• Jajuan Michael Harley

Riding shotgun to the purpose

Updated: May 16


Life has its way of humbling a person. It has made me realize the purpose of my journey is bigger than me. I used to want the money and fame that comes with football. There was a time in my life when I wanted to seek revenge on those who tried to hold me down. Now, I only want to honor those who are in my corner and to inspire people.

I would not be here if it was not for my ancestors, parents, along with those great men and women who came before me. I dedicate my grind to them because their lives were tougher than mine and they found a way to succeed. At any point of their lives, they could have given up. Their blueprint of relentlessness gave me the grit I possess.

How can I make an impact on lives if I never been through crap? Where will I find the strength to push through adversity if I give up when the tough gets going? The most beautiful things grow through the ugliest manure, and I have encountered tons of manure.

I do not feel as if I am failing or have failed in life. I do understand my timing has been off, but I believe blessings happen in due time. My Daddy said, “A flower cannot grow with weeds around it.” I now have my energy right; my circle is tighter, and my focus is on the journey not the tasks. Instead of speaking my dream in future tense, I speak life in present tense. I speak as if victory is here and I am living my dream.

I am grateful to have made it to the National Football League (NFL) from Walmart’s Toy Department. Being in the NFL opened doors for me. The money I earned in eight months was used towards finishing my Bachelor of Science Degree and starting my Health and Wellness business Make Adjustments Delete Excuses Incorporated (M.A.D.E.). Getting NFL experience felt like I had reached the mountain top. Actually, I was standing on a hill in the valley. Life showed me what can be. My determination to never give up will guide me to where I am destined to be. The blueprint that I cultivated is what I desire to pass to the next person.

If a dream can come alive once, it can be reborn because life is a circle. However, you must hang on to the tiny, thin, slippery rope called faith. There are moments when my grip is lost; all I have is my hope and prayer. My advice is to hold on: in due time, life will present what you missed before, but you must stay ready.

Stay encouraged!



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