MOTIVATION & INSPIRATION
By Deion Sanders with Tejado W. Hanchell, Ph. D
Success is something that everyone searches for. Whether you want to be successful in your job, in your marriage, as a parent, in sports, or in your education, everyone wants to be successful. However, most people treat success like it’s an event, when it’s really a PROCESS. No one just wakes up and finds success. There’s no navigational system to direct you there. Show me any successful person, and I’ll show you someone who has had to endure the PROCESS.
Process is defined as a ‘systematic series of actions directed to some end.’ I love that word SYSTEMATIC, because it means that there is some order or purpose to everything I’m going through while I’m in process. Your life may seem chaotic right now, but in the midst of the chaos you need to know that God has a plan and a purpose for your life. (I just preached right then, and you didn’t say amen!) And, yes, that may mean that there are some difficult days. Success often resides on the other side of difficulty, right beyond a trial and a little further down the street than tribulation. If you can’t endure the difficulty of today, you will never embrace the success of tomorrow. You’ve got to persevere through the process. That means, “Hold on, Baby!” This is not the time to give up, give in, or give out. This is the time to give your ALL! (I don’t know about you, but I’m standing up right now like I’m getting ready to return a punt!)
Many people see the success I have enjoyed in my life and think that it just happened, but as my pastor and spiritual mentor, Bishop T. D. Jakes preached years ago, “Nothing Just Happens!” Everything happens because of a purpose and through a process. I didn’t just HAPPEN to get a football scholarship to Florida State University. I didn’t just HAPPEN to be an All-American. I didn’t just HAPPEN to get drafted in the first round of the NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons. I didn’t just HAPPEN to be an all-pro cornerback and punt returner. I didn’t just HAPPEN to be the first man to play in a Super Bowl and World Series. I didn’t just HAPPEN to make a HIT record, “Must Be the Money” (LOL). Now let’s get back serious. I didn’t just HAPPEN to be selected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I didn’t HAPPEN to start the TRUTH Youth Organization in Atlanta and Dallas for kids 5-14, and I didn’t just HAPPEN to start Prime Prep Academy for K-12 students. Nothing just HAPPENS! You see the glory, but you don’t know the story! So, since you don’t know, let me tell you a few things about the process:
1. Pain is a part of the process.
Bishop T. D. Jakes also preached a message several years ago about “Public Success and Private Struggles”. You show me someone that’s successful publicly, and I will show you someone who struggles privately. There were long hard days in my process. There were sacrifices made in my progress. I had a lot of help in my process (from God and others). You saw the man high-stepping into the end zone, but you didn’t see the little boy who was running because he was scared of the graveyard he had to pass every day to get home (with no street lights). You were blinded by the bling, the houses, the cars, and the loud suits, but you didn’t see the silent tears behind it all. It’s all a PROCESS! And the reality is that pain is a part of the process.
You cannot take pain out of the process and expect to find success. (Let me say that a little differently!) You cannot evict pain out of the process and expect to locate success. Every great triumph came through great trial. Every major breakthrough came at the brink of a major breakdown. Every massive opportunity came disguised as a massive obstacle. You have to be willing to press through the pain, the trial, and the tribulation in order to make it through your process. I know someone is reading this right now thinking that your pain is too great. Hold on playa! You are giving your pain too much credit, and not giving yourself enough credit. You are more powerful and potent than your pain. You are stronger and more stable than your weakness. YOU CAN TAKE IT…IT CAN’T TAKE YOU! The reason I know you can take it is because God would never put more on you than you can bear, and…
2. The process is not permanent.
Let’s go back to that definition of process. It is a ‘systematic series of actions directed to some end.’ Your process is like a good movie – it has to come to an end. That means your pain has an expiration date! If you can just hang in there a little while longer, you will survive and outlive your pain. Know that the process is not designed to destroy you. It’s designed to develop you. The process isn’t designed to make you BITTER; it’s designed to make you BETTER. (If I knew how to play the organ, I would have hit myself right then!)
We become bitter and throw a pity party when we feel like there’s no way out and our process will last forever, but let me assure you, just like your process started…it WILL come to an end! (I feel like preaching, now!) The process is not permanent; it’s not a tattoo. Hang in there and hold on to your hope. As long as you have hope, you can make it through anything! Hope looks forward to what’s next. Hope says, “I may be down now, but I’m about to get up and do this thing, baby!” Hope says that my process has a purpose, and that purpose is to remind me that…
3. The process will lead to the prize.
Your process is for a purpose. Your pain is not in vain. When you work out for the first time your muscles are sore and it may cause you pain, but that means that they are developing. When you hold on through the process, you will find your way to the prize! There’s a prize waiting for you on the other side of your process. All you’ve got to do is make it! I know it’s hard to see because you’re far off, but if you keep taking steps, there’s a prize. They may talk about you, ridicule you and hate on you, but if you keep going, there’s a prize! You can’t just sit around and expect it to fall in your lap. You’ve got to PRESS! That means you can’t dwell on the pain of your past. I’ve said it before, “The past is a great place to LEARN, but it’s a terrible place to LIVE.” The Apostle Paul says it like this in Philippians 3:13-14, “Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching for things which are ahead…press toward the mark for the prize!”
You will never find success…if you’re not willing to press! There’s a blessing in the pressing, and there’s a miracle in your moving. Don’t get stuck or satisfied where you are. Keep pressing! I never said, it’s gonna be easy, but keep pressing! Your prize is waiting for you. You need to stop waiting for it. Get up and do something! You’ve got what it takes, now take what you got! God will give you all the help you need and want. If He did it for a skinny kid from Fort Myers, Florida who sat in a chair for four hours with the pink rollers in the front and gray rollers in the back to get his PROCESS/CURL…He can surely do it for you. Just remember, no matter what it is…it’s a process!