How Ray Lewis used his humble beginnings to be successful.
A man of many obstacles that he had do deal with, Ray Lewis is without question a person of resilience. Ray came from a small town in Bartow, Florida where many of his life’s lessons would begin there. Unfortunately for Ray, he experienced tremendous pressure dealing with his mother working full-time jobs to keep the family afloat. In addition, Ray’s father, Elbert Ray Jackson, had a drug abuse problem where he would go in and out of jail for numerous crimes. To say the least, Ray’s anger and disappointment towards his father grew more. Time after time, Ray’s father continued to abuse drugs and physically abuse Ray’s Mom, Sunseria.
One sport that Ray Lewis excelled in was football. At Kathleen High School, Ray would play his beginning years in football as he trained to become a professional athlete. While still dealing with his family issues at home, football was a new path of freedom for Ray. “All I could grab is my relationship with God and my Mom. My grind and taste in my mouth was different.” Ray said. Ray used football as his inner strength to overcome both emotional and mental barriers that his abusive father created in him.
A man that used his passion of football for his family.
As Ray Lewis began to excel in football, he always went above and beyond in football practices and studying the game. He felt he had his family on his shoulders and he trained intensely at home. In fact, Ray Lewis would numerously bring up in motivational speeches of the training he would do at home. He would have a deck of cards and do push ups according to each card represented. “If the card was a six, I’d do six push-ups.” Ray said. With the additional training he would do at home, it would excel his physical abilities and give him an opportunity to play football for the University of Miami.
In a interview, Lewis Howes talks to Ray Lewis about his life and success while inspiring others to achieve their greatness. Lewis goes into depth with Ray on his tragic past, humble beginnings, as Ray expresses that it’s ok to have failures in life. Ray believes everyone that has succeeded in life has faced adversity and you simply can’t dodge adversity.
Keep your cool when you’re facing life and don’t let life be bigger than you.
Ray Lewis continued his college endeavors and playing line backer for the University of Miami. In 1996, he gained the opportunity to be selected by the Baltimore Raves in the first round as the 26th pick of the NFL draft. Ray was beyond ecstatic to be drafted in the NFL and play for a professional football team. “We get one opportunity in life, one chance at life to do whatever you’re going to do, and lay your foundation and make whatever mark you’re going to make. Whatever legacy you’re going to leave; leave your legacy!” Ray would say in speaking with his Baltimore Ravens teammates.
Even after all these years that passed, Ray Lewis still remembers his past and believing in God as being his ultimate motivators to achieving his goals. Ray has shown that anyone who had an abusive family history doesn’t mean you have to use those experiences in a negative way; use them as motivating yourself to achieve your ultimate greatness and pushing through your own barriers.