The technique of visualization is really important in attracting what you want in life. Have you ever tried it?
I think the power of visualization, hard work, and healing from your past are three big keys to becoming the person you have always wanted to be. Today’s discussion may sound like a rags-to-riches story, but it’s really about determination, grit, and discovering the life you’ve always wanted — and deserve.
Our guest today, NBA champion Dwyane Wade, knows how the power of visualization can transform your life. Those three keys I just mentioned — visualization, hard work, and healing from the past helped him become one of the greatest athletes of all time, winning the Olympic gold medal and becoming a 13-time NBA All-star. His story is incredible, and I can’t wait for you to hear about Dwyane’s life on and off the court.
Dwyane Wade is an NBA champion, Olympic gold medalist, and 13-time NBA All-star. Born in 1982 in Chicago, Illinois, Dwyane Wade starred at Marquette University before joining the NBA’s Miami Heat in 2003. Known as “D-Wade” or “Flash,” he became one of pro basketball’s elite guards, leading the Heat to championships in 2006, 2012, and 2013. Following late-career stints with the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers, Wade returned to Miami and retired in 2019 as the team’s all-time leader in numerous categories.
He wrote a new photographic memoir titled Dwyane that talks about his hard upbringing in inner-city Chicago, the mentors and coaches that helped carve his career path in basketball, the mindset needed to achieve greatness, and so much more.
The most notable characteristic about Dwyane is his heart. When I talked to his friends and family, they didn’t even mention his accolades, they wanted to talk about how much he cares for others and wants to do the right thing. I was excited to get into that more in our conversation.
Dwyane told me how he grew up on welfare in Chicago. His mom was in and out of jail, and he and his sister shared a small room in their apartment.
“First we were sleeping on the floor, and eventually I remember we got a bed to share. I would go to bed at night crying because I was hungry. We were lucky enough to eat once, sometimes twice per day, but sometimes it may not happen. So I would cry all the time, and my sister would always tell me every night to pray. She’d be like, ‘Ask God what you want.’ And so she always told me before bed because my stomach was hurting so bad, she’d be like, ‘Listen, go into your dreams and visions and picture the world that you want.’ So every night, that was the thing I was excited about. I was excited to go to sleep so I could go into this imaginary world.” – Dwyane Wade
This is where Dwyane learned the power of visualization. He would visualize what he wanted from his family, for his mother, for his dad, and for himself. He carried that vision everywhere he went because that was what made him feel the best. In that world, everything was perfect.
He talks about his sister being his guardian angel. She essentially raised Dwyane until he was nine. Then she took him to his dad’s house and told his dad it was time he took his turn raising Dwyane, so he lived with his father from age nine on. He visited his mother once in jail, but it was too painful for him, and he never visited her there again.
Dwyane’s outlet from the pain of his upbringing became basketball, so he put everything into the sport. He put the work in day in and day out and listened to his coaches even though he describes himself as being a bit “hard-headed” at that age.
“I’ve watched a lot of great athletes not get opportunities or not have the right mentor. I got lucky because I’ve had so many great mentors, and it started from a coaching standpoint.” – Dwyane Wade
One high school assistant coach, Gary Adams, told him that if he really wanted to be great, he needed to show up every day. So every day in the summer, Dwyane worked out with him while his friends were having fun.
“He was like, ‘I’m gonna come pick you up, and I’m gonna hit the horn one time. You better come out and you better be ready. If you’re late one day, I ain’t never coming back.’” – Dwyane Wade
That was the first of many amazing coaches and mentors in Dwyane’s life. But the best was yet to come. Throughout his career, Dwyane had many more mentors, including the one and only Michael Jordan.
Dwyane got drafted at 21 years old to the Miami Heat, and the wild ride of his career had just begun.
He recalls when he was at his draft party, his friend told him that Michael Jordan was outside and wanted to see him. He thought it was a joke, but his friend insisted. When he came outside, there were about 20 guys on motorcycles, and Mike was sitting there on his bike and said, “Hey man, I just wanted to come by and say, ‘Congratulations’ on being drafted.” Dwyane invited him inside, but Mike said, “Nah, I’m good. I just wanted to come by to show you some love.”
Dwyane had just met his idol up close, and he couldn’t believe this was real life.
As his career progressed, he developed a working relationship with Michael Jordan and even repped his shoes and apparel. He remembers wearing his shoes to a game and Mike told him, “I don’t want to see these shoes on the floor, I want to see them in the air.”
Some of the best advice he received was from Michael Jordan before a big game was, “Tomorrow, go get it.” That’s all he said, but Dwyane knew in that moment that he meant to go get the MVP. That advice was in his mind the whole time he was playing the game.
Dwyane made history multiple times in his career and is now considered one of the greatest NBA players of all time. When I asked him what the proudest moment in his career was, he said,
“Getting drafted because that was the moment that showed me I can do anything. Like I tell my son all the time, I worked hard just to get drafted because once I got drafted then it really started.” – Dwyane Wade
Dwyane stood alongside titans like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James and strived to learn from them, work hard, and set himself apart. However, that discipline and drive came with its own set of challenges, and one of those was self doubt.
It’s crazy to think one of the best basketball players of all time struggles with self-doubt, but it’s true. I asked Dwyane how he has learned how to overcome it:
“Many different ways. Sometimes your teammates got to help you get out of it. Sometimes your coach has got to help you get out of it. Sometimes the coach gotta drop a play to give me an easy one. Sometimes you look around the arena and see a kid in your jersey and you’re like, ‘This is not all about me.’ For me, I allow people that God has put around me to bring me out of that place.” – Dwyane Wade
One of those people is his wife, Gabrielle Union-Wade, who he says always picks him up when he is down. He emphasized the importance of family, and gave me three keys to sustaining a healthy, long-term relationship:
Some of the other ways he has learned to overcome self-doubt is by having a solid pregame routine which includes:
“I need a quiet time to once again visualize what I want in this game. I visualize before every game how I want the game to go.” – Dwyane Wade
Dwyane also explains that he discovered his greatest strength is being even-keeled when things get chaotic or intense, which has helped him overcome self-doubt and other stressors. He also shared that the three truths he lives by are hard work, patience, and energy — the energy that you give out is the energy that you receive back. I especially loved this truth.
Friends, this interview is packed with inspiring stories and nuggets of wisdom from my friend, Dwyane Wade. Listen to the full episode for more, and don’t forget to share the episode with someone who needs to hear it: You could change someone’s life!
I want to acknowledge Dwyane for being an incredible human being. Again, out of all the people I reached out to and asked about him, no one talked about how amazing his talents were on the court but instead how incredible he is with his heart. So I really acknowledge him for the gift that he is, how he shows up with energy, and the impact he’s made. For me, that’s pretty cool to watch. His definition of greatness is a value we should all carry:
“If you can focus on the consistency of life, that’s the thing that will get you to greatness.” – Dwyane Wade
Friends, join me on Episode 1192 to learn about the power of visualization, developing a strong work ethic, and healing from your past with Dwyane Wade. You will be inspired!