MOTIVATION & INSPIRATION
By Deion Sanders with Tejado W. Hanchell, Ph. D
The one thing we can all agree upon is that life is filled with challenges and adversity. The greatest challenge in life…is facing the challenges of life. Everyone is challenged, but only the SUCCESSFUL stand up to their challenges. One of the defining characteristics of success is the ability to stand up to challenges. There is an old saying in sports and in life that “quitters never win”. The reverse is also true: “winners never quit”.
It doesn’t matter how difficult the challenges may be that you are dealing with in your life. Your success in life is determined by how you handle and stand up to those challenges. All of us – every last one of us – has SOMETHING going on right now, but trust me when I tell you…DON’T QUIT! Don’t stop. Don’t give up. Don’t give out. Don’t give in. You may have to call a timeout and head to the sidelines for a few minutes, but whatever you do…DON’T QUIT!
Those of you who have followed my personal life and my professional career know that I am no stranger to adversity. I played for NINE professional teams, been divorced – TWICE – and have FIVE kids! Let’s just say, drama and I are on a first-name basis. The reality is, however, that while MY drama plays itself out on TV screens and gossip websites, we ALL deal with drama – everyday. We all have struggles and tribulations. We all have challenges and storms, and we all need the strength to stand. I’ve been lied on, cheated, talked about AND mistreated, and many of you believe the ignorance that was reported. If I didn’t know who I was, where I was, how I was, and why I was…I probably would have believed it too! Nevertheless, I stood and endured, and you can too.
The good news is that no matter how strong your storm, you have already been equipped with the strength necessary to survive it. You are a survivor. You are an overcomer. No weapon that’s formed against you shall prosper. That’s a very popular scripture that many of us quote, but nobody ever talks about the fact that there will be weapons that do form…and at times they hurt! However, you are MORE than a conqueror! You have the strength to stand!
There are three key areas where God gives you the strength to stand:
1. The strength to stand UP.
The challenges of life may knock you down, but they cannot knock you out. You have the strength to stand UP. You can get up off the canvass and keep on fighting. Your challenge will make you a champion. Ask Floyd “Money” Mayweather – the bigger the fight…the bigger the purse. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had a one, two, or three-round bout. Mine goes the distance because for the blessing God has for me, I’m gonna be in this ring a while to get to it!
It’s about time that you stand UP to the challenges in your life. Stand UP to the adversity that comes your way. Stand UP for what’s right, when wrong is popular. Stand UP to the haters that try to knock you down. Haters are your elevators. They help you go higher. You’re like a tennis ball, baby, the harder they throw you down…the higher you bounce back! You have the strength to stand UP! You just gotta reach down inside and get it, because it’s in there baby. It’s in there.
Not only do you have the strength to stand UP, you also have…
2. The strength to stand TALL.
If someone asks you the question if you’d rather be short or tall, the majority of is would say tall. If you chose the option to be tall, why don’t you choose the option to stand TALL through your adversity. Just because people try to knock you down, put you down, and throw down and talk you down that doesn’t mean you have to hang your head down. Even Tupac told you to “Keep Ya Head Up”. When you do that you stand TALL. Walk through life like you’ve already won. When I was going through my second divorce drama, I walked in and out of the courthouse like I already had the victory. That’s the way you’ve got to walk through life – like you already have the victory. Let’s “George Jefferson” that thing right now wherever you are!
You can stand TALL with no money in your pocket. You can stand TALL even when other people are trying to make you feel small. You are not who THEY say you are or who they want you to be. You are who GOD says you are! So stand TALL. Walk with your head held high. Don’t let other people’s negativity bring you down. Misery is single – looking for companionship. People will try to make you miserable because they already are (even some closest to you)! Don’t give them the satisfaction or even the time. Time is the most precious coin that we possess. It messes your haters up when they see that all their hate didn’t steal your joy, affect your peace, or stop you from smiling. All their drama…didn’t work! The worst thing you can do to your hater is to keep on smiling. Many pastors will tell you to love your haters (I’m not that saved yet! But haters hate when they can’t affect or infect you. Don’t let them bring you down to their level – stand TALL!
When you have the strength to stand UP and the strength to stand TALL, it gives you…
3. The strength to stand OUT.
Ever since I was a child in Ft. Myers, FL, I stood OUT! In my youth I had bucked teeth, big ears, skinny legs, and a jheri curl in high school. When I didn’t even try – I stood OUT. But also, I was intelligent, quick-witted, very athletic, and confident. I never drank, and I never smoked. I stood OUT. You weren’t created to stay in the background. You were created to be in the forefront. You’re a screensaver, baby! YOU are uniquely YOU. There’s no one else in this world just like you. You have the fingerprints to prove that. Don’t be ashamed of who God created you to be. You have the strength to stand OUT without even trying. Your strength is in your uniqueness. Everyone else is already taken. You’re a leader, not a follower. You set trends – don’t follow them. You speak up, but never speak down, and you stand for what you believe. You may have to stand alone, but make sure you stand OUT. Don’t just go along with the crowd – the crowd is too crowded! Lead the crowd. Be YOU! Stand OUT.
People will criticize you for standing OUT, but it’s the people who stand OUT that get noticed. It may be more comfortable in the crowd, but successful people aren’t afraid to stand OUT. Don’t run away from the spotlight. This is your time to shine. It’s time for you to grab the ball, and take it to the house, and if you’re anything like Prime, you’re gonna high-step that thing with the hand behind your head! It’s your time to stand OUT!
Don’t let the challenges, people, or problems change you. You have the strength to stand through it all. All you have to do is stand UP, stand TALL, and stand OUT.