Life tests us. How we react to these tests and tough times will determine the kind of men we are to become, the kind of people we’ll be remembered as. Our actions, not our thoughts, will show our sons and daughters how to grow up to be good people. Ray Lewis didn’t have an easy life, but he took the gifts he was given and made the most out of them. Something that you can’t say for 99.9% of the people in this world.
He maximized, and is maximizing his potential, accomplishing more than he could have – or should have.
Everyone can teach us something. In Ray Lewis, we have a guy who has an understanding that the clock of life is always ticking. A guy who understands that to succeed you need to work harder than anyone else; however, he doesn’t only understand this fact, he acts it out every day. He lives it.
I didn’t know it until recently, but he’s also a guy that we can all learn a lot from. The following are a few examples of this.
Real Success is Earned. Never Think Otherwise.
When he was at the University of Miami, Ray told a reporter that he was going to be the greatest football player in the history of the school. A school that is extremely rich in talented, successful players that went on to have illustrious careers in the NFL. Pretty brash comments coming from a player who hadn’t even seen a snap in the NFL.
When we hear comments like this, we think arrogance and cockiness, but Ray had a different line of thinking. He made those comments because he knew that he was going to work harder than any other player in the history of that program. There weren’t any “if’s” in his line of thinking. It was fact.
He believed in the power of hard work, that if he worked harder than everyone, even though he wasn’t the biggest, fastest, or most talented, he’d be more successful than everyone.
Ray Lewis earned his success. He did work harder than everyone.
The interesting thing is, we all have that capacity. I know that if I fail, it’s because I didn’t work hard enough. Ray didn’t even leave that option. He understood that hard work is maybe the most valuable thing in the world.
And so, success in it’s true sense can only be earned. We can be given things, awarded something that we achieved more because of luck or position in the world than due to hard work and elbow grease, but there’s no fulfillment in inheritance and un-deserved praise.
The pride of knowing that we made the most of our talents doesn’t exist unless it’s earned.
Real success isn’t winning the life lottery – or the literal lottery – it’s overcoming obstacles. Success is the result of hard work, sacrifice, and a belief in ourself when no one else will.
Understanding this is freedom.
Once we understand that true success is earned, all we have to do is line up our talents with an un-matched work ethic.
Time Stops for No One.
How much time are you really wasting? ~ Ray Lewis
There’s a lot of stuff in our lives that we can control – much more than we give ourselves credit for actually – but one thing we have no control over is time.
Every single breath we take, we’re moving closer to death. As I’m writing this article, Old Fashioned cocktail in hand, I’m closer to dying than I was when I started it.
Is that scary or motivating?
Is that a curse or is it a gift?
I don’t see how it can be seen as anything but a gift. Imagine having an infinite amount of time? There would be no urgency. No appreciation for what we have an who we have in our lives. Death is a gift. It’s a blessing to know that the moments I spend with my family are numbered. I have to appreciate them more because of it.
Ray Lewis has a unique understanding of time. He understands that our time is limited. We only have a certain amount of time to carve out a Legacy. I’m sure this is something that has been festering as he gets older, but by his accounts, he’s had this understanding since he was young.
Everyone’s time is ticking. I’m pretty damn thankful for that.
Leave a Legacy.
Life isn’t about wins and losses. It’s about what you can leave, it’s about the Legacy you can leave. Ray Lewis
When I think about what I want; success, happiness, a wife, kids, a family of my own, health and other things come to mind. But when I think about how I want to be remembered, what mark I want to leave the world, or the man I want to become, a completely different thought process exists.