“The key to staying on top of things is to treat everything like it’s your first project; like it’s your first day, like back when you was an intern. That’s how you try to treat things, just stay hungry.” – Notorious B.I.G (Jay-Z’s “My first song”)
“Through my eyes, I learned lessons like, time is of the essence and my grind got obsessive.” – Nipsey Hussle
“You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.” – James 2:22
Dedicated in loving memory to my Bro, Kenneth Newsome #LL13
Football will always reside in my heart and soul; who I am as a man reigns much greater. I played my senior year of college football with a heavy heart in Fall of 2016; losing a close friend, Kenneth Newsome. The news shocked me and brought pain that was uneasy to grasp in the moments. I remember putting that whole day in perspective and reflecting back on the times we shared. Most notably, that last time I spoke with him.
It was in December of 2015; just a few days before Newsome was due to be an official college graduate. He came into my room and we talked for hours about life. Thinking about it now, every time we talked we dug deep into our upbringings and how we became the men we were; through our trials. He had a ton of insight, appreciation, and gratitude in his heart when he spoke. His determination to be relentless in his pursuit of his goals was admirable. In particular, it would always connect and resonate with similar things I was going through in my life at the time. Newsome had the same deep passion I had for football. He told me directly he wished he had one more season to play with the team. He distinctly told me to make sure I gave my senior season everything I had and go finish what he had started.
Life is a very precious gift. Yes, we can have those bad days that make it feel as if our efforts are worthless; but that’s far from reality. Newsome would stay energized and thankful, having gotten another shot at playing football. He grinded rigorously to make that possible. His last opportunity came and he never took it for granted. He admitted he struggled a lot and made some mistakes in the past but our past doesn’t have to be our future. I know I have past history I’m not proud of either. It’s what we do once we get an opportunity to make amends. Our actions reflect our will.
The greatest advice we can receive is to give effort all of the time. That’s just simply having self-respect for what it is we do. Whatever that purpose may be, It’s no secrets to success but good ole’ hard fashioned work. Working on ourselves is the bridge to prosperity. We should not short-change ourselves and our potential. Why dread the workload instead of turning that workload into blessings? Let go of resentment; live in grace!
It is very important to be an interactive listener. No one should take pride in speaking just to hear themselves talk without taking into consideration other enlightening perspectives. There is always something to be heard and taken heed of. There is always that one defining message; we all need to be open to hear it so that we can apply it in times we seek understanding. God orchestrates every divine event in our life; he makes it so that we are given chances to use his guidance. He usually works through other people to bring us those messages. So be available and open with that awareness. What we do with our allotted time given here on this earth is up to us.
This is an ode to treat our first opportunity like it’s our last and our last opportunity like it’s our first. It’s to keep our same hunger and drive in the beginning, middle, and end. To have an attitude that positively reflects how we choose to rise in spite of the statistics not being in our favor. I take this to heart, especially being a young black man growing up in a tough area; constantly surrounded by negativity. We have an obligation to lead a mission of success and show face to the youth that we can grow and make it out; we can survive and thrive. Not seizing an opportunity is unfathomable in my eyes.
We owe it to ourselves to hold true to that privilege in life. Material possessions come a dime a dozen; opportunity doesn’t. It’s better to hold true to the good word of God and stand for something greater than ourselves. We shine brighter and represent authenticity when our inner happiness is built from gratitude. All glory goes to God for the lesson of humility. It’s the deepest form of understanding that resides in our souls.
“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.” Colossians 4:5
“And though your beginning was small, your latter days will be very great.” – Job 8:7
“Stand firm and you will win life.” – Luke 21:19
“Instead of trying to build a brick wall just lay a brick every day. Eventually, you look up, you gon’ have a brick wall.” – Nipsey Hussle