“One finds limits by pushing them.” – Herbert Simon
Ok, we can pretty much agree that this essentially describes me and a good portion of the significant parts of my life. I’m an extremist by either nature or nurture. If I strive for moderation, then I only settle for average rewards. I have generally found my limitations by testing my limits much to both my benefit and detriment. Maybe it’s my illogical curiosity of having to find out what I can achieve, even when it can result in a physical and mental dismantling. I’ll offer few apologies though I probably owe more!
If my brain and body are working, they move quickly and in rapid-fire-mode until at the other end of the scale, where both need to shift to auto-pilot for maintenance until the next ride although these days, with a bit more regard for my welfare. I mean I’m not as old as others think I should act, but not young enough to tackle everything I used to challenge – make sense? I guess when a lifestyle takes you to the wrong end of extinction, you tend to tone things down a bit.
But I do want to impress upon you as my sons the following absolute until convinced otherwise. I BELIEVE THAT YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING THAT YOU ENVISION YOURSELF DOING! At your age, what some may perceive as your dreams is interpreted by me as YOUR GOALS if you do more than just want it bad enough! As your father and someone who really understands your abilities and unique, individual makeups, I know that you are truly gifted enough to rise to your expectations. I mean, what you have done to date has been remarkable by anyone’s measurement but you wouldn’t understand that thinking since you wouldn’t really accept anything less for the most part. The hard part as you get older is not only to work for those dreams/goals but to capitalize on the opportunities that they give rise to without being deterred. Again I believe in what you see yourself doing and because those visions are fairly grand, you can understand my concern as your Dad as you mature.
Here’s something I want you to take into account. I never accept it when you say you “can’t” when I know that reasoning is based on something else. Conversely, I rarely tell you that you “can’t” do something that you want to achieve because first, I believe you can and second, I know you well and long enough to convince me that you will! I certainly won’t be the one to stop you in that regard and furthermore, I’ll support you throughout it until the end. I know how I’m wired so through nature or nurture, there’s not much satisfaction in just getting close unless you know you’ve gone as far as you can go!
Now when it comes to things I say you “shouldn’t” do, please don’t boor me with your initial defensive mechanisms and confuse it with telling you what to do. Let’s be clear: if I really wanted to stop you from doing something at this stage of the game, I would, without hesitation or debate. Certain things are meant to be tests of your intelligence, common sense, and character while other things I figure you’ll have to learn on your own or alternatively if things work out, realize that I just underestimated you. As someone older and through my own life, I have a lot more experience, information, and wisdom to calculate the probability of certain results should you disregard my advice. If it’s hard to accept because I’m your “Dad always telling you what to do”, try to separate the message from the messenger. Have I ever mentioned THAT I KNOW MORE THAN YOU DO and at this juncture, I’M SMARTER THAN YOU ARE but I’m hoping as you get older, that gap closes sooner than later. I’ve got a lot to offer you two so it’s up to you on how to use it. I’m fairly secure in those absolutes either way so might as well use me while the brains still firing.
I have a certain amount of distaste for those who continue to tell you to be “realistic” about the achievement of your loftiest goals. Frankly, they piss me off and serve little constructive purpose other than exposing more about their limits and standards, than recognizing yours.
I was just talking to Christian about how people constantly throw around statistics about the small percentage who actually reach their goals in baseball. As expected, C said he doesn’t see why that small percentage shouldn’t include him – so proud of that observation. From our countless discussions in and out of the car coupled with the way he plays, I know he is absolutely convinced that he’ll do it. Funny but after watching him play, seeing how hard he works, how passionate he is and committed to his love of the game, I’m convinced too! I know it’s easy to say that he’s young and doesn’t have the same amount of distractions to deter him but now is not the time to question his future but only to support his belief in it.
And Jason, I told you the other morning that I believe you can accomplish anything you see yourself doing in baseball. That’s why I want you to see yourself at not just a college who wants you but one YOU want that will help you go as far as you can. I’ve watched you less as a father sometimes and more as an objective observer and let me make this clear – YOU AND C ARE GOOD ENOUGH TO RISE TO WHATEVER BASEBALL LEVEL YOU WANT TO PLAY! Now, that is not to say you will but you have the attributes and the determining factors will come from choosing well and acting on or creating the right opportunities. You’ve worked hard and sacrificed a lot to get where you are and that will always continue if you wish to prevail over others with the same dreams.
I will ask the obvious questions that you and C will always have to answer on your own: how much are you willing to sacrifice for your dreams, and how far will you let yourselves be led astray by others before you risk losing them? Those are f’ing hard decisions to make when the circumstance are more complicated and people demand more for themselves rather than for you. It’s your choice, your results, you own it, and no excuses! Remember this: few successful people were ever described as “one of the crowd” or a “follower” while growing up. Leaders are the guys who dictate the circumstances and not dictated by others’ situations.
Here’s the bottom line: I’ve watched you guys in camps and games and you boys standout because of your ability, your impact, your personality and your leadership. You have IT as far as what it takes to succeed. Don’t “F” it up!
Here is one final thing. “The people who influence you are the people who believe in you” so don’t unnecessarily disappoint them, especially me because it would have been nice to have had that kind of support growing up that you do now. No pity party – just why I needed to be such an extremist along the way and I have very few regrets.