Basketball (My First Love)
Since I was nine years old, I loved the game of basketball. I loved it so much I played all the time. And as result of constant practice, I ascended above many of my peers. This work ethic on the court carried into high school when I was selected to play on the school’s basketball team.
A Higher Standard
After making my high school basketball team, all of the players were called into the school auditorium. But the basketball team wasn’t alone. In the auditorium was about 20 to 30 other student athletes who also played sports on behalf of the school.
I sat next to a friend and in came the Vice Principal. He gave us a quick speech and although I don’t remember the speech in its entirety the primary idea was we were no longer your average high school students.
The Vice Principal explained to us that because we excelled at sports, we were now on a different level compared to the other students. On this higher plane, our actions would be scrutinized more thoroughly by the public. As our Vice Principal, he let us know it was in our best interest to hold ourselves to a higher standard and to stay out of trouble.
“With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility!”
No one forced me to be an above average basketball player. I did all of that on my own through hours of work in my spare time. Because of the time I put in, the school gave me an opportunity to represent them and myself in a sport that I loved.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “with great power comes great responsibility.” In all honesty, I’ve always interpreted the meaning as a way of telling you not to misuse your powers. If you’re Spiderman, you shouldn’t go around town spraying people with spider webbing and leaving them stuck up against a wall. Although it’s hilarious, it’s irresponsible.
What that quote means to me today is when you’ve worked to become great in a field don’t ruin the house that you’ve built.As a high school basketball player, I was not only representing myself I represented the school. My actions both negative and positive had consequences that were potentially bigger than me.
A night of drinking and partying with high school friends (don’t pretend you weren’t drinking underage in high school) could not only get me in trouble with the law, but I could get kicked off of the basketball team. Then I would no longer be able to play the sport that I loved on the highest level available to me at the time.
Celebrities Not Taking Responsibility
Today, it bugs me when celebrities and athletes get upset about the rules being different for them compared to the average person. You’re damn right the rules are different for you because you chose to be great! No one forced them to become superstar athletes, actors, and to earn millions of dollars.
Your greatness will attract the light. Once that happens, the things you say and do will be analyzed and scrutinized. You will be forced to live your life differently than the average person. Because you’re no longer average.
It takes a lifetime to build a reputation, and it takes only seconds to blow it into tiny pieces scattered all over the ground.
Take Tiger Woods for example. When we learned he was cheating on his wife; it made international news! And, just a couple months ago when he received a DUI, you would be hard pressed to find a talk show or sports channel that wasn’t talking about it.
Should we feel any sympathy for Tiger Woods? Of course, we should! But he had to know this would be the result if he got caught. And unfortunately for him, he got caught.
Hold Yourself Accountable Now!
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the price of greatness! Do not go another second, minute, hour, or day believing that somehow you will be able to get away with any dirt you may be doing behind the scenes. “What happens in the dark always comes to light,” and if you have any intentions to be in the public eye, you have got to hold yourself accountable now.
Let go of the bad habits and irresponsible actions you did as a child or teenager. Hold yourself to a higher standard. Realize that an irresponsible act made by you may not only get you in trouble with the law, but you will be crucified by public opinion as well.
I know someone is reading this right now and they’re saying, “I’m going to always be me and do what I want!” Good luck with that. You will not become great in your current state; you will be forced to make sacrifices.
Jay-Z and Beyoncé cannot go to a regular club or restaurant like you and me. That is the price they decided to pay for fame, fortune, and GREATNESS!!
A friend of mine recently told me I should use the Tinder App to meet women. I told them, “No!” I see myself as a Motivational Speaker, Author, and Humanitarian. What would I look like or what would people think of me after reading my articles, listening to one of my speeches, and then seeing me on Tinder looking for a quick hookup?
It could potentially hurt my brand and hurt the way people see me in general. I have to hold myself to a higher standard. I can no longer look for quick hookups like my friend. Instead, I’m interested in long and lasting relationships.
I’ve made the decision as to where I want to go and who I want to be. Now, I’ve got a responsibility to myself and the world to hold myself accountable. Which means although I may not get to participate in what everyone else is partaking in, I’ve got my eyes on a bigger prize and a much larger responsibility.
You’ve got GREATNESS WITHIN YOU! So, hold yourself accountable and maintain a higher standard. Then again, you also have another choice. That choice is not to be great at all.