Real Leaders

A Former NBA Coach Gives Advice on When to Pivot

PODCAST PEOPLE: A Summary of the Real Leaders Podcast

We all have the superhero power of choice to live this lifestyle through the habits that we build. And it really comes down to just continuing to do it, 1% step after 1% step, day, after day, after day.”

David Nurse is a former professional basketball player and current life optimization coach, worldwide keynote motivational speaker, and bestselling author of Pivot & Go.

The following is a summary of Episode 120 of the Real Leaders Podcast, a conversation with NBA life optimization coach David Nurse. Read or listen to the full conversation below.

Pivot and Go

David shares his journey with basketball and how he pivoted multiple times to finally realize he was meant to be a coach. He explains that failure was a crucial component in forming his career.

“Honestly, rejection, just like we’ve been pivoting terms, is a great thing. Failure is a great thing. Because failure is not only an option of a way you can learn and grow, it is the only way you learn and grow.”

Failure is something David acknowledges as an opportunity for self-assessment. Whether this means addressing internal concerns or acting upon a large-scale call for change like a global pandemic, sometimes the best course of action is to pivot.

“I don’t give up right away, but also see the bigger picture of when you aren’t succeeding in something that you thought was your gift. Most of us don’t assess ourselves. We just do life and just go go go go go, and then 10 years down the road, we don’t know where that time went. Take time, at the end of each day. Take time once a day, per month, and just assess yourself. Where are you at? And you’ll be able to learn a lot about yourself and think like, hey, I’ve been banging my head against this wall and it’s not going. But what are the skill sets that I learned from doing this? Could I use it in a different direction? And then if it coincides with what you’re passionate about, then that’s when you know how to pivot.”

Listen to Episode 120 on Spotify, Anchor, Crowdcast, and Apple Podcasts

Surviving to Thriving

David shares that the difficulties he’s faced on his career journey have become all the more meaningful because they have come to serve a greater purpose. His decision to continually take steps forward has enabled him to help others do the same.

“We are our biggest defenders. Our biggest full-court press is ourselves because we give up when things get tough. Now, if everybody could look at it from this mindset-pivot of thriving over just surviving, that would open huge doors for everyone. Think about a difficult situation that you go through. You can embrace that and you can actually want those to happen. Because you know that somebody else coming along the way will go through that same exact thing and now you can help them through it. So it’s for a much bigger purpose than just yourself. You’re pivoting those difficult situations from just surviving to thriving.”

To affirm this thrive mentality, confidence is required. But David re-defines confidence as something beyond the abstract, something attainable for all of us:

“I like to say confidence isn’t about the results that you get or isn’t about anything the world might say it is. It’s about true self awareness.” 



Find more of David’s insights here:

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