Lion or Gazelle?

Eric Thomas was asked to speak to

high school all american football players about having a sound mind and sound body…

This camp is not about you coming and putting on a shirt that says, “Sound Mind. Sound Body.” That’s not what this camp is about. This camp is you leaving and possessing – possessing! Everything they teach you, you taking it with you. You’re not just here to hear it – you’re not just here to hear it! You’re not just here to meet coaches, you’re not just here to get in the environment. You are here for everything Guy just told you, all the core things he told you about a sound mind — everything coach Antonio just told you — everything you heard, everything you see, you are supposed to take that! You take it with you and you embody it! You become the essence of everything they talked about and poof! You are going to automatically put yourself on a whole other level.

Some of you, you’re a beast! … until its uncomfortable. You’re a beast! … when the weather is right. You’re a beast! … when coach tell you to do something that you’re comfortable with. You’re a beast! … when you’re playing your position. You’re a beast! … When everything is going right. But sometimes stuff starts happening where it is uncomfortable and you start to break. You start to bend, you start to fold!

And what he told little man was, “You got to learn to become comfortable with being uncomfortable.” It aint always going to be the way you like; its not always going to be comfortable. The conditions aint always going to be perfect but if you want this – if you really want this – you gotta learn to sacrifice. You got to learn to give up to go up.

Some of ya’ll, there is some stuff when you leave this place… to make it to the next level there is some stuff you’re going to have to give up. Some people you are going to let go of, some habits you’re going to have to let go of, are you hearing what I am telling you? There’s some stuff you are going to have to give up, are you hearing me? There’s some stuff you’re going to have to sacrifice, some people you’re going to have to let go, some things you’re going to have to let go, some mind sets you’re going to have to let go of to get to that next level.

The thing that scares me about this room right here, is that you all got the same dream, but only a few of you are going to make it become a reality. The person with the strong mind and the strong body is the person that’s — listen to me very closely, this is what bothers me. I’m sitting in a room where everybody’s dreams can’t be a reality. Everybody who is playing the same position, ya’ll can’t all go to the same school – somebody is going to out beat somebody. Somebody is going to out do somebody, somebody is going to be the gazelle and somebody is going to be the lion. Somebody is going to walk out of here and say, “Everything I heard –” you going to take it and you’re going to apply it! You’re going to be a different person, you are going to operate different. Coach aint even going to know who you are – your parents aint going to know who you are! You’re going to shock yourself and surprise yourself!

When I was in Cairo, Egypt talking to ten thousand people it shocked me, I couldn’t believe it! High school drop-out, West side of Detroit, 8 Mile and Braile… in Cairo, Egypt. When I went to Australia: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, I’m like “Yo, I’m from Detroit. By the grace of god, god’s mercy I am here!” I had a strong mind, a strong body; I started studying, I started putting in the work and I realized somebody else is trying to do exactly what I am trying to do.

Are you a gazelle? Or are you a lion? Are you a gazelle or are you a lion? And let me tell you the difference between a gazelle and a lion. When a gazelle wakes up it runs, but if a lion aint chasing it… it stops running. But when the lion wakes up… it don’t need nobody to push it, it pushes itself. Why? Because he realizes that if he does not catch that gazelle, not only him but his family don’t eat.

What are you playing this game for? What’s your passion? What’s your drive? What’s your purpose? What’s your purpose for playing this game? Why are you doing what you are doing? And when you know why you are doing what you are doing — you saw my t-shirt: “No Alarm Clock Needed. My Passion Wakes Me Up.” I got up at three o’clock this morning. No clock! I aint used the clock in twenty years, my passion wakes me up! My drive wakes me up. My determination wakes me up. My ability to be, do and have whatever I want, it wakes me up!

What wakes you up!? What drives you!? Why are you playing this game!? Is it just a game!? Or do you eat it, do you sleep it, do you drink it!? Have you possessed the game!? Do you want to change the game!?

I’m sitting with a D1 basketball player this morning, freshman, he pulled out a piece of paper and he showed me twenty goals: what he wants to accomplish in Big Ten. Eighteen year old kid, twenty goals! I asked him “Why you got these goals?” He said, “Because right now, my mama aint eating. Right now… Right now, my grandma, I can’t afford to buy her a drink of water. But I guarantee you next year this time, I’ll make my mark.” I said, “Ooh. I feel sorry for all the guards that got to come up against this kid.”

From this day forward! (From this day forward!)I will give a hundred and twenty percent! (I will give a hundred and twenty percent!) Or nothing at all! (Or nothing at all!) Strong Mind! (Strong Mind!) Strong Mind! (Strong Mind!) Strong Mind! (Strong Mind!) From this day forward! (From this day forward!) I will give a hundred and twenty percent! (I will give a hundred and twenty percent!) Or nothing at all! (Or nothing at all!) Strong Mind! (Strong Mind!) Strong Mind! (Strong Mind!) Strong Mind! (Strong Mind!) Strong Body! (Strong Body!)

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