5 Life Lessons We Can Learn From LeBron James

It’s hard to talk about the NBA these days without LeBron James being brought up in the conversation.  His talent as an athlete alone is enough to keep fans and social media outlets talking about him for days, but his skill on the court is not the only thing James keeps people talking about. 

Along with his position as a national, even worldwide athletic celebrity, James is also recognized as being a leading example of charitable work, humanitarian efforts, education advocacy, and family values.  Here are five life lessons we can all afford to learn from LeBron James.

1. Take the time to help others.   

Whether you volunteer at a soup kitchen and help feed the homeless, give a portion of your paycheck to a charitable organization, or donate blood to hospitals or the American Red Cross, a good deed never goes unappreciated, whether it comes from a celebrity or not.  LeBron James does not hesitate to utilize his celebrity status to give back and help others, whether through one of his many educational programs, supporting the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, or just turning up in Akron to support his hometown.

Many of us obviously do not find ourselves in as comfortable a financial position as James, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t follow his example.  Try donating some of your time to a local church or charitable organization, or volunteer for local events and fundraisers.  You can even do something as simple as raking your neighbor’s yard or shoveling their driveway when the snow comes.  If all you can do is put a smile on someone’s face, you have done wonders.      

2. Family is extremely important.

Despite his celebrity status and demanding schedule, LeBron James never fails to forget his family roots and values.  Often times he can be seen in public with his wife and children, spending time together and getting involved in his kids’ lives.  We often forget how important it is to have family in our lives and to spend time with them and not worry so much about money and politics. 

Spend some time with your loved ones; talk to them about their life or do some volunteer work together.  If you live far from home then be sure to call on occasion, and if you are a parent, get involved in your children’s lives: volunteer at school functions or help them with their upcoming sports game or musical recital.  Your family will always be there to support you, so be sure to support them. 

3. Follow your dreams.

LeBron James is one of the modern day American success stories, and the reason is because of his drive to achieve his goals and escape from the life of poverty and hardship he experienced growing up in the economically doomed Rust Belt region that was once a powerhouse of American industry.  That same drive is what compels him to be the public role model that his work and celebrity have made him today. 

Through organizations like the LeBron James Family Foundation, LeBron has also been able to reach and inspire young students across the country to do well in school and to chase their dreams as he, himself, has done.  The American Dream can still be reached by anyone who truly has the desire, and the courage, to reach it.  Don’t let someone tell you that you can’t accomplish something; anything is possible if you set your mind to it.  Give yourself some personal and career goals and follow them until you too have chased your dream. 

4. Never give up on furthering your education. 

On top of being a personal role model and a celebrity, LeBron James has made encouraging students and adults, alike, to further their educations one of his top priorities.  His foundations dedicated to education include the Wheels For Education and I Promise programs, which have enrolled over 1,000 students in grades three and up in his hometown of Akron, and has set aside scholarships to the University of Akron for those who graduate high school. 

A new extension of the I Promise program, called I Promise Too, is now also working to help adults in Akron attain their GED.  Parents of students enrolled in the I Promise program can now receive classes and funding to acquire their GED, the goal being that parents can become closer and more involved with their children’s education.

Education is something that should be accessible to anybody in any situation, not something that you need to ruin your credit and acquire tones of debt to achieve.  LeBron James is working towards that goal, and so should we.  If you are a parent encourage your kids and take an interest in their educational activities, and if you are a student, take pride in your education and value learning. 

5. Give back to your local community.

When LeBron announced that he would be leaving Cleveland to go and play for the Miami Heat in 2010, he received a lot of criticism and backlash from people in his native city, and from fans and news reporters alike.  But LeBron never forgot his hometown in Akron, and despite their crucifixion of his time at Miami, he has constantly returned (and now is back altogether) to Akron to donate his time and money to his hometown.  Our family and our community help to shape us into the people that we grow up to be.  Akron has played a profound role in inspiring LeBron James to be the person that he is today, and now he spends a great amount of his time giving back to Akron. 

Giving back to our community not only helps us gain perspective and build character, but it also makes for a better environment for our children and their generation, providing them with a solid foundation and the means to do great things in life.  Even if you are no longer in your hometown, go out and get involved in your local community.  Volunteer for local festivals and charities or get involved in a group at your place of worship.  If we can follow LeBron’s example, there is no telling where the possibilities can lead us.