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Working Towards the Best Version of Me


Jan. 1, 1970

Dear Fellow Former Players & Friends,

In the wake of this year’s presidential election, I am reminded that anything is possible. I won’t reveal what side I’m on, but it gives me great hope, joy and motivation to know that with focus and determination we can defy odds when it appears there is no clear path to our goals.

But what’s next? I don’t just want what’s coming to me.

How do I get what I want? How do I get closer to a happy life?

“Next” is a word for me that doesn’t always mean “next in the order of things”. NEXT, to me, means healthier, enhanced, making thoughtful decisions for a better quality of life. It requires being mindful of the relationships I keep and how I treat the people in those relationships. I need to be calculated in how I budget and disciplined in spending money. I want to be strategic about career choices and how it impacts my time, my family and my stress.

I want NEXT in everything I do. I want progress and to be the best version of me.

I’m also hoping you will strive to be better. I want your ideas to be fresh and new. I want you to be alive with creativity and know that you are smart and capable. I want you to know the joy that comes with reaching and stretching higher.

As I watch you defy odds, I am awestruck with what you achieve when you put your mind to it. I celebrate your effort and willingness to conquer the unimaginable from where you started in life. We know how far we’ve come.

Continue to re-authorize your life and reform the negative thoughts that creep into your mind. Start small to solve your big issues. You have the tools. They look familiar and feel like purpose and grit!

Build your plan today through educating, communicating and advocating for the best version of you.

Action creates opportunity.

Andre Collins

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Executive Director
Professional Athletes Foundation
NFL Player 1990-1999

Gene Upshaw Player Assistance Trust Fund

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