About Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders played professional football and baseball for 16 years. Deion’s career and personal life have seen many highs and lows, winning 2 Super Bowls and playing in the World Series, he is still the only player to have ever hit a homerun (MLB) and scored a touchdown (NFL) in the same week. Deion always lives his life to the fullest and his positivity and spirituality come through in his words wether he is doing a motivational speech or writing.

U Gotta Believe!

I live by and teach a saying that I coined at Florida State: “U Gotta Believe!” There’s no easier way to put it. You cannot ACHIEVE if you do not BELIEVE! Believe means “to have confidence in the TRUTH”. When you believe in something it gives you CONFIDENCE. People who lack belief will always mistake confidence for arrogance. I’ve always said don’t allow my confidence to offend your insecurity. For most of my life, especially during my playing career, people who did not know or believe in me called me COCKY, when I was just being CONFIDENT. (What in the world does “cocky” mean, anyway?) Please, never allow other people’s disbelief shake your confidence in the TRUTH of who you are.   Now, let me take you to school for a moment. The root word of confidence is CONFIDE. Sometimes you have to confide in yourself knowing that some people will never understand or appreciate you. (Now that was some real talk!) Please, listen! Your belief should never be tied to their agreement or approval. Stand firm in your belief – even if no one else believes in you. My problem early on with the media was that they were upset because I told them I was great…before they had a chance to, and they realized that I could care less about their opinion of me. Even Jesus had doubters, naysayers and haters, but that didn’t shake His belief in Himself and His assignment. DOUBTERS make you DOUBLE and HATERS make you GREATER!   Sometimes you have to believe even when all evidence suggests otherwise. (Honestly, that sounds like the definition of faith.) The true test of your belief is when you can believe with no proof! Let me explain. Anyone can believe when everything looks good, but it takes true belief to stand firm when you’re on shaky ground. And if you’ve lived long enough, you’ve come across some ground that’s shaky (and some people that are shady). You can touch your neighbor and say “amen” on that one! All of life’s challenges and obstacles are designed to shake your belief in some way. When your relationship goes bad it shakes your belief in true love and people. When you lose your job it shakes your belief in your own success and the fairness of life. When your plans fall through it shakes your belief in your future – distorting your focus.   Even if your belief has been SHAKEN…don’t let it get TAKEN! (WOW!) Hold on to your belief, like it’s a winning LOTTO ticket! Belief is the GPS that helps you navigate through the treacherous terrain of life. It’s hard to get lost when you find belief. If belief is our GPS, we have to follow the turn-by-turn directions like it’s voiced by James Earl Jones. We have to follow the directions of our GPS: God, Process, and Self. Here’s how:   Belief in God The first and most important step in [...]

2018-05-21T19:18:07-07:00By |

Throw Forward

A popular weekly feature on social networking sites such as Twitter and Instagram is “Throwback Thursday” (#TBT). Every Thursday people around the world, including me and my kids, post old pictures of themselves or photos that bring back memories from the past. Throwback Thursday has gained so much popularity that #TBT has become one of the most recognized hashtags in social media. Millions of people post their digital nostalgia each week as they look back to the relics of their past. This “digital nostalgia” is not only limited to social media. Mainstream media has been doing leveraging nostalgia for much of the past decade. Just take a look at the movies and TV shows that have been released, as well as the current fashion trends. They’re mostly remakes of old movies or superhero movies designed to appeal to the memories of those adults who used to read comic books under the covers with a flashlight when they were kids. Even many movie sequels have a throwback element to them. The current surprise box office hit is “Best Man Holiday”, a romantic comedy whose original installment was released nearly fifteen years ago. (By the way, I was supposed to be in that movie, but I had a scheduling conflict.) Everyone seems to want to throwback. Even in sports, the most popular (and most expensive) jerseys are usually the “throwbacks”. People want to buy the jerseys of players who are retired or of teams whose jerseys have changed over the years. They even sell throwback jerseys of ya boy, Prime. (Man, I feel old!!!) By the way, that Falcons red #21 throwback ain’t no joke! That would make someone a WONDERFUL Christmas gift! The point is, everyone seems to be infatuated with the PAST. Everyone seems to want to go back to “the good ol’ days”. Many want to keep going back to the PAST because their PRESENT seems so bleak. I believe there is a bit of escapism in this global “throwback” trend. Let me explain, if I don’t want to deal with the PAIN of my PRESENT, it’s easier to ROMANTICIZE about the JOYS of my PAST. There is at least one major problem with this, however. When we GLANCE back at our PAST, we usually GLOSS OVER our PAST. I love the simplicity of life when me and Mama’nem lived at 1625 Henderson in Ft. Myers, FL. It was great. My sister and I had a great childhood, although my mama worked her butt off to make ends meet. Now, I’m gonna gloss over the fact that we had so many roaches that the Roach Motel had no vacancy, and the rats ran better routes after 9pm than Calvin Johnson! We have a tendency to remember history the way we WANT to remember history. We have a habit of Photoshopping all the ugly parts out of the picture of our past. When we get lonely we remember how much we loved that man or [...]

2018-01-02T00:29:15-08:00By |

The Ghost of Christmas Past

One of the most well-known Christmas stories is the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Scrooge is a Christmas-hating miser who is visited by three ghosts the night before Christmas to get him to change his ways. The first ghost to visit Mr. Scrooge is “The Ghost of Christmas Past”. This ghost takes Ebenezer back in time and shows him scenes from his past that turned him into the “Scrooge” he had become.   Like Ebenezer Scrooge, there are many of us who are haunted by the ghosts of our PAST. Unlike Ebenezer Scrooge, however, many of us don’t just visit our PAST…we have decided to live there. THE PAST IS THE WORST PLACE YOU COULD EVER LIVE! Some of you have gotten so comfortable there, you’re receiving mail. The past is nothing but a bad neighborhood, and to make matters worse, the rent is way too high. It’s expensive to live in the past! It’s dangerous to live there too. When you live in the past, you pay the price by losing out on opportunities in your present and endangering the dreams of your future.   This Christmas season is a great time to move past the Ghost of Christmas Past. Remember that your past is not your past if you refuse to get past it. The best way to get past your past is to open up the gift of hope. Hope is oftentimes all we have. Our money may come up short, relationships may go astray, and things that we depended upon are no longer dependable. But hope is always there. Hope does not dwell on the past; it looks forward to the future. That’s why I don’t look back to the past for too long. I’m not focused on yesterday because I have so much to do today. When you hold on to hope, you can let go of the past. Hope is the ultimate “ghost buster”. It delivers you from the haunting of the ghosts of your past.   While your past is a GHOST…hope is a GIFT. Hope is the greatest gift you can find under the Christmas tree this year. (I know some of you ladies out there are saying, “Diamonds are good with me”, and the fellas are saying, “You don’t have to get me nothing, just help me take care of a few of these bills!”) Nevertheless, it’s time to stop being haunted by your past and start un-wrapping some hope! HOPE DOESN’T IGNORE YOUR PAST…IT JUST DOESN’T DWELL ON IT! Hope is what keeps you reaching forward instead of falling backwards. Hope is the gift that keeps on LIVING. More accurately, hope is the gift that keeps YOU living. (I KNOW that will bless you and others. You need to tweet that right now…I’ll wait!)   As long as you feed and nourish hope, hope will stay alive, and that same hope will keep YOU alive. I’ve dealt with the ignorance [...]

2018-01-02T00:29:37-08:00By |

Strength to Stand

The one thing we can all agree upon is that life is filled with challenges and adversity. The greatest challenge in life…is facing the challenges of life. Everyone is challenged, but only the SUCCESSFUL stand up to their challenges. One of the defining characteristics of success is the ability to stand up to challenges. There is an old saying in sports and in life that “quitters never win”. The reverse is also true: “winners never quit”.   It doesn’t matter how difficult the challenges may be that you are dealing with in your life. Your success in life is determined by how you handle and stand up to those challenges. All of us – every last one of us – has SOMETHING going on right now, but trust me when I tell you…DON’T QUIT! Don’t stop. Don’t give up. Don’t give out. Don’t give in. You may have to call a timeout and head to the sidelines for a few minutes, but whatever you do…DON’T QUIT!   Those of you who have followed my personal life and my professional career know that I am no stranger to adversity. I played for NINE professional teams, been divorced – TWICE – and have FIVE kids! Let’s just say, drama and I are on a first-name basis. The reality is, however, that while MY drama plays itself out on TV screens and gossip websites, we ALL deal with drama – everyday. We all have struggles and tribulations. We all have challenges and storms, and we all need the strength to stand. I’ve been lied on, cheated, talked about AND mistreated, and many of you believe the ignorance that was reported. If I didn’t know who I was, where I was, how I was, and why I was…I probably would have believed it too! Nevertheless, I stood and endured, and you can too.   The good news is that no matter how strong your storm, you have already been equipped with the strength necessary to survive it. You are a survivor. You are an overcomer. No weapon that’s formed against you shall prosper. That’s a very popular scripture that many of us quote, but nobody ever talks about the fact that there will be weapons that do form…and at times they hurt! However, you are MORE than a conqueror! You have the strength to stand! There are three key areas where God gives you the strength to stand:     1.  The strength to stand UP. The challenges of life may knock you down, but they cannot knock you out. You have the strength to stand UP. You can get up off the canvass and keep on fighting. Your challenge will make you a champion. Ask Floyd “Money” Mayweather – the bigger the fight…the bigger the purse. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had a one, two, or three-round bout. Mine goes the distance because for the blessing God has for me, I’m gonna be in this [...]

2020-12-01T14:35:36-08:00By |

Living a “WHAT IF” Life

WHAT IF I had finished school? WHAT IF he/she had never left me? WHAT IF I had started that business? WHAT IF I never started drinking? WHAT IF I had more time? WHAT IF my father was there? WHAT IF my mother really loved me? WHAT IF…? WHAT IF…?There are too many people whose lives are dominated by the “WHAT IFS” of life. A life dominated by “WHAT IF” is one that is ruled by REGRET. It’s a life lived in REVERSE. If you are consumed by questions of “WHAT IF” you have become PREOCCUPIED with your PAST instead of FOCUSED on your FUTURE. It’s hard to move forward when you’re stuck in reverse because you’re car doesn’t have neutral. It’s time to shift gears and stop living a “WHAT IF” Life.   The older you get the less “WHAT IFS” you can afford to have. Some of us still have “WHAT IFS” on layaway! A “WHAT IF” Life is like your parents’ house. It’s a great place to visit, but it’s a terrible place to live at a certain age and stage. Living a “WHAT IF” Life is like a 40 year-old still sleeping on that old twin mattress at his mother’s house with a big wheel parked outside. He’s outgrown it, but he doesn’t know it. You, too, have outgrown many places in your past, but if you continue to live in the land of “WHAT IF”, you’ll be like that 40 year-old still stuck in a place you’ve long outgrown. (By the way, if you’re 40 and still live with your parents…you know better!) There’s a huge difference between you living with your parents and your parents living with you.   Don’t live a life ruled by regret. The only antidote for regret is hope. WHILE REGREAT LOOKS BACKWARDS, HOPE LOOKS FORWARD. Hope doesn’t ask “WHAT IF?” Hope declares “WHAT WILL!” Hope teaches us to turn our “WHAT IFS” into “WHAT WILLS”. You need to decide today what WILL happen in your life. This is where your confidence needs to offend someone’s insecurity. While you can’t CONTROL the future…you can certainly CONTRIBUTE to it. Begin to make an investment in your tomorrow. You cannot invest in tomorrow if all your ASSets are tied up in yesterday. It’s time to rollover from YESTERDAY and say YES-TO-TODAY! (Someone needs to shout “YES” right there!)   Those who are living a “WHAT IF” life aren’t really living at all. You can’t have a real life if you’re focused on the “WOULDA”, “COULDA” and “SHOULDAS” of life. Here’s how you can move past the “WHAT IFS” and begin to have a real LIFE.   Let go of your past. Some people hold on to the past like it’s a rare coin. Unfortunately, the past does not go up in value the longer you hold on to it. In fact, the holding on to the past only devalues your current experiences. You can’t really have a fulfilling [...]

2018-01-02T00:30:03-08:00By |

It’s About Time!

“It’s About Time!” That’s a phrase that many of us shouted, screamed or uttered when something or someone that we have been waiting on FINALLY comes through. It’s an exclamation that conveys both our relief and our frustration – our relief that it finally happened, and our frustration that it took so long. It’s amazing how most of the important things in life rarely happen exactly when we want them to happen, and because we have an expectation and desire for when we want them to happen, it’s easy for us to get frustrated when they don’t.   One of the many life lessons I have learned in my 45 years on this planet we call Earth is that life does not move at the speed of Prime. I have to move at the speed of life. And when it comes to being a success in life – TIMING IS EVERYTHING – it’s all about time. The only reason you know me and respect me for my athletic efforts is because my time was Prime. I took advantage of opportunities that were before me…right in front of your eyes. You can either allow your frustration to cause you to give up on your dreams or you can keep yourself motivated and prepared for when opportunity comes your way. As my spiritual father would say, you MUST maximize your moments! The moment I finally woke up and realized that it’s all about time, I also realized that it’s only a matter of time. It’s only a matter of time before your dream becomes a reality. You just need to have a little patience. To all of you that have kids, you better know something about patience!   Patience isn’t easy. (I’m preaching to myself right now!) That’s because for most of us our patience is out of shape. There’s a reason Grandma, Nana, or Madea told us that we need to “exercise patience.” Patience is like a muscle, and it needs a good workout in order to gain strength. Patience is too important of a muscle for us to allow it to get out of shape. Patience is the muscle that grabs hold to our dream and holds on until it comes to pass. If our patience is out of shape, it won’t have the strength necessary to hold on through the inevitable difficult times of life. Relationships, the process of earning a degree, climbing up the corporate ladder and maturing as a man or a woman all require patience. Even pastors who want to grow their ministries have to exercise patience.   If we are ever going to see our dreams come true and experience success in life, we’re going to have to work on our patience. Give your patience a workout starting today. Here are a few ways you can work on your patience. Remember, “It’s about time” – TIME.   Take Initiative The best way to strengthen your PATIENCE is to be PROACTIVE. [...]

2020-12-22T18:19:21-08:00By |

It’s a New Season

We’re just a few weeks away from the kickoff of the NFL season. Kids are going back to school and high school, college and youth teams are finalizing their rosters. Multitudes of fans are lining up their season tickets and their DirecTV Sunday Ticket package and preparing for their fantasy drafts. A new season permeates the air with excitement. Players, management and coaches have been working throughout the offseason collectively and are ready to place their teams and talents on display for the world to see. I can remember getting myself ready every year mentally and physically just for this time. The start of a new season brings hope and expectation for fans and players alike. It doesn’t matter how the last season ended – the Super Bowl, playoff teams or receiving one of the top 5 picks in the draft – every new season presents an opportunity for a fresh start.   What I truly need you to understand is although you might not be suiting up to play for the youth, high school, college or for your favorite team on Sundays, this is still your new season! It doesn’t matter how many wins, losses or ties you’ve had in the past, BABY, IT’S A NEW SEASON! A new season means a new opportunity and a new challenge. I don’t know if you really understand. Things are about to “kick off” in your life. The ball’s on the tee. Everything is lined up. The referee just blew the whistle. All we’re waiting on is you.   I’ve played for five NFL organizations, and I’ve come to the conclusion that teams that are successful understand the importance of and significance of preparing for a new season. Victory is a by-product of preparation. This is true in football and in the game of life that we’re all playing. Winning requires preparation. Far too many people FAIL to win because they FAIL to prepare. Failing to prepare is the same as preparing to fail. You can’t afford to waste another season, another month, another week, another day, or another hour. You’re in the “Prime” of your life – make the most of it, and stop taking these moments for granted. As my spiritual father, Bishop T. D. Jakes often says, “You’ve got to maximize the moment.”   There are three key elements necessary to maximize the moment and make sure you have a Winning season:   The Right Players You can’t win with the wrong people on your team. Trust me. I’ve tried it. Winning teams excel at evaluating their players. Ozzie Newsome, a Hall of Fame tight end for the Cleveland Browns, who is also the general manager for the Baltimore Ravens – who just won the Super Bowl – his first two picks were Jonathan Ogden and Ray Lewis. One just made it into the Hall of Fame, and the other is trying on his jacket right now. EVALUATION is the key to ELEVATION. You can’t go [...]

2018-01-02T04:47:47-08:00By |

Get Out of the Blocks

One thing that we all have in common is that in some point in time, we all have had a race. In any race it’s important to have a good start. That’s especially important in the race of life. To me, that’s the only race that truly matters. Now that we’ve made it to 2014, God has given us a CLEAN SLATE and a FRESH START. It’s up to us to make the most of it. No, I’m not talking about those New Year’s RESOLUTIONS (instead of New Year’s SOLUTIONS to last year’s problems) you made on January 1st that you can’t even remember on January 21st. I mean you have a fresh start to reach all of the goals you have set for your life and become who you were created to be.   THERE’S NO BETTER TIME THAN RIGHT NOW! This is the RIGHT time for you to make the most out of what’s LEFT of your life. This is your moment! Don’t miss it! You will never gain MOMENTUM if you keep missing your MOMENT.   Many people think that because I am now retired from playing professional football and big league baseball, have the Super Bowl trophies and made it to the College and Pro Football Hall of Fame, and many other personal accomplishments; they think that my best days are behind me, but I’m just getting started baby! The gun has gone off and I’m coming out the blocks like Usain Bolt! (By the way, in my “prime” I would have taken him in the 40!) I’m ready to high-step my way all the way to the finish line!   One thing I do realize is that as important as it is to finish STRONG, it’s often a moot point if we don’t start well. If you get left in the starting blocks, you’ll spend all of your energy just trying to catch up to the pack. It’s not impossible, but it’s hard to overcome a bad start. This New Year is your opportunity for a NEW START – let’s make it a good one.   Most of you might not know this, but Prime can run STILL and I qualified for the Olympic trials in 100 meters and ran 1 4.21 40 for breakfast at Florida State! In fact, I can still beat ALL of you that are reading this right now! (Ask my football team at Prime Prep Academy.) Racing is not just about speed; it’s also about strategy. My strategy is ALL ABOUT THE START. I get out the blocks on the ‘G’ when they say ‘GO!’ I get out the block when the finger slightly bends on the gun before they pull the trigger!   Learning to get out of the blocks quickly doesn’t just happen. It is a process and it requires practice. As in track and field, the same goes for the race of life. If you want to start well, you have to [...]

2018-01-02T04:47:27-08:00By |

Dealing With Disappointment

There are many things in life that are certain. One certainty is that we all know what it feels like to be disappointed. We also know what it feels like to disappoint someone else. Disappointment is one of those difficult realities of life that we have to learn how to deal with. (I didn’t say love – we just have to deal with.) If not handled carefully, however, DISAPPOINTMENT can be DEADLY. Disappointment can be lethal when it comes to our visions, goals, dreams and aspirations. If we become fixated on the disappointments of our past, we won’t be motivated to fix what’s wrong and make it better in our future. (Somebody shout AMEN!)   No one gets everything that they want – not even the filthy rich. No one has everything work out exactly the way they planned it. In life there are your plans then there are God’s plans. Disappointment is birthed in the space between our expectations and our experiences. When our experiences don’t match our expectations we tend to be disappointed. For example, if you expect to get a certain job and it they hire someone else you are bound to be disappointed. If your relationship or marriage didn’t turn out the way you expected, you are likely to be disappointed. (I’ve been disappointed twice by the way.)   Disappointment is the difference between your expectation and your experience. That means the higher the disparity between what you expect and what you experience, the higher your level of disappointment. (I just said a mouthful right there. I hope you caught it.) Let me see if I can put it in terms we all can understand and identify with. If your mother and father were both 6’4” and you are 25 years old and you’re 5’4”…you’re probably a “little” disappointed (and somebody needs to get a blood test). You expected to be at least 6 feet tall like your parents.   Success in life is not found in avoiding disappointments, but it is defined in how we handle our disappointments. One thing about disappointments, they have your address, social security number, and phone number (and your Twitter handle). In other words, they know how to find you! We ALL get disappointed, but we should never allow our disappointments to destroy us. I was disappointed leaving Florida State having lost two games my last two years of college only to go to the Atlanta Falcons and win only three games my first year in the NFL – talk about disappointment!   When we can’t move past the disappointment of the last friendship or relationship, we destroy any chance of success in our next one. When we get so disappointed about losing out on the last job, it may destroy our drive to go out and apply for another one. We cannot allow our disappointments to be in the driver’s seat of our lives smoking a cigar with shades on! It’s time to revoke the driver’s license of your disappointments [...]

2018-01-02T04:47:08-08:00By |

Bring Your ‘A’ Game

There are few things more exciting than Game Day. When I played professional football, all the practice and preparation during the week was what I got paid for…Game Day was for free. Even as a coach for our TRUTH teams and Prime Prep Academy, I look forward to Game Day. On Tuesdays for junior high, Thursdays for JV, Fridays for high school and Saturdays for TRUTH. As a coach, I find myself repeating a phrase that I heard from many of my coaches throughout my high school, college, and professional careers: “Bring your ‘A’ game!”   This phrase, that most of us have heard numerous times, refers to bringing maximum effort, focus and undeniable commitment. It’s an encouragement to do your best – no excuses. When you bring your ‘A’ game, it means that you are leaving nothing on the field. You’re giving it your all. I believe that it’s important for us to bring our ‘A’ game, whether in sports, or in the game of life. Too many people make excuses as to why they are not successful, and why things haven’t worked out for them. I’ve found that a lot of times, things don’t work OUT because we refuse to put the work IN. That’s even biblical – whatever you sow, you reap. Whether you’re a basketball player or a barber…you have to bring your ‘A’ game. Whether you’re a CEO or trying to get your GED…you have to bring your ‘A’ game. Maximum effort produces maximized results. If you haven’t maximized your moments…that’s on YOU. You’ve got to bring your ‘A’ game. In actuality, you need to bring your triple-A game (AAA) because there are three A’s that make up your ‘A’ game: Attitude, Appearance, and Action.   Attitude
 The old saying may be old, but it’s still true: “Attitude determines altitude” – the better your attitude, the higher your altitude. You give me two players with similar talent I can guarantee you that the one with the better attitude will be more successful. In many cases, some players with less talent can be more successful than their more talented counterparts whose attitudes stink. I got kicked off my high school football team my junior year for having an attitude with one of the teachers in the library. She said I was “insubordinate”, at that point in time I had to look up the word to find out what it meant. Although I didn’t agree, I allowed my attitude to affect me and my teammates because I was the starting quarterback, and I was kicked off the team with three games to go.   History is littered with talented flameouts – people who had all the goods…but didn’t have a good attitude. It really makes me sick when I meet someone who’s hungry and thirsty for success, and when they make it, they’re whole attitude changes.   In life, we must always be careful to bring our ‘A’ game by having the [...]

2018-01-07T19:33:07-08:00By |