I’m guessing that a number of you out there are student athletes. And that maybe just because I’m Coach Carter, basketball coach of Richmond Oilers basketball team, you would think that this letter is only for those kinds of people. I’m putting it out here now: This ain’t for athletes. This letter is for EVERY COWARD.
No, I’m not talking about the cowards who cry like a little bitch when faced with a scary situation. Nor am I referring to cowards who hide behind their mother’s/girlfriend’s skirts when watching a horror film. The cowards I talk about are those afraid of themselves. Those who refuse to believe the reality that no matter where you came from or who you are, you have greatness within you.
When I started out with the Richmond Oilers, the team’s members were fronting as tough gangsters with their cool homies, who think that no one else is above them. Yet no matter how tough they talk, deep inside they believe that the ghetto is the life that’s meant for them because it was where they were raised and it is all they know and it is their inevitable destiny. What frustrated me was even the institutions in their neighbourhood were feeding them the same shit. That they can never amount to be more than what they were born with.
Let me be the first to say, BULLSHIT.
The first and only person you should listen to is YOURSELF. If you tell yourself you will only be poor, uneducated, unfulfilled, untalented, unsuccessful, then that is what you’ll be. But if you tell yourself you will achieve great things, you will reap great rewards for your hard work, and that you will live your dreams no matter how unreachable it seems, then that is what you will be. Whatever you think of yourself will manifest in real life, because you are the one living with your thoughts every single day. People can tell you you’re not good enough or smart enough or talented enough, but if you think that you are better, then that is what you’ll be.
It all starts with you. So don’t feed into this whole system that looks down on people who want to be and do more for themselves no matter what kind of life they started with. I’ve met a shitload of people who started out with humble beginnings and rose up to be some of the richest, most successful people. At the same time, I’ve also seen people born into good families with a LOT of money but ended up unsuccessful and leading an unfulfilled life.
So don’t be afraid to say “I AM GREAT”. Because the more you think it, the more you say it, the more you believe it, then that GREATNESS will manifest and become YOU.
I’ll be leaving you with the quote from Marianne Williamson that one of my problematic players, Timo Cruz, gave as an answer to my question of “What is your deepest fear?”.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
All the best,
Coach Ken Carter