Like many of my blogs, it usually begins with me writing about driving in my car and finding inspiration for my blog entries. Well, this one is no different except that this car intro story to this blog takes place a few years back. One of my favorite hip hop artists is Jay-Z not just because he has created an amazing empire, but because his lyrics many times have great substance and meaning. While driving in my car I remember listening to one of Jay-Z’s songs,“On to the Next One.” During the song Jay-Z had a nice lyric that went like this, “used to rock a throwback, ballin on the corner, now I rock a tailored suit looking like an owner.”
The parallel of wearing throwback jerseys and maturity level is fascinating to me. In reality the putting away of the throwback jersey is simply just a metaphor for understanding an individual’s coming of age. Regardless of the coming of age story, it is important that a person grows and stretches themselves to gain a higher level of responsibility and maturity in life. This leads to better decision making, greater emphasis on what is important in life and gaining a better perspective about the world around you. Jay-Z understood that in order to continue to ascend in the hip hop business and beyond, that he had to change his approach to the game. This meant understanding that how he projects himself is vital to his overall success in business.
The problem with what I’ve seen in our current society is that many people are still wearing their version of a “throwback jersey.” They are wearing the jersey in how they handle their finances, how they deal with personal and professional conflict and so on and so forth. The point is that if you don’t put that jersey away and then lace up your grown man or woman gear then you will continue to falter in your efforts to experience the success you are searching for. Success is definitely about hard work and determination, but it is also about how you modify and manage your approach to becoming successful along the way.
Even with all of this being said, the greatest challenge any person faces when putting away that jersey is learning how to live as the more mature you when others in your life have not grown at that same pace. Or it can be very difficult when those close to you have absolutely no desire to grow and improve themselves. As a good friend of mine stated last week…"some people still play beer pong and it is hard to be in that world when you have moved on to things that are bigger and more important than that.”
In the end, your level of success greatly depends upon your willingness to grow with and exceed the expectations of the times we live in. To be at the top of your game you must transcend the status quo regularly. However, the question is…will you continue to climb the ladder of maturity or will you continue to pull that old jersey out and go along with the crowd?
Until next time…