Lately I’ve been immersed in the Netflix Docuseries, Last Chance U which is about a win-at-all-cost football program at East Mississippi Community College who recruits several talented athletes who got kicked out of D1 schools after making bad decisions in their life, essentially giving them another chance to prove themselves and make their football dreams come true.  There are so many reasons why this documentary has me hooked and I don’t have time to get into all of them right now, but on the last episode I watched, the coach made a comment that stuck in my head:

Excellence is not an accident. 

Excellence is not an accident, and neither is failure.  Your intention, effort, and execution lead to your results. It’s about choice, not chance.

There’s a consistent theme that I notice from these talented, yet troubled athletes on the docuseries; they all make bad decisions off of the football field. I speak to athletes all of the time and often they believe that their talent (and that alone) is going to give them the respect and opportunities they need to be successful. I have to remind them that you earn respect off of the field as well. What you do, the choices you make on a daily basis MATTER, and you always have a choice. There’s a podcast that I started listening to yesterday called “Gladiator” and it’s all about the Aaron Hernandez story. This is an intense example of how terrible choices off the field led to devastating results.

Choice is at the center of all success and failure. It is what we choose that makes the biggest difference.

We’ve made choices at several moments in our lives based on experiences and circumstances, but nevertheless, these were our choices and we face and live the consequences of them daily.  You can choose to blame the circumstances, but at the end of the day, we are solely responsible for the choices we make and the eventual outcome.  Too often we sleepwalk through our choices. We default to choices that our society and culture tells us we should do.  Often we end up choosing that which is easy from hard only to find out that the hard choice ends up being the right one.  In my talks with athletes, I let them know they have the power to decide what they want to do. The right thing to do is not easy—it usually comes with hardships and challenges, against certain odds, and at times contrary to popular opinion or common thinking.  But it is in such choices that greatness is found. It’s your daily habits, choices and influences that bring you momentum and allow you to accelerate to where you want to go.

We each have the power and freedom to choose right from wrong.  Greatness is not served on a silver platter; it is earned by the choices we make against all odds with the will, determination and perseverance to succeed.  Always remember that you can change your life simply by making better choices. It is up to you. You can make better lifestyle decisions, get rid of old habits, change unwanted situations, choose a better diet, better friends, have better reactions to situations and challenges, etc.  Start with the wisdom, integrity and will to make the right choices for you, and you’ll have the courage to achieve great things. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Blessings and Love,

Marti Reed


Marti Reed