MOTIVATION & INSPIRATION
By Deion Sanders with Tejado W. Hanchell, Ph. D
Every year on the 3rd Monday in January most of our nation pauses to celebrate the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This year, “MLK Day” fell on January 21st (which is why our blog is coming out on the 22nd). In addition to celebrating Dr. King’s life, the nation and the world also watched as our 44th president, Barack Obama, was sworn in for his second term as leader of our nation (whether you like it or not). Regardless of your politics, it cannot be lost on any of us that 44 years after Dr. King’s death, our country re-elected a black man as its 44th president. As an African-America, I’m proud, but as a man, my desire is that our president is not known for his ethnicity but for his ethics. Like Spike Lee said, I just want our elected officials to “do the right thing!”
Dr. King’s most famous speech was his “I Have a Dream” speech that he delivered in 1963. Now fifty years later, his dream is still becoming a reality. What that tells me is that the passage of time is not strong enough to stop a dream. In fact, Dr. King’s passing/assassination was not enough to stop his dream. When your dream is powerful enough – it can outlive you. (Feel me on that, please.)
I said during my acceptance speech into the Pro Football Hall of Fame that “you can’t give up on your dream.” I believe in dreams. As a matter of fact, I’m still dreaming now. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t have a dream. However, like I also said in Canton, the problem with some of our dreams is that the dream is only about us. “If your dream isn’t bigger than you…there’s something wrong with your dream.”
If you’re going to dream (asleep or awake) – you might as well dream BIG! And, I don’t know who this is for, but some of you have given up on your dreams because you felt like your opportunities have passed you by. Listen to me, it’s never too late to start over. It’s never too late for a fresh start. It’s time for you to dust off those old dreams. This is a new year, you have a brand new opportunity to make something of your dream. 2013 is yours baby! Believe it!
Please understand that there’s a difference between a dream and a want. A dream doesn’t come from you. No one goes to bed at night and tells themselves what they’re going to dream. A dream is god-given, but you have to make it happen – not your mama, not your teacher, your boss, not anyone else, but you! Contrary to popular belief, dreams don’t just come true. You have to make them come true. In other words, you have to DO something. DREAM big…but DO bigger! A dream without action…is a fantasy. Dr. King had a dream, but he had to get out and organize and march. Like, Joseph in the Bible, he was persecuted because of his dream. Your dream will make other people uncomfortable. People don’t like a dreamer because they want everybody to be mediocre like them.
When I told people I had a dream to play professional football AND professional baseball, they ridiculed me, but I was not going to let them stop my dream. They only saw the FRUIT of my dream, which was baseball and football, but the ROOT of it was making sure my mama didn’t have to work another day in her life. Don’t let anybody who is not in your dream, stop your dream. Your dream is too big to be stopped! Why would you believe a hater, when your hater has a hater? Why would you believe your critic, when your critic has a critic? You may have been waiting a long time, and your dream may seem like it’s turned into a nightmare, but don’t give up on your dream! Hold on to your dream, and make something happen!
I have NEVER stopped dreaming. My dream now is to educate kids and make sure they get to and through college. We started the TRUTH Organization and Prime Prep Academy to use education and sports to build healthy, well-rounded, respectful individuals. I’ve been attacked for my dream, and people have even questioned my integrity. But I don’t let the naysayers have a say in my dream…because my dream is not about them. My dream is about these kids. Your dream will always attract detractors, but don’t let the detractors distract you from your dream. (I just said a mouthful right there!)
The most important thing you can do for your dream is to believe in it and believe in yourself (YOU’VE GOT TO BELIEVE). Belief is like oxygen to your dreams. When you start believing…your dream will start breathing. Stop choking your dreams with unbelief! You can do all things, not some things, not most things…that’s ALL things! The only thing you can’t afford to do it to give up. A DREAM = (D)iligentlly (R)eaching for (E)xcellence and (A)voiding (M)ediocrity. Keep reaching for excellence and leave mediocrity behind, and just like Dr. King, your dream will come true.
P.S. If you would like to watch the full video and read the full transcript of my Hall of Fame speech, please click HERE.