A Career Success Story About Baseball and Tenacity of Purpose

Career advice based on baseball may seem to be a little strange this time of year.  The college football season ended a couple of days ago when Auburn beat Oregon for the National Championship – although I think the folks at TCU might beg to differ about who is the national champ.  The NFL playoffs are in full swing – not to mention that basketball and hockey are in mid season.

However, I came across something interesting about a baseball player over the holidays.  Cathy and I were visiting her mother in Carlsbad NM.  As it turns out, Cody Ross is from Carlsbad.  If you’re wondering who is Cody Ross, he was the MVP of the National League Championship series, and a member of the World Series Champion San Francisco Giants. 

The town of Carlsbad gave him a parade and inducted him into its sports hall of fame.  It was a great day for him and his family.  But it wasn’t always so great for Cody.  In his major league career he has been traded several times, suffered quite a few injuries and was cut by the Florida Marlins in early September.  He was told over and over again that he was too small and too slow to be a real major league baseball player.

The Giants signed him after he was cut by the Marlins and he really helped them in the playoffs.  He hit safely in 10 consecutive games, hit five home runs and had three game winning RBIs.  Cody Ross went from being almost out of baseball to a World Series champion in the space of two months.

I’m telling you this story because Cody Ross is persistent, a career success characteristic.  In the speech he made the day of the celebration in Carlsbad he said…

“Never, never, ever let anybody tell you that you can’t do something you dream of doing.  I had a lot of people through the years tell me I would never make it professional baseball…Some of these people we even coaches and friends.  Let me be proof that if you set your mind to do something and you believe in yourself anything – I mean anything – is possible.  Dream big.”

Besides being persisitent Cody Ross is tenacious.  I talk about tenacity in Tweet 10 in my career advice book Success Tweets, “Find your purpose and pursue in tenaciously.” 

Tenacious people commit to three things.  First, they take personal responsibility for their life and career success.  They embrace the fact that they are responsible for their own life and career success.  They are willing to do the things necessary to succeed.  Second, tenacious people set high goals — and then do whatever it takes to achieve them.   Third, tenacious people know that stuff happens as they go through life.  They realize they will encounter many problems and setbacks.  Tenacious people choose to react positively to the negative stuff that happens and move forward toward their goals and their career success.

Playing professional baseball is Cody Ross’ purpose.   Cody exemplifies the third point about tenacity.  He suffered through several setbacks – the most serious being cut by the Marlins in September.  He could have quit.  He didn’t.  Quitting would have meant giving up on his career success dreams.  He caught on with the Giants and helped them become World Series champions.

As I frequently say to my career success coach clients, “Stuff will happen as you go through life – good stuff, bad stuff, happy stuff, sad stuff, encouraging stuff, frustrating stuff.  However, it’s not that stuff that happens that’s important, it’s how you react to it.” 

You can’t control the people and events in your life.  You can control how you react to the people and events in your life.  That’s what Cody Ross did.  That’s what you need to do if you’re going to create the life and career success you want and deserve.

Cody Ross chose to react positively to the people and events in his life – especially the bad stuff, sad stuff and frustrating stuff that happened to him.  He chose to tenaciously follow his dreams.  That was his message to the people of his home town who honored him last December.  I urge you to be like Cody Rodd and do the same if you want to create the life and career success you want and deserve.

I know this isn’t always easy.  In fact, it’s seldom easy.  But the harder you find it to react positively to negative people and events, the more important it is for you to do so. 

Don’t blame people or circumstances when things go wrong.  Instead, take responsibility for your career success.  Choose to be tenacious and learn the lesson behind every less than successful event in your life.

When you look for the lesson behind problems, setbacks and failures you are being tenacious; you are taking responsibility for your life and career success.  Find the lessons in the bad stuff that happens and then do something to put those lessons to work.  Commit to taking responsibility for yourself, your life and your career success. 

Put yourself in the driver’s seat.  Don’t let events and people stop you from achieving your goals and career success.  Be persistent.  Be tenacious.

The common sense career success coach point here is simple.  Successful people commit to taking personal responsibility for their life and career success.  Heed the advice in Tweet 10 in Success Tweets.  “Good luck is another name for tenacity of purpose.  Find your purpose and pursue it tenaciously.” 

Only you can make you a career success.  You have to take personal responsibility for creating the life and career success you want and deserve.  Tenacity and persistence are the hallmarks of people who are committed to taking personal responsibility for their life and career success.  Tenacious and persistent people keep going; even in — no especially in — the face of difficulties and problems.  Promise yourself that you will commit to taking personal responsibility for your life and career success.  Be like Cody Ross.  Be persistent.  Be tenacious.  Keep at it, and you will reach your goals.

That’s my career success baseball story in the middle of the NFL playoffs.  What do you think?  How tenacious are you?  If you have a personal stories about when your tenacity paid off please share them with us by leaving a comment.  As always, thanks for reading.


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