Since becoming a parent, I’ve realized that, to a certain degree, each and every one of us is hardwired at birth. Born with certain tendencies. My son and daughter have different wiring, different ways about doing things, even though they were raised in the same house. But no matter your hardwiring, there’s an equation to living that will help you in following your hopes and dreams, practice plus a whole lot of heart and hustle.

If, for example, your dream is to make the varsity basketball team for your school, you’ve got to put the work in, practice. Get up early, or stay up late, and go to the YMCA or the closest park to shoot and work on your ball handling, expand your knowledge and go to camps or ask your coach for help, go to open gyms and consider select team options, put in the work. If you want to write a book, write, take classes, read books, put in the work. If you want to learn a language, take lessons and practice, put in the work. You get the idea.

And then there is Heart and Hustle. These make all the difference in the world when you’re on the basketball court. Playing with heart means pushing yourself to be your best, as well as inspiring your teammates. Playing with heart moves you to go above and beyond, to fill the lane every time down the court, to trap like the Tasmanian Devil, to dive after loose balls. Heart and hustle will get you through the good and bad of each and every practice. If you play with heart, win or loose, you will leave a game with no regrets. Don’t get me wrong, you may have wanted to play better, to have done a few things differently, you should have wanted to win the game, but if you have “left it all on the court”, played with all your heart, there should be no regrets, only thoughts on how to prepare for the next game. And you go back to the start…more practice.

When you are chasing dreams in life, dive in with all your heart. “How do I do that?” You ask. “Where do I find Heart?” It’s in each and every one of us. It’s not always easy to find, but it’s there. Close your eyes, breath deeply and ask yourself what’s important to you and allow yourself some time to answer. When you find that answer, when you’ve found that which is important to YOU, you have found the path to your heart and you will have extra strength and energy within you to follow your dreams.