I don't claim to be a life guru, but after nineteen years, you at least know a thing or two. One thing I discovered is that sports parallel life. Why do you think the people who never played a sport seem to be weird? It's because they haven't the same experiences.
Look at the greatest in every sport. Joe Montana and Jerry Rice from football, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant from basketball, and Albert Pujols and Cy Young from baseball all have a lot of traits in common. They all were mentally tough, all wanted to be as successful as they possibly could be, and each worked their tails off to achieve their goals.
When you think about it, the most successful people in life do the same. They all are tough, all want to be as successful as possible, and they all work like dogs to be get there. They don't get down when something doesn't go their way, they make the best of it.
I am a baseball player, and there is more in baseball, just like in most other sports, that go beyond toughness, vision, and work ethic. The one that pops into my mind first is confidence. The best ball players are supremely confident on and off the field. Why else do you think so many baseball players are douchebags? They just have too much confidence for their own good, and they become cocky.
Anyway, confidence is key in life. You have to have the ability to go out and know that you can do whatever has to be done. Not everyone is going to believe that you can do it, but if you personally believe you can, then no one else's opinion should matter at all.
Another thing that plays an important role is passion. I saw a quote from longtime NFL linebacker Ray Lewis where he was talking about his ex-teammate Joe Flacco. "Gifted? Absolutely. Passionate about what he do? I've never seen that," Lewis said. "I don't know what that looks like." What Lewis believes, and I do too, is if you truly love the game, you're going to show it. You're willing to go balls to the wall, all in at all points in time.
Life works the same way. People who love their life are the successful ones. They are the ones who go out, make stuff happen because they genuinely want it to happen, and they love every second. And ask yourself this honest question, who wants to deal with negativity? When your ex left you because they claimed "You whine too much." That's a hint that you should probably have a more positive outlook.
The final thing that I have time to discuss is a performance in clutch moments. People who are successful have the stones to step out and perform when everything is on the line. There are so many moments in sports history, like Michael Jordan draining that iconic jumper over Craig Ehlo in Game 5 of the 1989 Eastern Conference finals, or Babe Ruth's shot calling in Game 3 of the 1932 World Series.
The most successful people in life make the same type of actions with everything on the line. They go out with everyone watching and do what has to be done to keep themselves afloat and get back on their feet. Think of a student who slacks off all year, and then head to their exams with a certain grade they need to get in order to boost their grade up to passing and get it. It's not much different situationally from a fifteen seed upsetting a two seed in March Madness.
Sports have become a staple in American life. We can't go a day without talking about them, whether it's football, baseball, basketball, lacrosse, soccer, NASCAR, track and field, cross country, or any other sport. So to my fellow young adults, let's do everyone a favor, and go through life with that same chip on our shoulder that we play our games with.