Tragedy or Triumph? How to achieve your dreams and then lose it all – The Lamar Odom Story

Is this a story of tragedy or triumph?  How you answer this question says more about you than it does about Lamar Odom.

In case you are unfamiliar who Lamar Odom is, or what his story is about.  Lamar Odom was a professional basketball player, playing the NBA.  During the height of his career he was considered one of the top players in the league, and he was married to Khloe Kardashian.  By almost any measure, he was a full on celebrity, living the full-on celebrity lifestyle.   So what happened?

The Tragedy

What happened was that one day Lamar Odom was famously found unconscious in a Nevada brothel having overdosed on cocaine and Viagra (or so the story goes).  This episode (along with many others I am sure) cost him his marriage, but also nearly cost him his life.

The question people often ask is how could someone who seemingly has everything going for him (money, marriage, fame, a great career as a professional athlete) be so careless and throw it all away so frivolously?

This is how Lamar Odom is remembered by most people, the basketball player who threw it all away and almost killed himself by overdosing in a Las Vegas whore house.

But that’s not what I take away from Lamar Odom’s story.   Because the questions I always ask myself are “What can I learn from this story that is going to help me improve my life?” and  “What about this story is going to help empower me?”

“Where your attention goes, your energy flows, and that’s what you create and experience in your own life.” – HaRu

Remembering his downfall doesn’t help me improve my life, so would I waste my time and energy focusing on the negative?  Where your attention goes, your energy flows, and that’s what you create and experience in your own life.

What I take away from the Lamar Odom story is that before he was “Lamar Odom,” before he was a celebrity, before he was a professional basketball player, and before he was Khloe Kardashian’s husband, he was just like anyone else.  He was just another person, no different than you or me, who had a dream about what he wanted to experience in his life.  And so what I focus on about the Lamar Odom story is that how did someone no different from me achieve his dream? And what can I take away from that to achieve my own?


The Vision & the Triumph

The first step to achieving your dreams is having a vision for what it is you want to experience.

Lamar said he had his future planned out from an early age, he had a vision for what his life was going to become.  “I used to have this vision in my head, from the time I was 10 years old. I could already see [former NBA commissioner] David Stern up at the podium calling my name, saying what team I was going to, and me kissing my family. I could already see it.”

Lamar wasn’t lucky, he knew exactly what he wanted, he had a vision of what he wanted to experience in his life, and he went after it, and got it!

So what is my takeaway from the Lamar Odom story?  It’s that anything is possible for anyone, including you and including me.  If this kid from nowhere, who no one had heard of, had a dream, a vision for his life which probably seemed impossible at the time, and he could made it into his reality, then why can you and why can’t I do the same in our lives?  We can.

So then the question is, what can we learn about what he did to help ourselves?

First, and foremost, Lamar had a vision for his life.  He knew exactly what it was he wanted to experience in his life.  He wanted to walk across the stage and shake the commissioner’s hand.

“The most important part of your vision is that is necessarily implies the fulfillment of your dream”
– HaRu

Why was this [walking across the stage and shaking the commissioner’s hand part of his vision] the experience he chose to envision?  Because of what it implied.  In his mind Lamar knew that if he was walking across the stage and shaking the commissioner’s hand, that must mean he was drafted into the NBA.  And that is the most important part of a vision, it must imply the fulfillment of your dream.

For you to create an effective vision for your own life, choose

let go of the idea that anything is “impossible” for you and breath life back into your dreams

one scene, one activity, one circumstance that necessarily implies that you have achieved what it is you want to achieve in your life.  

What is your dream?  What do you want to achieve or experience in your own life?  What would it be like to be living the life about which you still secretly dream?

For you to achieve anything in your life, you must know what it is you want to achieve.  So the first step is you deciding what it is you want to achieve.  Of course the truth is this isn’t so much a decision as it is a revelation.  Because on some level you already know what your dream is, to reveal it to your conscious mind, you simply need to let go of the idea that it is not (or no longer) possible for you.  

“For you to know your dream, you must first let go of the idea that it is impossible for you to achieve.” – HaRu

Too many people worry about how they are going to achieve their dream before they can even clearly communicate what their dream is.  Don’t worry about how you’re going to reach your dream yet, you’ll figure that out later.  Do you think the ten year old Lamar Odom knew how he was going to make it to the NBA?  No.  He just knew that’s what he wanted.  And that’s the key, think like a child.

Design your life as if you were still a child and you still believed anything is possible for you.  Don’t get bogged down in “reality,” in what has or has not come before.  Reality is subjective and for you to achieve your dream, you are going to change your perspective and change your reality, many, many times between now and then.  So don’t worry about reality.  If you could achieve or experience anything in the world, what would it be?

No matter your age, inside you right now there still exists a dream.  What is it?  Let go of the idea that it’s impossible for you to achieve, and allow your dream to breath again.  Give it room to grow.  After what is and is not possible is as subjective as what food is best. What you believe to be “impossible” will differ from what I believe.  So which one of us is correct?  We both are, because anything you believe to be true, becomes true and remains true for so long as you continue to harbor that belief.  

But breathing life back into your dream and developing a vision is only the first part of achieving success (this is using your mind).  

The second part is working like a crazy person until you achieve your goal (this is the part of the Body).  

And the third part is combining both the mental with the physical and working with an absolute mental determination that you will achieve your goal no matter.  It is believing that you and you alone are responsible for your life, and that if it possible for anyone to achieve their dreams, then so too is it possible for you… and this is where your mind meets your body.  When you are clear on what it is you want to achieve, and you go about actually achieving it with a mind of determination.  

What is Mynd Over Body all about?  It’s about overcoming your circumstances.  It’s about looking at your current circumstances, and telling yourself, if I can do this, I can do anything.  It is not about feeling bad about your circumstances, but instead looking your circumstances and finding reasons to feel good, to feel empowered by them.  If you can create all of this, you can do anything.  

And when you see someone else who is doing better, who has more than you, it is about reminding yourself that they are no different than you, and that if they can do that for themselves, then you can create your own version of that for yourself. 


Tragedy or Triumph?  What you focus on about the Lamar Odom story says more about you than it says about him

Why do so many people love hearing stories about successes who turn into disasters?  Why do so many people enjoy reading stories about celebrities who seemingly had it all and then who lost it all?  

It’s not because these people are cruel.  It is because they are unhappy in their own lives, and they are looking for reasons to feel better about themselves.  It is because at some point in their lives they gave up on their own dreams, and so seeing other people suffer in the same way they are suffering makes them feel better about their own failures.

They view themselves are often unfulfilled, and they have fundamental belief that “you can’t have it all.”  And so when they see someone like Lama who seems to have it all, they root for his failure.  And when people, celebrities like Lamar fail or have missteps, these unfilled people can validate their own belief system and say “See! I told you, you can’t have it all!” It merely a distraction from their own pain. 

Subconsciously they are able to tell themselves “See, it’s a good thing you didn’t go after your dream, that could have been you!  You could have been the one who this story was about.  Aren’t you glad you gave up on your own dreams?”

There is a German word for this feeling called schadenfreude, which is when you take delight in another’s misfortune.  But if you are one of those people who find joy in another’s misfortune (especially another who has not personally wronged you), take a moment and ask yourself “why?  why does this please me?”  Those who live in abundance want to see everyone rise, those who live scarcity delight when others fall to their level.  

So the question you should ask yourself, where was you majority of your interest in the Lamar Odom story?  Did you resonate more with his drug fueled and very public collapse?  Or did you find inspiration in his rise to achieve his dreams?  What you focus says a lot about you and how you feel about yourself than it says about him.  How you judge someone else is how you are subconsciously judging yourself.

If you focused on his failures, on his downfall, then ask yourself what dreams of yours have gone unfulfilled ?  What dreams of yours are you suppressing?  What are you so unhappy about in your own life that you focus on the sufferings of another?

If you focused on his triumph, on how he was capable to come from nowhere and achieve his dreams, then ask yourself, what are your dreams?  What vision do you have for yourself that necessarily implies the fulfillment of your goal?  And what are you doing to make your dream into your reality?  What action(s) are you taking?  Because if he can do it, so can you.  

Your primary takeaway with everything you read, watch, see, or experience should be “What about this can I use to help me move forward in my own life?”  

What’s going to leave you more empowered to achieve your own dreams?  Are you going to learn more by mocking the tragedy and suffering of another human being, particularly a man who has personally done you no harm?  Or are you going to learn more by focusing on the fact that if he is no different than you, and that if can achieve his dream, then so can you?

Where your focus goes, your energy flows.  Where your energy flows is what you create.  What you create is what you experience.  And around and around you go.  To break out of the cycle, you need to begin thinking differently.  Begin with the end in mind, begin by forgetting what’s “impossible,” and breathing life back into your dream.  


The inspiration for this story came from the following source if you want to read more Lamar Odom, who ‘shook hands with death,’ reveals details about his drug use