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Daily Nugget of Gold 1799

It ain’t over ’til it’s over” – Yogi Berra

Daily Nugget of Gold 1799

Going Through the Motions

Whether it’s in baseball or in life, many people are tempted to just go through the motions- to perform the task at hand with the minimum amount of effort needed. It’s almost to be expected in day to day life, but when we get to the world-class stage of things, this is the sort of thing which will get you in major trouble and fast. What strikes us as odd is that even when people reach what most would consider a high level of achievement, such as becoming a major league baseball player or a chief executive officer, is that this nasty lackadaisical attitude can still sink in. Is it human nature to try to get away with what would seem to be the minimum effort needed in order to maintain the current status? We wonder.

Not everyone is affected in this way, some people seem to continue making an all-out effort no matter how much they achieved the day before. Generally, we consider these folks to be super-stars, but really? Is that the major difference between the wanna-bees (Hey, don’t blame us on the spelling of that, it was in the spell-check program that way) in life and the true achievers?

We’ve noticed that even in highly successful companies there seems to be this tendency to stick to the minimum effort needed to get by than by continuing the original effort they made of going the extra mile. Now, one would think that we’re complaining here, not at all! What this observation means for those of us who want to exceed the limits set by others as to what amounts to success in any walk of life is this: Anyone can do it! Anyone! If we note that people tend to rest when they reach some measure of success, if we see that many of the so-called achievers in life actually still have habitual laziness that vexes them, then we see for ourselves an “in” as it were, an opportunity to advance and move ahead.

Be warned, however, these folks that made an effort to reach a higher level aren’t comatose. These folks are merely “napping” and your blowing right by them when they aren’t making an all-out effort is likely going to be noticed. But that’s what’s cool about this. If you are aware of what’s going on around you, you’ll probably discover there’s no safety in dogging it. These other people giving you this wonderful opportunity aren’t going to let you just eat their lunch. All of this makes us better people, if we see it that way. Relish the challenge, and challenge yourself first and foremost.

Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves

What can I do today to stay at the top of my game?”

Copyright 2017 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.

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Remember…

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Failure Works This Way

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Daily Nugget of Gold 1798

If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be.” – Yogi Berra

Daily Nugget of Gold 1798

The Difference is Exceedingly Small

Baseball is driven by statistics. There’s a big reason for that. It’s often hard to tell in professional baseball just how good a player is until you look at things like batting averages, on-base percentages, earned-run averages and the like. Baseball is like any area of success in life in that it’s really, really difficult to discern the difference between mediocre and outstanding players without using statistics as a tool, except maybe with a gut feeling. Just the same, the statistics don’t reveal everything there is to know about a player.

What can’t the statistics show? If a player tends to perform their best in clutch situations, or if a player is adept in rallying the team to do their own personal best to win- as a team. Even though a player might not be defined entirely by statistics, their usefulness in something like baseball cannot be denied. A guy who can get a hit in only 3 of 10 at bats is a really good hitter. Lower that score to 2 of 10 and he’s in a bit of a slump. 4 of 10 times and his bat is “on fire”!

We often measure entrepreneurs based on how well one product or service sells and performs, but the most successful among us go to the plate again and again and they see more than their ‘fair share’ of failure. When we get humiliated at the plate, what do we do? To we shy away from going back and trying again, or do we dust ourselves off and face the guy throwing 95 mile per hour heat again, telling him to give it all he’s got? Yeah, the likelihood is that we will fail again, that’s the way it works, folks! But without taking on the challenge, there can be no rewards possible.

We’ve been rather fond of asking those folks we’ve been entrusted to teach about just how many great ideas one needs to come up with in order to make a million (or a billion) dollars. The answer is, “Just one!” One good one. Yes, that’s an oversimplification of just what it takes to be a success, and it doesn’t detail the preparation, practice, blood, sweat, and tears that goes into developing an idea into a tremendous success- but the idea thing, that part of it, isn’t uncommon.

To imagine that a guy joins a major league team and begins slugging home runs from day one is naive and dangerous, but to see it as the fruition of a journey through failures aplenty and a gradual development of one’s own talents, skills, and abilities is more realistic. Yet, we like to look at the nearly finished product as if it just came from nowhere.

Just remember, the difference in baseball between winning and losing is tiny, a matter which often is viewed best through statistical analysis. Also remember that the statistics cannot measure the content of a person’s heart and soul.

Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves

What can I do to change up my own game a little bit for the better?”

Copyright 2017 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.

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Reality is Wrong

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Dreams

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Yoda Quote

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Daily Nugget of Gold 1797

In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.” – Yogi Berra

Daily Nugget of Gold 1797

Play Ball!

We are reminded of a baseball commentator that once said, “It’s play ball, not ‘work’ ball” as we take on this next portion of our topic. It’s an odd distinction, but a good one. For those with the love of the game in their hearts- the difference between the two ‘strategies’ or approaches is easy to see. Having fun and relishing the game as you play it is actually an important part of winning. It’s an attitude that one carries as they go about doing the things they do within the game that helps players perform at their very best.

There is definitely work involved in professional baseball, but it really isn’t at game time, it comes during preparation and practice. That’s when a work-ethic really pays off. Yes, you can add a bit of work, even during the game, but the mental distinction of “playing” a game, rather than “working” a game is huge. All that being said, there are a few things we’ve noticed about players in general that we’re going to examine to see if maybe, given all the effort teams make to win, ought to be practiced more.

Have you ever seen a hitter hit a ball hard and stop and watch how far it’s going, wanting to see if they might have homered or not? That one or two second delay could mean the difference between having a double or triple, adding an extra base- as opposed to getting picked off trying for an extra base. Yet, even at the professional level, where milliseconds count, players would rather “soak in the thrill” of watching a potential home run rather than make sure they are advancing just in case a gust of wind sends it down to the field.

We watched the other night where a player hit a ball- just slightly foul, and ran it out down to first. He didn’t stop to see where it was going to end up, and laughed to himself as he jogged back for another pitch. The announcers on TV said he was going to be ribbed by his teammates for running it out. Really? Come on, now- he’s doing what is supposed to be done and there’s going to be people on his own team condemning him for it?

It doesn’t happen all that much, but sometimes a fairly routine fly ball is not given the effort and drops in for a hit- and we witnessed one such circumstance in the game we watched. There were no fewer than 3 players with a shot at catching it, but the guy who called it didn’t get to the spot where he needed to be to snag it. Compare that to the plays of the great fielders who take a running dive at a ball and snatch it just before it hits the ground, only to recover immediately and make a laser like throw. One can only imagine how often in practice those guys body-slam themselves to the ground to become so great at that!

So what’s with all this bad -mouthing professional baseball players who don’t give the game their all? We’ll talk about that next time. Really, we want the best for folks, but we can’t do it for them, they must be willing to make an all-out effort themselves in order to arrive at the Hall of Fame.

Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves

What’s preventing me from giving my game everything I’ve got?

Copyright 2017 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.

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Cesar Milan Quote

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