Beware of the clouds? What does that mean? What clouds? Well let me explain. When I refer to the “clouds” I’m referring to the place your mental thoughts are. I’m referring to the place your ego resides. I’m referring to the structure in which you live your life. What I have notice is that many athletes seem to set up shop right in these clouds. At one point in my life, I too was a member of the blinding clouds of success. Stuck in the belief that this life would last forever, where it was my way or the highway. Where business opportunities outside of basketball was at the bottom of my list of what is important to me (keeping a scratch of the front off my shoes was at the top of my list btw.) I know it sounds ignorant and a false way of thinking but I can guarantee you 95 percent of athletes today feel this exact same way.
However, it’s not completely the athletes fault. Surrounded by constant praise, people completely willing to open every door for you, put into positions that only but a select few will ever see in their lifetimes. Your team travels on a road trip to Los Angeles, you enter the hotel lobby of a Beverly Hills hotel and three jewelers, 2 different custom clothes designers and a popular shoe designer are all awaiting your presence. Suddenly your friends agree with every word that comes out your mouth, no more strong opinions from them, only suggestions. Commercial flights?! No commercial flight for you, you now chuckle at that thought, every city you travel to is chartered. Yes, while the plane is blazing down the runway about to take off, your on your cell phone talking to your chic in the city your headed to, or walking to go grab a plate of salmon, creamy mash potatoes, as many gatorades as you want and a bag of chips, free of charge of course. No flight attendants hounding you about shutting off your phones over here. They are as star struck to be around you guys as the fans waiting for you at 1 am when you first arrive to your hotel destination. It’s inevitable, your gonna start to begin to think your this important guy that everyone needs in their lives. Eventually the cloud that blocks reality over your life will begin to form. Eventually the very sport that got you to this position will take a back seat to the constant stroll you go on to receive the respect, shock and envy others give you when they see you. No more focusing on being the first one in the gym and last one out, I got a date with a beautiful girl in a hour and she is the girl in the videos that everyone talks about. So I’ll just clock in and clock out. I’m more worried about what I’m going to wear in the club tonight then focusing on how to out duel my opponent on the court tonight, suppose to be the best night the club has tonight, “I love my life”!! Right?
The tricky part about the cloud is that it’s very hard to notice that your in it. The actual cloud is your life, the every day process of it, your friends, the car you choose to drive, the settings you are placed in, the choices of stores you choose to enter. Without thought you have entered the cloud, blinded to the life around you. Once an athlete is completely in the cloud they become very easy to set apart from the others. Their very presence feels different, it’s a vibe about them that leaks out “look at me” even if I’m not doing anything. This comes with the amount of bottles of champagne you HAVE to have when your at the club. The amount of shoes you HAVE to have in your closet, just in case someone comes in to take a peak at your closet, the number of cars you HAVE to have in your driveway. Don’t get it mistaken, if you ask an athlete while they are in the cloud why they have that amount of shoes, why they need that many cars, why they have to have that amount of clothes from that particular brand, they will give you a very very honest, straight forward answer. The problem is the answer they give will not make sense to a person not in them clouds.
The mind plays tricks while people are in the clouds. Anyone who doesn’t agree with you are simply hating on you or upset that they are not in you’re position. These are the situations that sometimes destroy the athlete that is living in the clouds. People should always advance themselves, dream bigger, think towards the future, work for every step they take. There should not be unneeded rewards and gifts given to certain people just for the fact that they became successful in a certain field. These acts of giving destroys the very drives that got people to their success. These acts of giving drains the desire out of the athlete. These acts of giving, comes with a package of take.
The cloud to me is a life full of no wrongs, all happiness, perfection, the belief that all has been attained, loss of respect for many things, including money and drive. Some athletes in this phase of their life lose it all. The truth is there is no gradual slope out of the clouds. It’s sudden and abrupt. Often taking even the most famous athletes by surprise. They didn’t realize all the warnings the people who cared about them gave them. It wasn’t important until they only have $100 in your account. However, the fame you had with $100,000,000 stay the same.
You ever thought to yourself how a person can make over a 100 million dollars and loses it all? I’m sure you have and I’m also sure that if you have never been in this cloud and world so different from 90 percent of most lives, you will never understand and will have a lot to say as to why it happened. The cloud can be compared to any addictive drug. Except money is the clouds drug. Slowly nourishing the ego and perfection of your mind. While you’re in the cloud, you don’t see many people around you. You don’t care who really is your friend and who isn’t, as long as they are bringing good vibes, willing to run to the store for you at a drop of a dime and make your crew look more thorough, then your good. The cloud is the strongest and most hidden danger an athlete or any one else who has put themselves in a position to have a great deal of money can ever have. Being in the exact cloud every last one of us dreams about looking inside of you can be the very thing that destroys you. It is the Devil’s strongest way to entice the strongest of sins, disrespect, murder and loss of focus we can possibly reach.
All this being said, what is my suggestion for staying focused while you’re in the cloud? Well, from my experience of being thrown into the cloud of such a beautiful and amazing place, I suggest you stay clear of it. Yes this cloud is always being thrown your way. I know you see how Lil Wayne and Carmelo Anthony are looking while at the club on the social media websites. Yes, i see you watching the reality shows. I know you see him screaming down the streets with an engine you can only recognize coming from a Ferrari, only to see the same athlete cruising down the street in his Range Rover the next day. I know you see it. But I have a recipe for you to have all of that without falling into the very clogged clouds of success. I just ask you to remember how you got to the heights of your success. You don’t need anything else. If your able to remember this one small thing, it will guide you through the obstacles the clouds bring. If you remember this one fact about yourself, it will walk you away from going to the club 3 nights in a row. It will take the desire away from wanting to be the flashiest athlete in the building. It opens your eyes to recognizing which people understand what it takes for you to last in your sport and who will drag you away from what got you there. Most importantly, understanding and remembering what got you your success will always keep you driven to be the best at what you do.
Stay thirsty my friend.