teaching them the same things that I’ve been able to learn from and help NBA players develop their confidence and develop being a better overall total person. The coaching side is great. I love the team part of it, but I felt it’s a little bit too contracted together and that I don’t have the type of freedom or reach that I’m able to have with a much broader audience. There are still days where I watched my guys playing in the games and I’m at a game. I’m like, “I wish I was out there coaching, so the juices get flowing,” There is a saying, “A person who chases two rabbits catches none.” Even though they’re two good options, you’ve got to decipher which one’s good and which one is great.
Let’s go back to the beginning. When was the first time that you picked up a basketball that you remember?
I can’t even remember. Honestly, it’s been always that I have these pictures when I was two years old shooting on my little hoop downstairs. It’s been always in my blood. My uncle played and coach and he’s my role model, who I always followed and always wanted to be like. In a good way, it wasn’t a choice of what sport I was going to play. Basketball was all I did. My mom would vouch for that too. She’d come to the gym and rebound for me until her fingers bled. I had no idea of fingers were bleeding at that time, but come later, she tells me that.
It’s a passion from day one. That is fun to have something, especially as a kid that feeds you. As a parent too, I can imagine that being fun to see your child be into something, passionate and pursuing something because that’s not true in every child. It’s a cool opportunity. What was your childhood like when growing up? Was basketball your be-all-end-all and then everything else was there, or did you play other sports?
No, basketball. I dabbled in some other sports like, “This is pointless.” It was everything. I prepared every day like I was going to play in the NBA. I was convinced. There was no telling me I wasn’t going to play in the NBA. Even when I was in college at a major Division-I school and I can’t dunk a basketball. I’m still thinking I’m going to play in the NBA with another plan. It was all into that and that’s where my whole story of pivoting in the book, Pivot & Go, where I got the basis of that. I got to play overseas in Australia, Greece and Spain, but it wasn’t like when you think overseas professional basketball is more like that Will Ferrell movie, Semi-Pro.
Most of these guys are more interested in the parties after the game or drinking a beer at halftime. I’m playing in this second division Spanish League in the middle of the Basque region of Spain. I get cut from that team. It’s not only that all my life I put into basketball. I get cut from a team that didn’t even care about basketball in a horrible league. It’s the biggest slap in the face you can have. I’ve got nothing for me until I realized that all this stuff that I’ve been putting in to make myself a better player was all to make myself a better coach. I do study films. I do every optimize detail you can do. I pivoted from the player side to the coaching side.
I want to dive into the book more and the whole concept of a pivot in general. You were in Greece, Spain and Australia. How many years did you do the professional circuits over there?
Three in total.The results are going to organically come when you're not pressing and worrying about the wrong things. Click To Tweet
The majority of people that haven’t played sports at a high level don’t realize that it’s not glamorous, not sexy and often not fun. The same as playing golf. We talked Brian Larrabee. He was on the show and he played overseas for several years and basketball as well. Koko Archibong is another guy. These people have the same story for everyone, but what were those three years like for you? Obviously, you were in some sense of living the dream, but in other senses, it was not what people would expect and probably even you at times. How do they grow you as a man?
The first year in Australia, I was excited to be playing what I thought was professional basketball. Still, I was doing lessons and training on the side to make money. Most people had other jobs too, but I loved it. I’d always wanted to travel and I love playing basketball. I saw this as the way to do that. When I went to Greece, it was an opportunity where it’s a good team at a high level and they weren’t paying anybody. The financial crisis over there was a mess. Somebody left and I slipped in as an opportunity. It’s my first time in Europe. I’m looking like, “This is cool. This is another travel opportunity.” The next year in Spain I was like, “If I’m going to do this, I’ve got to be serious. I’ve got to take the next step.” I ended up playing in a small town in Pasaia North Spain, Basque region. They don’t even speak Spanish. They speak Basque. It was miserable. It was horrible. The thought of going to these countries and visiting is amazing. That’s why I go back and run camps where I can be in and out, but the actual living and being part of it. It grew me up as being able to see different cultures and to be able to see that life is much more than a game of basketball. What people do in Australia, Greece and Spain were different. Different people and different cultures and all of the core needing something more.
From what I’ve heard of the story after getting cut in Spain, you end up moving back home with your parents. Tell me about that season and how long it was? What was the process? Going through any transitional life is a major process. I’d love to know you describe the phases of it and how you went through that time and came out on the other side.
It was about four months when I was back at my parents’ place, literally living on the recliner chair in the living room. I felt bad for myself because think about all your goals, dreams and everything that you put every day. I was driven and to turn up the wrong side, it is all gone. For me, that was everything. I didn’t have my camps going anymore. It was tough. I felt bad for myself. My mom always says a lot of motivational stuff. She was doing the dishes one day and I remember it stuck with me. She said, “David, when one door closes, two open.” That was what triggered me thinking, “This door closed, but the two more openings something even better going to happen. It’s even better going to come. I’ve got to have that faith that God has this plan, that he’s doing this on purpose to give me something even better.” It sparked me.
From there on, I created some shooting form basketball from China. They sent him over to the Oakland Seaport. I got in my car, drove 29 hours, stayed on my buddy’s couch in Oakland, picked up these balls in my car with all these other big ships around and then I started driving. I went to every high school or middle school. My first camp was with a seventh-grade middle school girls’ team in Kirksville, Missouri. I had no idea what I was doing. I acted like I had done it many times. From there, it was onto the basketball gypsy of five years of traveling all over. I found a lot of joy and relationships. That’s why I love doing podcasts because relationships are valuable to me. I cold-called every NBA GM. One of them got back to me and he’s one of my best friends. He was at my wedding and it changed my life with that too. I was driven to coach and be a coach in the NBA that the same type of passion that I had for playing translated into coaching. It took me those four months to realize that was my ultimate pivot.
Speaking of your mom, where do you think you got your energy motivation? Was it mainly from her? Did your dad also share that?
They both shared it. They’re both were very supportive. They’d be in the gym with me helping me. They’re always there for me. I guess I got it from them and it’s innate in me too.
Out of your parents and being raised with them, along with that great quote from your mom there, what else stuck with you from your childhood? What else did they leave or implant you within raising you?
They did an amazing job by always being there. Every game that I played, every sports event, they were always there. Even in college, my dad made every single one of my games. It’s four hours away from Kansas City and he’d fly everywhere. They were always there and always loving and never judgmental, just super supportive. I am blessed for that and I’m taking that away when I have kids.
In a sense, I do feel we’ve hit the lottery without having anything to do with it. When you come from a family that is supportive and both parents are together, that is rarer than not now. We don’t get to choose that. It is such a gift and it has such a massive effect and impact on our lives. It’s super humbling to think about and realize, and I feel grateful in the same way. We get to say like, “I’ve been given this gift, how am I going to use it?” It can give us a little motivation we need for our entire lives. In the process of the pivot, you processed this pivot a lot more with your book and with helping others through that too. What have you come to realize the nature of pivots? What are the things that every person experiences or goes through in light of making a pivot? It is going to be part of every single person’s life in some measure or facet. Talk to us more about the idea and the concept of pivots and why. I feel like as humans, we’re probably all opposed to pivots.
Initially, we are because a pivot is going to change, but it’s not a daunting change. At the core, it’s a perspective shift. It’s looking at things from a slightly different perspective, a small turn on it that can change your entire perspective. It’s exactly what I had to do. I looked at all that I put in at a little different perspective and it changed everything. We all go through times, even daily, where we feel stuck in a situation and we feel that we can’t get out. When people come out of college, they feel that they’re going to take over the world and they’re 32. They’re in a job that they hate and they don’t feel like they can get out or relationship that they can’t get out, but you always can. It’s looking at things from a slightly different perspective. I do a lot with having sane or what I call my mindset pivots that can remind you of those types of things. The daily find over the daily grind. Enjoying the daily grind, looking at everything as an opportunity. It’s not looking at anything as, “It’s me,” but it’s an opportunity. It’s looking at any situation as a blessing, any difficult situation as a blessing because you get to help somebody else that’s going to go through that similar situation at some point in life. You’ve gone through it and you can help them.
How do you fill your cup with positivity all the time? Not in a cheesy way, but in a genuine, authentic way by looking at things from a slightly different perspective. I’m huge about going against the grain and redefining terms. I love it when people think outside the box and don’t go with the norm. The terms success or failure, what do that mean? It’s a word that somebody created to have a connotation that when our minds think about it, our subconscious is already drawn to what we’ve heard it means. What if a failure doesn’t have to mean like, “You suck, you failed or you’re done?” It could mean something as an opportunity that you’re going to grow even better and bigger than you could ever imagine. What if you looked at failure? You didn’t fail but you’re going to be even farther greater than you could have ever been because you went through this. It changes the game.
What would you say is the pivot for that shift in perspective that you have to use the most for yourself in life?
Probably the pivot that I’m going through now from strictly being based NBA-wise, coaching NBA players and basketball-wise to seeing myself in a light as a speaker, as a motivational teacher. That’s probably the biggest pivot that I have to go through. I know it’s a process and I’ve been blessed with some great gigs and events that are coming, but I always want more and more. Everything basketball is easy for me. It’s been there. It’s in my blood. It’s taking a risk. It’s taking a chance. As you did, it is writing a book too, and going through that similar type of pivot. People want to label you something and it’s tough to get out of that label unless you don’t care what anybody else labels you and you speak into existence what you’re going to do. That’s probably my biggest pivot that I’m going through.
It reminds me of the common thing that Jesus always said that a prophet isn’t known in his hometown. I think that’s such a true human nature, a lens into human nature that the people that knew us in a certain season of life will often always view us as that season. It’s not right or wrong. It’s the reality of our perspective. We do the same for other people. I love the quote by Alan Watts, who said, “You are under no obligation to be the same person you were five seconds ago.” That’s such a beautiful quote because we’re all like, “I’ve got to be this person or whatever I was.” It’s like, “No, you don’t have to be who you were five seconds ago. You get to be who you want yourself and who you need yourself to be.”
That is the same as true because I was this for a season in life doesn’t mean I’m going to be that the rest of my life. I think traveling is something that most people have experienced, especially when you travel overseas. One thing I’ve always thought about is when you go overseas and you have a trip at least a week or two in length, if not longer, that experience has changed you. You come back and you’re changed, but no one else thinks you’ve changed because they don’t see that. There’s this weird tension of like, “I’m different,” but everyone’s like, “You’re the same.” It is a funny process.
That’s why I never went back to my old college or old high school because people are stuck in that mode and they’re afraid to change. They’re afraid to think anybody else changes.We want outcome because we want people to tell us we're doing something good. Click To Tweet
The hard part is we all think our way is the best. At the end of the day, that’s great for some people. It wasn’t great for me and you. For other people, it isn’t. We haven’t been given different talents in that sense and that doesn’t mean one’s better or worse. It’s different. It’s a reminder that we think our way is best, but so does everyone else. Regarding the perspective shifts, which out of those perspective shifts that you help others with that you include in your book, which has been most helpful for you in this season of life? I remember you mentioned another one about shooting slump versus shooting hippopotamus.
That’s one of my words. I told you I was big on redefining and I have seven keys to unlocking your unshakable confidence that I’ll go through with NBA players. Seven different ways that altogether makeup how you can have complete confidence in yourself. One of them is redefining terms. For basketball players, there’s a lot of terms that have already been built-in people’s brains that they think are bad. For example, I’ll ask them when was their last shooting slump. They’ll say this time when they missed a bunch of shots and felt horrible. I was like, “What if I asked you, when was your last shooting hippopotamus?” They’ll laugh. It’s a word that people have created in our brains, our subconscious already has a negative tie to it. We don’t judge results the same way as everybody else. I never look at stats or field goal percentages. With players, are you getting the shots that are good for you? I don’t care if they go in or not, but if you get them over time, you trust in the process that you’ve put in. You trust in all the work and preparing for the opportunity that you put in that it’s going to happen. Those results are going to organically come when you’re not pressing and worrying about the wrong things.
The thing that I still have to remind myself the most consistently is the outcome is less important than the process. That’s probably going to be for most of my life. I constantly have to be reminding myself that because it is easy to get sucked into outcomes, results, stats and numbers. I’m curious, what helps you embrace or stay in the process more even for yourself?
That’s the hardest thing and it’s going to be a struggle for everybody. We want outcome because we want people to tell us we’re doing something good. We want to feel important. That’s the whole thing of social media. That’s why people check their Instagram 80 times a day because they want to see those likes. They want to see what they’re doing is producing the results. It’s tough not to get on that, but at the end of the day it’s, “Do you enjoy what you’re doing regardless if you get those results?” If you can honestly say that you wake up and you’re excited about what you’re doing and it’s not driven by what others are going to say about you, then you’re doing the right thing.
It’s an ongoing struggle. I think the biggest way that helped myself get out of that struggle because I battle with it too, is every time I open a handle, I’ll say the word, serve. I’m big on cue words and my word is serve. When I opened that door, I’m automatically putting myself in the mindset of, “I’m going to try to serve somebody in this room. I’m going to detach my own needs from it.” I used to get caught up in like, “I got to meet this person. I got to connect with this person because that’s going to lead to this and this.” I’m like, “God’s going to take care of it.” If I go in the mindset of serving, it’s going to happen organically. Being able to take the pressure off me and pour it into others, it helps a lot with not worrying about the outcome.
It’s huge to be present. It’s such a battle, especially in a place like LA. LA is predominantly and preeminently known for the opposite of that. What’s great is that God unlocks in us the ability to be a redemptive force of light in a place like this. It’s such a cool opportunity. Caring about someone and not about what they can give you is noble. It’s refreshing to be able to be a part of and to feel inexperienced on the other end. Do you ever do word of the year?
Yes. We do word of the month with a good friend of mine and my family.
Do you have a word for 2020 yet?
We don’t. We’ll do a word of the month and then you’ll find a Bible verse that correlates with it. The concept is you’ll have twelve words at the end of the year and twelve Bible verses memorized.
My sister got me onto the word of the year about several years ago. One of the years was love and that was what started me on that priming when I’m going to be with people, telling myself or praying even beforehand, like, “Help me love these people well and serve them well.” It’s not about me, what I need or what I can get. I can show up for them, be present, love them and support them. It’s a habit. I love the priming yourself when it’s needed, but a word of the month is a great idea.
It is a habit. That’s a great point. These things that you do. I love everyone that talks about all the things to do and the great things that people conserve. At the end of the day, how do you do it? You got to give people actionable steps of how to do it. I love that what you are saying, you’re thinking and you are priming. I tell people to have cue words. What word or saying is going to bring you back to level? When things are bad or when things are good? What can you say in your mind that’s going to be like, “Things are okay, it’s under control?” Giving people actionable steps like that, the ‘how’ is important. People get caught up in the ‘why.’ The passion and the idea’s amazing, but how do you implement it?
Stacking the deck in your favor is a great way to do that too. When I was playing golf, I needed to become clear and tougher mentally. I was wanting to use Headspace and incorporate a practice of mindfulness and meditation into my daily training, but I couldn’t justify it. I thought it was a waste of time. The only way I could get myself to do it was by when I got to the golf course. I wouldn’t get out of my vehicle until I did a meditation. That was the trigger. I was like, “You make a rule, you will not get your vehicle until you do this. You can spare ten minutes.” I had to find a way to do it. The how is important. It’s doesn’t have to be the same how for everyone, it needs to be the best how for you. A big update in your life was when you stepped into a new season as a married man. Talk to me about these first six months going into marriage, your expectations and then what the six months taught you or changed your perspective on.
Married life is better than I could have even imagined. With my wife, God blessed me so much. I never thought there was such thing as having the perfect or the dream girl for you or when you know, you know. She hits every single one of those boxes. Everything I’m going to say will sound cliché. The honeymoon stage never ends. We went on our second honeymoon because it doesn’t end. If you unconditionally love each other, you unconditionally love each other more and more every day. That’s the relationship that we have and it’s amazing. Even asking me that question, I get juiced up. I know I get to hang out with her. We’re going on a date night and I am excited. We love being around each other. We love each other’s company. If you’re going to find somebody, that’s what you’re going to have to have because you’ve got to be around for the rest of your life.
How has it changed you already?
It’s changed me and even more so putting somebody else first. Even though I knew that going in, I’m great at doing life by myself, traveling all over the place. I was a master at it, but doing life with somebody else, it’s helped me to see that I got to put her first in everything. I love doing it. It has grown me in that to help with even serving others to an even deeper and real level.
I am a little bit shorter in tenure so far in relationship experience, but it’s the same thing. I was great at being a single man, but putting someone else before yourself, it’s practice. It’s a great adjustment and it takes time. How has marriage impacted your relationship with God?
It brought me even closer. We have got at the head of our triangle and every decision we make is based on what is best for God. She’s an actress and there are a lot of things that she gets thrown her way, but we talk about it. She knows that whatever is going to glorify God the most, she’s going to take. It’s the same thing as me. She’ll be reminded me when I get caught up in trying to grow the business or players or the travel, that’s the core of it. We pray together every morning and every night. We have our Bible readings and analyze them together. Our devotions are better. It’s always better in the community, but having your best friend right there with the same beliefs and strengthen you is beautiful.
What is the thing that you’re learning the most or that God’s teaching the most about him or about faith?
It’s having more real conversations about Christ. Giving up my time and giving up my schedule and thinking that I can’t step out of the moment and give 30 minutes to somebody who needs Christ. I still struggle with it. I’m on a schedule and I want to get this done and that done, but opening up to more people, whether for better or for worse, talking about Christ. I’m not afraid to talk about it, but it’s doing it and no one wants to do it. You’re going to be in the trenches to talk about it for a while and spreading Him more.
I know that the good Samaritan is always the parable that speaks that so much because it is the thing that keeps us from being what Jesus was and calls us to be is an inconvenience, especially in America. I am committed and focused on accomplishing the goals, the schedules and the tasks that you miss the people in front of you. Every day, I’m the victim by it. It’s the battle of inconvenience. This may be an inconvenience and that’s okay. It’s hard. It’s humbling to see in ourselves. To speak towards entrepreneurship a little bit, what is a unique struggle of entrepreneurship as you’ve experienced it versus going the more traditional employment route?
It’s when you turn it off. It’s when you’re passionate about something and you want to keep going. My biggest thing is the full plate mentality. God’s going to give you a full plate. Everything that’s going to get done for that day you have in front of you, whether you think you’re going to get more done or not, you have to be content with what you got done. You have to be able to shut it off. It can consume you for sure. There’s an issue with people overworking. I feel it myself too. I feel that thing that I got to do more. The hardest thing about it is it’s beautiful and it’s also tough. You create your own schedule, you get to work as much as you want, but you also have to set your own structure.
I’ve heard in an interview you are on and you mentioned practicing the Sabbath and being an integral part of that. I can relate to that, but it’s something that many people, especially in America, struggle and hardly ever think about. Even as Christians, the practice of the Sabbath or even the practice of fasting are often discarded for all these other things that were more easily accepting of. How long have you been intentionally practicing Sabbath and what impact does that have on your life?
Probably intentionally practicing it is about a few months. Knowing that I should be practicing it a lot longer. It’s one of the Ten Commandments that people will shove under the rug and be like, “You’re not working seven days a week.” It’s unbelievable. Still, someday I’ll have to do it. I want it to be Sundays, but some days I’ll have to travel or do a camp or something and try to do another day. When you do, you get to look forward to that thing like a one day holiday every week. Shut everything off and recharge. Every time I do it, I come back with more energy. What I could do in seven days, I’m going to get done more in six days because I have that freshness, rejuvenation and it’s beautiful to be able to spend time with my wife and spend time praising God.Everything you do is a preparation for an opportunity to come. You need to be relentlessly consistent in your preparation. Click To Tweet
It’s been a huge game-changer and shift for me too. I wrote a blog post called, I Wrote This on My Sabbath, because it’s such an important thing. What brings you the most joy?
God, my relationship with Christ, my wife. I’m blessed so much. I got to do what I want to do on my own schedule. I got a lot of joy. Even if I wasn’t doing that, I would because I have my wife and I have Christ.
Imagining yourself at 50, what advice do you think you’d give to yourself?
For sure it would be, “Don’t worry about it. It’s all going to work out. You’re going to have a ton of talks and speaking all over. It’s going to happen. Don’t stress about it. Enjoy the time you got.”
Do you think that would be similar to the advice you would have given yourself when you started with the camps?
Yes. I know it’s cliché but it’s everybody’s advice to their younger self.
Life repeats itself. It’s just bigger versions of it. What book or books have had the biggest impact on you?
Probably my favorite book is Essentialism by Greg McKeown. It shows how to say no. Literally, we’re going to have many good opportunities. The enemy of great is not evil, it’s good. There are many and how do you say no to them. That book was powerful for me. The Shack was powerful for me too. I loved it and seeing how Jesus is real in life with you every day. Those are probably the two biggest ones and that Pivot & Go book that I wrote.
When is the release date?
It’s on presale and the official release date all over the place, stores, and all that good stuff is June 2nd, 2020.
If you had to put words around the experience or process of writing, how would you describe it? I know a lot of people have the desire to write a book at some point in their lives, but it’s scary, daunting, hard and feels like a mountain that you can’t climb.
Only if you think it’s a mountain you can’t climb. Honestly, I looked at it as a workout. Every day, I block off an hour a day and I’m going to write. I’d do it on a walking treadmill and I’d write if I wrote two words or if I wrote two pages. That was my hour and I was doing it consistently. One of the big terms that I always talk about is relentless consistency. I’m going to be consistent. The writing process was super fun. It took about six months to do, but I’d never looked at it like, “This is my timeline that I have to get done.” The editing process and the patience until it comes out, that’s another story.
What is a belief that you formally held that you no longer believed to be true?
I believe that I have to make everything happen for myself. The more that I see it is when I give up full control and I was like, “God, it’s got to be you that it happens.” I’m going to keep struggling with that, but that is definitely one.
What question do you ask yourself the most?
“What should I be doing? How can I get the most out of my day?” I’ll write down what my goals are for the next day at night and then in the morning, I’ll review them and I’m like, “What do I have to get done so I can feel like I have a sense of accomplishment and have a good pace in my life?”
That’s such a hard thing that often doesn’t get spoken to. I experienced that a lot because a lot of the things I was working on don’t have tangible things to be achieved. You’re feeling like you spent all day working and there’s nothing to show for it. Technically speaking, you feel miserable. It’s a hard thing that most entrepreneurs face. The last question we ask every guest is if you could send a morning text reminder to every Up and Comer out there, what short message would you send?
I would say everything you do is a preparation for an opportunity to come. You need to be relentlessly consistent in your preparation. Your time is going to come, but you have to put in the legwork. If you’re a young Up and Comer, it’s not going to happen overnight. It takes ten years to become an overnight success, given from my uncle winning the NBA championship. He’s been coaching for 27 years. His first head coaching job in the NBA, people thought it was an overnight success. Nothing’s going to happen soon, but if you’re preparing every single day like it is your day, then when that opportunity happens and strikes, you’re going to take it and blow it out of the water and you’re ready for it.
What is a great place for people to find about Pivot & Go and find out about your podcast or your work that you’re doing and the coaching side?
Thanks so much. I’m excited about the book coming out and what God has in store for you. Thanks for taking the time to share them.
I appreciate it. I’m excited for you and your new Up and Coming life.
Until next time.
- David Nurse
- iTunes – The Up And Comers Show
- @UpAndComersShow – Facebook
- Patreon – The Up And Comers Show
- Pivot & Go
- @DavidNurse5 – Instagram
- @DavidNurseBBall – Twitter
- DNABasketball – Facebook
- Pivot & Go on Amazon
- I Wrote This On My Sabbath – Thane’s blog post
- The Shack
- 1% Podcast
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