The Captain, Mr. November, Captain Clutch, the flip, the dive; by this point most of you know who I am talking about, my role model, my favorite player, my Captain, Derek Jeter.
On this day two years ago, May 14, 2017, a day set aside to remember our hero, to celebrate his retirement, and retire his jersey. If there is one thing that he taught us, it was always to work hard.
Work ethic is something that cannot be taught! I have repeated this so many times, and yet still I struggle with remembering it. I get so frustrated when people don’t have the same work ethic as me. Sometimes I feel like, “if I can do it this way, then everyone should be able too.” I have to catch myself sometimes and say, “No, everyone works differently!” This is so hard for me and something I struggle with.
I can thank my parents for my strong work ethic. They helped to mold me into the person that I am today. They helped make me a strong, stubborn, independent person who doesn’t give up. While they played a major role in this, I also believe the role models that I chose along the way helped me to become who I am today.
I am a firm believer in “you are who you hang around.” Peer pressure is a real thing and so is what you feed into your mind. If you are always feeding negative thoughts and self-hate into your brain, you will start to feel as if you will never be good enough. While I do struggle with this in some aspects of my life, my work is not one of those areas.
One of my biggest role models, other than my parents, is Derek Jeter. I started following him and baseball when he came onto the scene in 1995. I was six years old at the time and really just had a crush on him but as it turns out, he was a great role model for me and many other children and teens around the world. He is the reason I found my love for baseball. I don’t think I would have ever started watching baseball had it not been for him, and now it is a passion of mine.
As I reflect on his career, I admire him and his perseverance and hard work that got him where he is today. His first few minor league seasons were rough on him. Coming from being a star in high school, going into the minors and struggling had to be hard on him. However, he did not give up. He chose to work harder! He is famously quoted as saying, “There may be people who have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do – and I believe that.” This quote has followed me for years. I have it posted EVERYWHERE! It just resonates so much with me. There is always going to be someone more talented than me, but never should anyone work harder than me!! WOW! Those are some strong words and boy do they motivate me.
Even though times got tough for him, he never gave up. In fact, it made him work even harder. Another of his quotes is, “I love it when people doubt me. It makes me work harder to prove them wrong.” I love to use doubt as a motivator. It gives me such a push to do it anyway. You have two choices when people tell you that you can’t do something. The first choice is to let them be right and fail. However, your second choice is to PROVE THEM WRONG. You did it, even when they doubted you, you did it!
Jeter, ever since he was a child, wanted to be a shortstop for the New Year Yankees. For him, there was no other option; there was no plan B. It was either make it to the Yankees or make it to the Yankees. I always hear Bobby Bones say, “if you have a plan B, then plan A will never happen.” If you always have something to fall back on, then you will not work as hard to make plan A work!
If we give up when things get hard or when we get tired we will not go very far. We need to work through the adversity and push through the hard times for they will pass. I strive to work as hard as I can for as long as I can each day. I don’t like to have idle time. Idle time to me is wasted time. Some may say this could be a distraction mechanism, but to me, it’s a way of life.
Now even his retirement he is doing big things. He is now CEO and part owner of the Marlins. He still shows us that hard work and dedication pay off. Work hard at what you do, never settle for second best. You can do anything you set your mind to if only you put in the work to achieve it. This is not some fancy speech about how everyone deserves roses. Everyone deserves what they work for. If you only do half the work, only expect half of the reward. Work hard! Always try your best and do everything in your power to make this world a better place. Be a Derek Jeter in a world full of critics. Stand-out and make a difference. I know you can do it, I believe in you!
“Work willing at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” Colossians 3:23 (NLT)
Until Next Time,