MOTIVATION & INSPIRATION
By Deion Sanders with Tejado W. Hanchell, Ph. D
“It’s About Time!” That’s a phrase that many of us shouted, screamed or uttered when something or someone that we have been waiting on FINALLY comes through. It’s an exclamation that conveys both our relief and our frustration – our relief that it finally happened, and our frustration that it took so long. It’s amazing how most of the important things in life rarely happen exactly when we want them to happen, and because we have an expectation and desire for when we want them to happen, it’s easy for us to get frustrated when they don’t.
One of the many life lessons I have learned in my 45 years on this planet we call Earth is that life does not move at the speed of Prime. I have to move at the speed of life. And when it comes to being a success in life – TIMING IS EVERYTHING – it’s all about time. The only reason you know me and respect me for my athletic efforts is because my time was Prime. I took advantage of opportunities that were before me…right in front of your eyes. You can either allow your frustration to cause you to give up on your dreams or you can keep yourself motivated and prepared for when opportunity comes your way. As my spiritual father would say, you MUST maximize your moments! The moment I finally woke up and realized that it’s all about time, I also realized that it’s only a matter of time. It’s only a matter of time before your dream becomes a reality. You just need to have a little patience. To all of you that have kids, you better know something about patience!
Patience isn’t easy. (I’m preaching to myself right now!) That’s because for most of us our patience is out of shape. There’s a reason Grandma, Nana, or Madea told us that we need to “exercise patience.” Patience is like a muscle, and it needs a good workout in order to gain strength. Patience is too important of a muscle for us to allow it to get out of shape. Patience is the muscle that grabs hold to our dream and holds on until it comes to pass. If our patience is out of shape, it won’t have the strength necessary to hold on through the inevitable difficult times of life. Relationships, the process of earning a degree, climbing up the corporate ladder and maturing as a man or a woman all require patience. Even pastors who want to grow their ministries have to exercise patience.
If we are ever going to see our dreams come true and experience success in life, we’re going to have to work on our patience. Give your patience a workout starting today. Here are a few ways you can work on your patience. Remember, “It’s about time” – TIME.
The best way to strengthen your PATIENCE is to be PROACTIVE. Time seems to stand still when we’re doing nothing, talking about nothing and being about nothing, but time flies when we decide to fly. Ever noticed how if you’re sitting at the crib or at “work” doing nothing or not being productive, time just seems to drag by, but if you’re up, busy and provoking change you look up at the end of the day and wonder where all the time went? That’s how it is with your dream. When you are up and busy, taking the initiative, and working on your dream it won’t feel like forever. One day you’ll look up while living your dream and wonder where all the time went. Take initiative. Be patient, but be proactive.
Secondly, we must…
Invest in Your Dream
This is a word that many of us have problems with – investing. I do understand it. I, like everyone else, have been had once or twice, but I’ve never been had by me! Don’t expect anyone else to invest in your dream if you’re not willing to. I always say, “You Gotta Believe!” If you don’t believe in yourself – nobody else will. The best investment you can make in your dream is TIME. Never invest money before you invest time. Never invest money before you invest time. Never invest money before you invest time. (That wasn’t a typo. I just had to make sure you got it!) Don’t just sit back and watch the clock waiting on your dream to come to pass. Those seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, and years you spend watching the clock and waiting on your dream, you could spend investing in your dream. Instead of watching the clock, watch your dream. Invest in it. When you invest in your dream, your dream will pay you back!
This leads to the next patience principle.
There’s nothing I have that’s worth having that I didn’t have to make a sacrifice to get it. Success does not come without sacrifice. If you want to GET something you have to be willing to GIVE something. The Bible says, “Give and it shall be given unto you.” More accurately, you have to be willing to GIVE UP something. If your goal is to lose weight, you have to be willing to give up those late-night snacks or give up some time on the couch to put in some time at the gym. It’s about time, and time is a finite resource. Time is also the most equitable resource in life. While someone else may have more money than you, no one gets more hours in the day than you. We all are given the same 24 hours. So how can you be jealous of anybody? It’s what we choose to do with those 24 hours that determines whether or not we become successful. This often means that we have to make sacrifices and choose the most important things (not the most convenient things) that are central to achieving our goals. Remember, I had to move my family from Atlanta and go all the way to the West Coast to win a Super Bowl, and a year we later we had to pack up and move to Dallas to win another one. It’s all about timing.
We live in a results-oriented world. Success is a journey, but it is also a destination. We must have some level of EXPECTATION of where we’re going to end up. Life without expectation is like waking up early in the morning with nowhere to go. It’s like a baseball player going up to hit with no bat or a football player with no helmet. It’s like a ship without an engine – drifting aimlessly being tossed about by the waves. Expectation gives us purpose. It’s hard to have patience when we have no purpose – because we have no idea what we’re waiting for. Do you have any idea about what you are waiting for and waiting on? When we expect results it gives us the hope to look forward to something. Hope is one of the greatest motivational tools. Hope is the personal trainer to patience, and experience is patience’s homey. When patience gets tired and wants to let go of that dream, hope whips it back into shape and helps it to hold on.
Don’t let go of your dream. It may be taking longer than you thought it should take, but things will work OUT as long as you’re willing to put the work IN. Patience pays off. It’s only a matter of time. In fact…I think it’s about time! If you have any haters or naysayers trying to sabotage your dream, I promise you, from experience, you’re right where you need to be.