Why is THIS news?

Alex Rodriguez, Yankee slugger, was a regular customer at a high priced call girl service, the same one Elliot Spitzer, former governor of New York, frequented. Yeah?

Michael Phelps, Olympic champion swimmer, smokes pot. Regularly. From a bong! Woah!

Roger Clemens took steroids. Whew!

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick engaged in the training of pit bulls for death matches in which spectators bet on the outcome. Really? What?!

Come on, folks! Who or what do you think professional athletes are? They're the same pampered, narcissistic jocks you felt tormented by in high school, remember? Only now they make millions of dollars and have access to the most exotic new party or performance-enhancing drugs, and the highest-maintenance, gold-digging women. They're not icons of virtue or clean living. They never were. And they're not trying to be role models for anyone, either. They're jocks.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love what these athletes do in their respective sports. They show us the highest levels of performance and achievement that human beings can be capable of, and we need to see that, because so many of us are under-achievers, procrastinators or just downright lazy. Far too many of us have a litany of excuses for why we're not doing what we love to do or why we're not contributing the way we could be.

And what should be equally relevant, then, to the slouchers when watching top flight jocks doing their thing is when these high profile stars show us their other side - their stellar flaws, their glaring imperfections, and their rampant dysfunctions. In other words, they're no better than any of us. They're no more together than anyone else. But like the message from the book I'm reading, "THE WISDOM OF NO ESCAPE," which I blogged about the other day (see "PETE BEST"), tells us, you don't have to wait to have yourself all together to do great things in life.

In other words, you can be a complete fuck-up in one area and a great achiever in another. Mind you, that doesn't mean you'll be happy, or having a satisfying life. If you're out of balance like that, in such a state of disharmony, you'll be paying a price emotionally, mentally, and ultimately physically. Just ask Mickey Mantle. Well, you can't ask him, that's the point. He died prematurely from his alcoholism, even though he was able to hit four home runs in one game while suffering from a crushing hang-over.

So, what's my point? It's that, first, you should be expressing your gifts. Whatever they are, whatever your greatness is, you should be contributing to the collective consciousness, even though you're still struggling with your dysfunctions. Second, if you want to be happy, healthy, wealthy and wise for the long-term, you should be using your gifts as guidance for how to straighten out the rest of your life. When you're at your best, when you're in the zone, you're not in your ego or character defenses, you're not in the past or future, but in the now, in the moment. Check it out. When you're playing the guitar or painting or cooking a delicious meal, you're in a state of free-floating grace. When you're depressed or anxiously obsessing or paralysed with fear, you're trapped in your thoughts, in your ego-mind.

If you can't get out of there by yourself, get help. Set the intention and the right guidance from the right person will come along. But stop making excuses. A-Rod is no more together than you, maybe even less so. But he knows he can play baseball if he wants to. You can do your thing, too.

As Stephen Pressfield says in "The Legend of Baggar Vance: "The perfect shot is already in you."

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