Don’t Have the Victim Mentality

Anytime I am putting together presentations I need a lot of quiet time to get my mind right so those thoughts can translate into a crystal clear message which will inspire and impact those folks I am speaking to. They hired me to entertain them, educate them, and equip them… and I need to make sure I am ready to roll. 

However, as you know all too well, quiet time is hard to come by these days in the house because of hybrid schooling, sports, and other commitments. 

This week was no exception, and I was trying to find time during the day to pause, reflect, and write. It just was not happening as I wanted it to and I was already starting to get frustrated by Tuesday. 

Until I saw this.

A group of people posing for a photo

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I immediately was locked into my own world as I felt a lump in my throat and tears beginning to form in my eyes.

This is one of my all-time favorite pictures which I have not seen in years. 

On MJ’s left is my great friend, pseudo big brother, and role model Brian Delanty. 

Brian was two years older than me and he would literally kick my ass when we played pickup hoops but he would lift me up many times with his toughness and his sense of humor. 

It was hard not to like Brian and when you got to know him, it was impossible not to love him. 

Brian was a winner in every sense.

The day before he was supposed to start in his senior homecoming football game he was diagnosed with Leukemia. 

Brian fought hard. 

He would come to practice every day and go off to a side basket and shoot from short range and then when he got too tired, he would watch. Just him being at practice made them a better team. 

Brian would squeeze every ounce of enthusiasm and energy he had in him each day and obviously, because of his cancer treatment, some days were better than others. 

But here is the thing, Brian was there for you. He never wanted it to be about him… it was about the team and his guys. 

Everyone grew through Brian’s adversity because of the example he set and the standard that he set with his love, toughness, and heart. 

He was as invaluable as it gets without being most valuable. 

The night this picture was taken, Brian was sick. Every time MJ came out of the game he would sit next to Brian and then he spent the entire fourth quarter of the blowout talking with him. 

Several years later I was helping run the Michael Jordan Basketball Camp at Elmhurst College. One day we were helping get kids through the line to get Michael’s autograph when there was a break in the action. 

I took a shot and said, “Michael, I just want to thank you for all you did for a great friend of mine a few years back. I know it meant the world to him and his family.”

When I said Brian’s name his eyes lit up and then he asked his bodyguard George to hold off on letting guys in for a minute.

After we talked about how Brian and I knew each other and how much Brian meant to me, Michael did something that blew me away… he asked about each member of Brian’s family by name. 

When I reminded Brian’s sister, Erin of that story, she was amazed by Michael’s memory. 

But I told her something that I believe to be true… Brian did more for Michael that night than Michael did for Brian. 

That is just how Brian was with everyone. 

How was he able to do that?

He never had a victim mentality. 


And he wasn’t going to let you have one either.

The last time I saw Brian alive, he was lying on a sand bed in the ICU because his bones were so fragile. Yet he still managed to give me a hard time (understatement) about our game the night before which I may have gotten thrown out of for fighting. Long story! 

As a matter of fact, he tried to sit himself up to remind me how to stick and move.

Never about him and never the victim. All the way until the end. 

I’m curious

How are you doing with this mindset right now? We are in the middle of an incredibly difficult time which may get worse before it gets better and it is easy to slip into the victim’s mindset. 

It does not serve you, your family, or the people you lead. 

The victim mentality is self-centered, selfish, and feeds the scarcity mindset. 

Let me ask you this… is the victim mentality part of the solution or part of the problem?

Life isn’t always fair and things do not always make sense but you have to……


Keep doing the best you can with what you have to become the best you are capable of becoming!



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