Accomplishment and success. The two words that are the driving force behind everything we do. But how do you measure success and accomplishment? As I begin another great baseball season I’ve reflected on the achievements I’ve made that have gotten me to where I am today. The home runs? The great plays? The game winning home run in last year’s ALDS? Those are all inspirational achievements, but they don’t define success.
For me, success is when I look in the mirror and know without a doubt that I’ve done better today than I did yesterday. It’s about helping those around you become greater, passing on what I’ve learned to the next generation of baseball all-stars, and adding my mark on the great game of baseball.
Playing baseball is not just a sport played on the field. It’s a career that’s built on mental toughness, dedication and perseverance. What you’ll see this year is a result of all the hours my teammates and I put in during spring training and our continuous workouts throughout the year. Like everything else in life, you only get out what you put in.
Baseball and business share many similarities, however, what’s unique to the career of sports is the risk of career ending injury, which is present with every play on the field. It demands tremendous caution, and discipline to prepare yourself and your body as best as possible. Over working and pushing your limits will in all likelihood set you back. I have always made it my priority to find the proper balance between playing with all my energy and strength, and at the same time to understand when I need to sit out and take a break. Like everything else, finding the right balance is the key to long term success.
I’ve been blessed to play for the greatest fans in the world. Whether they’re cheering for me or rooting against me, they are a power source that has helped me constantly elevate my game throughout the years. The energy fans bring when I play in our home stadium is incredible, and I always use it to my advantage. The same is true when I play away from home and the crowds boo. In fact, I would say the inner strength and passion I get when facing an
opposing crowd is equal if not more powerful than when they cheer for me. No matter what happens in life, never show fear. Muster all your strength and prove you’ll not be beaten. The drive to succeed no matter what stands in your way is extremely powerful, and if you harness it correctly you’ll see it will elevate everything you do.
I’ll never be able to please everyone, and there will always be those who will criticize what I do. But one thing I’ve learned is, rather than make believe the critics don’t exist, embrace them! Stay true to yourself and know without a doubt that you’ve made the world you live in better today than it was yesterday. That is true success!