Whether you’re a successful entrepreneur, celebrity, star athlete, or just another average human being like myself, life has a few certainties in store for you. Your paychecks will be taxed, you will lose loved ones, and you will face the Devil. What does the Devil look like and who is he? You have to know the answer to those two questions if you’re ever going to avoid him.

If you’ve been following PerSources, you know I usually write sports. I just had to write one for all the hurting good guys and girls out there. Religious or not, you have heard of the pillar of darkness growing up. You’ve seen him in the form of a demon or a blazing red superior being on your television. Before reading this article, imagine every variation of the Devil that you can think of, and now throw it outside the window.

“The Devil doesn’t come dressed in a red cape and pointy horns. He comes as everything you’ve ever wished for.”

Tucker Max, Assholes Finish First

    Now let me warn you, I’m about to take you for a trip down to memory lane. If you’re not up for it, I suggest you read this another time. You’ve made some of the “mistakes” I’m about to list. If you’re young and haven’t yet, you’ll probably make these mistakes some day. Luckily for you, I’ll explain why you made them:

    Remember the time you had a gut reaction, a bad vibe, or an indescribable feeling that just warned you time and time again about another person, but you didn’t listen? You let your good heart and logical mind talk you into trusting that person. It may have taken a few days, a few weeks, or a few years, but they eventually did end up hurting and quite frankly permanently damaging you at an emotional level. The worst part? You weren’t even mad that they hurt you. What hurt you most is knowing that you knew all along that this would happen, but you didn’t listen. This could be a lover, a friend, a business partner or any combination, you’ve felt it before. In the sports world, this could also be in the form of an opportunity. A franchise player choosing another team because he felt more loved there and then finding out it was a terrible situation to be in (Dwight Howard).

You gonna sit here and tell me the pain you felt/are feeling wasn’t the work of the Devil?

   For many of you, you’ve passed on school or changed jobs for all the wrong reasons. Perhaps you’ve made job or business decisions based on your desire to better your family financially. You’ve made some fiscal decisions which you knew at the time that you were wrong, yet your mind was clouded once again. These decisions have set many of us back a multitude of years. The pain and embarrassment of falling as a victim of greed is one of the hardest to come back from. Did LeBron James benefit in Maimi? In many ways, yes. Does he enjoy being the bad guy? If you asked him I bet the answer is absolutely not.

You gonna sit here and tell me the pain you felt/are feeling wasn’t the work of the Devil?

   Its unfortunate and somewhat crazy when you think about the effects of love and greed can have on each and every one of us. The desire of securing our families and pleasing our abusive lover often share the same characteristics. We do both out of love with disregard to our own well being. We know its wrong, we know we can’t stop, and we forget why we started. I was lucky enough to find a letter I wrote to myself when I was 15, innocent and full of life! 9 years later, I read it and decided to share my wisdom with everyone here.

   The Devil doesn’t come in the form of The Devil doesn’t come dressed in a red cape and pointy horns. He comes as everything you’ve ever wished for. Temptation, greed, and lust all stem from our teen years. We all wanted success in school, sports, and to have fun. But as we started make our first real world observations, we realized all we really wanted was to find love, and financially secure our families. As we got older, we realized what are the two hardest things that we can possibly do in our young adult lives: Finding love and taking care of our families. We’ve somehow convinced ourselves that being with someone who hurt us was better than being lonely again or a bad business opportunity was somehow a good one. Is there anything worse than being an adult and thinking your 15 year old self was a tougher kid?

You gonna sit here and tell me the pain you felt/are feeling wasn’t the work of the Devil?

   My advice is to try to find a way to grow from these pains and never take the short cut. Count your blessings and water the grass you stand on. Our sense of judgement will always be clouded by temptation and greed, the real face of the Devil. However, we (the good guys and girls), need to learn to rely on our experiences to not fall for the Devil again. Always trust your gut feelings, even to a fault. Don’t be scared to take risks, but make calculated decisions with eyes wide open the whole way. You’re going to get hurt at some point, a pain worse than anything you’ve ever felt before. However, anyone who’s been through that will tell you, it gets better. Please don’t ever give up. The bravest thing you can do is trust yourself. The best thing you can do is love yourself. Every quarterback gets sacked, but the great ones don’t get rattled and definitely don’t start acting out of character. Don’t become who the Devil is trying to make you become and most importantly don’t let yourself become the Devil. Stay in the pocket, complete a few good passes, and sometimes go for the touchdowns. You will score touchdowns, even if the road to the end zone hurts a lot, I believe in you.

Still don’t believe these pains are caused by the Devil?

“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist.”

-Verbal, The Usual Suspects

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