There's More to the Talented Shortstop than Just Mad Talent
Are you familiar with Jose Reyes? He plays shortstop for the New York Mets and happens to be one of the most exciting baseball players in the game right now. I’m a diehard St. Louis Cardinals fan, but the Mets are my second favorite team – and Jose Reyes is one of the reasons. He’s currently one of my favorite players and the reasons actually have nothing to do with his ridiculously high level of skill and athletic ability.
The things that make Jose Reyes a favorite in my book are simple:
- He enjoys the game.
- He’s a grinder.
Lesson #1: Enjoy Life and Never Stop Having Fun
Jose Reyes is almost always smiling and having fun. Shouldn’t we all go through life the same way? Like the St. Louis Cardinal’s phenomenal catcher, Yadier Molina, when the camera finds Reyes, more times than not he’s wearing a huge smile. If a camera followed us throughout the day, as we go about our jobs and duties, could the same be said of us? Would viewers think, “He/She is such a happy person and obviously just loves life.“ Or would they think, “What a sour puss! If life’s that unpleasant for them, why do they even bother getting out of bed?”
I’ve watched Mets games when they were winning and I’ve watched Mets games when they were losing. I’ve watched Jose Reyes having one of those games when everything went right and I’ve watched Jose Reyes have one of those games when nothing went right. The smile? Always there. The guy simply loves the game, loves what he does, and (from all clues) loves life. When his teammates do well, he’s the first one there to congratulate them and offer high fives. He has an obvious passion for life and it’s contagious. When he’s playing the game and enjoying it so much, you can’t help but smile, yourself.
Again, shouldn’t we have the same effect on others? Whether our day is going our way or headed in the complete opposite direction, isn’t life worth living and isn’t it worth loving? The obvious answer is YES, but you couldn’t tell it by some people’s faces. Smile more! Enjoy life… it only comes around once.
Lesson #2: Grind it Out!
One of my favorite quotes to use on myself, as well as on those around me is, “Grind it out.” Ever since I heard an announcer praise a player who made it to first base, on an infield hit, by “grinding it out,” I’ve had a crush on the phrase and the philosophy. I first really paid attention to the phrase during a St. Louis Cardinal’s ballgame, when one of our players, somehow, beat out a throw to first. He should have, by all accounts, been the third out. I was even beginning to get up for a kitchen run when I had to sit back down. He grinded it out, regardless of how dire things looked. I can’t even remember who the player was, to be honest. He was one of those players who come up from AA, then head back down, then get their call again, etc. He was the kind you’d expect to grind it out on every play because he was trying to earn a spot.
However, with Jose Reyes, the details are insanely different. Players like Reyes, Yadier Molina, Matt Holliday, Derek Jeter, Chris Carpenter, etc. have earned their spot. There are no buses leaving for AA in the parking lot for these guys. Yet they still grind it out as though their spot depended on it.
Just last night, Jose Reyes grinded it out on the bases like he was auditioning for a spot on the team. Why? He loves the game and wants to give it his all.
If we were to take this philosophy and apply it to our own lives, I have a feeling magic would happen. If we approached each day with everything we had in us and did the things that needed to be done even when we didn’t want to…. even when we didn’t feel entirely on our game, we’d have a lot more wins and a lot fewer losses.
- Think of how our health and fitness would improve if we walked 15 minutes longer than normal – grinding it out instead of phoning it in.
- How much more money could we make if we “showed up” earlier and “clocked off” later – even if it’s just a matter of minutes? Many times, it’s the mindset that makes the difference.
- Our relationships could even become sweeter if we put more thought and energy into them.
When we’re feeling low on energy and/or incentive, if we remind ourselves to “Grind it out!,” I think we’ll begin to see changes that will rock our world.
But don’t underestimate Lesson #1: Enjoy Life and Never Stop Having Fun. I listed it first for a reason. The fact is, I think his attitude is the key to Jose Reyes’ success. Yes, he has wicked athletic skills and a great mind for the game. He’s head to toe talent. The thing is, many players are talented and many have crazy athletic skills. My husband and I watched the College Baseball world series and saw endless talent and skills, but many of these kids won’t make it to the big leagues or achieve superstar status. I believe a person’s attitude is their secret weapon. Some people, such as Jose Reyes, simply have such a positive attitude and outlook that it gives them a potent weapon!
I don’t think life is fun for Jose Reyes because he’s good at what he does – I think Jose Reyes is good at what he does because he has fun with life. Anyone who watches his games will know what I mean when I say that I’m certain this young man would wear the same smile if he was in A, AA, AAA or nowhere near the game of baseball. He has the secret 1-2 punch that would grant him success anywhere in life:
- He loves life.
- He’s a grinder.
Make each moment count double and never leave home without your smile!