(Since I wrote the original version in 2015, Jason has become a sophomore starting infielder at U of Santa Clara and Christian has committed to play at U of Washington once he graduates high school in 2019 – I think they took the message to heart and continue to prove my point.)
“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
Know that no matter how hard we try and what is gained or left unachieved in our efforts each day, appreciate this. We learn so much about ourselves and that we can achieve exponentially more during the days ahead by applying that discovery towards our future endeavors.
I came up with this thought while at the beach the other day and it kind of encapsulated a great deal of my transformation. Walk through this with me if you can see my logic. I don’t like using the term “failure” because by making the initial effort, you have only been “unsuccessful” so far in your initial attempt(s) and only by learning through those attempts can you see how close you are to success. Hopefully you wisely use that experience and knowledge to recalculate the next attempts to quicken our approach to our objectives or expansion beyond them.
I do understand the concept of “underachievement” to the extent that one chooses, for whatever reason, not to apply their known ability to a situation that demands it. More disappointing than the outcome is the knowledge that the preparation was so insufficient that the ability could not be called upon because the resources for its application were unavailable. Either way, responsibility boils down to personal ownership of all related causes.
With respect to the over applied term “overachievement”, I’ll put it out there that it does not exist and is primarily used for dramatic effect. It’s certainly debatable but in my opinion, “overachievement” is really a matter of “under-discovery”. We learn almost every new day that we are capable of more than we expected of ourselves by embracing our existing and newly encountered challenges. Prime example: the 2014 Redondo High baseball team. Casual observers would dismiss the success of the team reaching the CIF semi-finals as just a result of “overachievement”. Maybe there was just a lack of appreciation by the coaches and team of the hurdles that needed to be conquered a month before the Bay League season started and ended (remember the no-hitter against you guys in Irvine).
But then as in life, there was a new discovery of what was always there that introduced itself through the timing, sequence, the circumstances, and opportunities that revealed themselves and were taken advantage of leading to a growing faith and belief in not only that outcome, but doing what had never been done in 100 years by taking the CIF title a year later, and the following year ending in the top 10 national rankings while doing more of what’s never been done in the quest and final culmination of another championship! “Overachievement”? Hardly since in my mind, it’s just the expansion of what has either revealed itself or you have unlocked in your hidden vault and is now part of the magical routine of your existence.
I’ll finally leave you with this challenge. I know it’s fairly impossible to bring your “A” game to every encounter. However when presented with the greatest obstacles in the path of your most sought after goals, apply and exhaust the best part of you to overcome it. Do not allow the term “underachievement” to be used to explain the outcome. You’ll see what you thought was the best you could achieve, regardless of the result, is only a precursor to what is available to you in the future given the proper outer effort and inner discovery. Then history of YOUR world can be rewritten everyday as a consequence!
The ordinary player hopes for a good game.
A good player is confident that he will.
But the truly extraordinary player sees being good as just the “ordinary” and being “great” at any moment is always within his vision, grasp, and control by what he demands of himself.
And when that moment calls, the “great” too, shall become your “ordinary”! – Dad
“No matter how many goals you have achieved, you must set your sights on a higher one.” – Jessica Savitch
Nobody who chased their dreams and goals with all of their determination and focus ever regretted doing so no matter the end result or final destination. Why? Because generally, they are still better off and often astonished by where they are when looking back on where they started! – Joe Dico
There is nothing wrong with hesitating, if even for a moment, when faced with something that scares you. However all I know is there’s no greater pronouncement of “self” than when you say “F it, this is exactly who I am and what I was made for” and then go for it because you know that “I’ve got this”! You’re my boys and everything you want is just on the other side of each challenge you accept and embark upon because in my mind and heart, I have no doubt that you truly have “got this ” and everything else that you target on your horizon you want to conquer!
(In looking back to when I first wrote this, it still applies! – Joe Dico)
“Joy and hope are never separate.
I have never met a hopeful person who was depressed or a joyful person who had lost hope…It is important to become aware that at every moment of our life we have the opportunity to choose joy. It is in the choice that our true freedom lies, and that freedom is, in the final analysis, the freedom to love.” – Henri Nouwen
I’m not going to elaborate much on this because it’s self-explanatory or should be. I do want to stress something I talked to your mom about. I’m doing everything in my power to keep you as happy or alternatively, not get in the way of how happy you can and want to be! How you use it is all on you guys. I strive to not lose my temper on the inconsequential, or when you’ve pushed every last one of my buttons. I’d rather laugh and try to make you laugh during those times because generally I’m one happy individual and as the adult and oldest one in the family, I guess I should exercise some maturity and proper perspective! Since I’m no longer as self-absorbed in the first place at the expense of your happiness, I’ve discovered it’s easier to find contentment within my soul through the happiness I create for you.
I’m sure I’m most annoying when I’m “insanely” happy about so many big and little things, most importantly you guys and our dog Dico. Wait! I’m annoying you because I’m happy about, and being with, my family? Something is flawed in that equation but then again, I’m the one with the brain injury. I’m sure I’m a bit much at times, given my penchant for extreme expressions, but maybe you’re not appreciating the source of what’s making me that way! Maybe it’s better not to ask questions and just hitch a ride with me because I’m headed in the right direction now and I’ve got room!
I am truly a shining example of my prior advice. When I think I’ve found a reason to be unhappy or in a bad mood, I easily find 10+ better reasons not to be. You may think its easy to feel this way given the routine of my days but try having the medical community label you as “disabled” and “brain injured”. I refuse to accept it but I have to work hard every day to prove I’m not and I willingly have embraced that challenge! I’m just a guy with a lot of joy and hope, especially since I keep myself surrounded by so many of the expected, and even unexpected, people who keep me that way!
One last thing. I saw a movie with Helen Hunt who is thinking about letting her sarcastic, neurotic boyfriend in her apartment. Before she does, she says “you can come in but please don’t try to spoil everything by being yourself!”
Let’s all try to do the same, huh?