Each individual may have a different approach and ways of competing and winning. One may be motivated by being the best or number one. Another may be driven by emotions such as from anger, frustration, love, passion, pride, ego, excitement, nervousness, spiritual, status quo, gaining acceptance or approval, family or friend driven, etc. You may be at a point where you have faced or are facing adversity. We are given different layers or phases (opportunities) in our walk of bettering ourselves, and being a successful person or a Champion in life. You may have either given up on your vision or dream, currently being challenged with it, complacent with where you are at, learning how to overcome it and win consistently (where I’m at now), or have mastered breaking down the barriers and know what it takes to consistently become a Champion.
For some of you, you may continue to read this article all the way through because it may hit home with you. For others, you may stop reading this article at a certain point because you may never relate or ever apply it to your life. Whichever you decide to do, I just hope you take away one question. Can you honestly say a 100% without a doubt that this is your very best version of you? If so then you can stop reading. If not, then at the very least maybe take some of the positives out of this article to make yourself better each day.
“Humble yourselves therefore under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.”- 1 Peter 5:6.
With my journey and all the adversity and battles I’ve faced, I can probably write a book about it but for now I’ll try to keep my story brief. Winning didn’t come easy at all for me. I was one of those people that would choke under pressure. I started playing team organized sports in 8th grade back in 1991. Since then I’ve struggled with self-esteem, my identity, confidence, and support from my parents. I was an introvert who didn’t have any friends and I was not mentally strong. Even though I struggled with all that, I knew within my heart I had the burning desire to be successful. Back then my dream, vision, and ultimate goal was to become a professional basketball player. Basketball was my tunnel vision and became my god, and all I could think about. I discovered that I would do well in practice, but when it came to game time I would be inconsistent or fall to pieces under pressure. I lacked the mental edge to become a champion.
As years go by I would constantly work hard day and night just to try to get better and win, to try to gain friends, and prove to my critics that I am better than what I display during game situations. Still for some reason I could not overcome the pressure of playing in a basketball game because of my lack of performance I made my early athletic life as a practice player and bench warmer. Throughout my mid-high to semi-professional years of being an athlete, I never experienced or had the opportunity to actively participate or make an impact in winning gold in anything.
In October 2010, I felt like I was turning my wheels but not getting anywhere with my basketball career. I was at the end of my rope, and so I made a very tough decision of quitting the game I love. When I had nothing left was when I truly became more dependent on God and so the focus became more of Him and less of me. This was one of my defining moments. Every setback is a setup for a comeback. God wants to bring you out better than you were before.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11.
The one major thing that was different was my state of mind completely did a 180 and here’s what had changed since then. I intentionally stopped chasing my dreams and goals, and started to chase God’s dreams and His will because I had finally realized that He has a better plan than I do. I learned how to take a break and pause from all of life’s busyness because the more busy you are in life, the less God you have in your life. Since then he has blessed me with me the best coaches, teammates, friends, family, peace, happiness, and success. I had to spend more time meditating and reading on the word of God. This allowed me to become more sensitive to learn how to listen to his voice instead of living life by default. Before all of my competition this year, my mental attitude and approach was totally opposite from what I was used to. I didn’t have any pressure and a care in the world if I win or lose. I just wanted to have fun. This mind set has also helped me with my golf game.
“But seek first His kingdom & His righteousness, and all of these things will be given to you as well.”- Matthew 6:33
God has provided me abundance of blessings when I have given more of myself to Him. It has been a constant chiseling and shaping of the mind, body, and spirit. My plans became less of me and more of Him. I no longer needed approval from the world, and didn’t care anymore what people thought about me. Donating my time and money to the tornado victims and other charitable services has helped me see the importance of life other than worldly prizes or materials. This has provided me the mental edge of becoming a Champion within. I look forward for what God has in store for me. My ultimate prize in the end is being a servant and a champion at heart in God’s heavenly kingdom.