Best Advice I Have Received in 25 Years

By Jonathan Massey –

 

Lat week I celebrated my 25th birthday (October 22nd). By no means does living a quarter century make me an expert in life, but I will share with you some of the best advice that I have received so far.

 

Success Leaves Clues

Why try to reinvent the wheel? If you become a student of your craft you’ll start to notice that the most successful people in certain endeavors do things a similar way. Seek out mentors, and if you can’t find a mentor, find a model. 

 

Learn to be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

I have a comfort zone. You have a comfort zone. We all have comfort zones. That is great if you are currently happy with where you currently are..

But know this; Being happy in your comfort zone is one of the main reasons  you hit plateaus in your training. Your body desperately wants to maintain homeostasis and will resist change unless you routinely take yourself beyond your comfort zone. If you want to see improvements, you will have to take yourself beyond your comfort zone on a regular basis.

Growth occurs along the edge of your comfort zone. 

 

Myelinate/Imprint

Over the past year, the importance of myelination has become painstakingly obvious. After hearing talks from Frans Bosch and Randy Sullivan I’ve learned that the more we emotionalize an activity the more likely we are to repeat it. The trick is to emotionalize things we want to repeat and do nothing when we do something we don’t want to repeat. But so often with the young men I work with, the exact opposite happens. If they hit their target they act like they are simply doing what they are supposed to, but when they miss their target they pout.

If you want to be great learn to celebrate the good stuff and then ignore the bad.

 

The Power of .036 Percent

If you want to be World Class at something… anything, whether that is a being baseball player or pianist, all you to have do is improve sixty percent over five years. If you do,  you will become world class at that endeavor. Regardless of other factors, if you improve sixty percent over five years you have become World Class.

Now sixty percent over five years sounds like a lot, but let’s break it down. Sixty percent over five years breaks down twelve percent a year and only one percent improvement per month. There are roughly four weeks in a month so you need .25 percent improvement a week. There are seven days in a week  so now we get to that magic number of .036 percent. 

So if you want to be World Class, all you have to do improve .036 percent every day for five years. How easy is it to get .036 percent better today? The answer to that is that it is very easy.

But if it really is that easy to do the question you should be asking is why aren’t more people World Class? The answer is that it is even easier not to do. It’s like brushing your teeth. If you skip a day, are you going to get a cavity? Probably not.  How about if you skip a week?  You skip a week and you’re pushing your luck. Also, you are going to have to find a new girlfriend. But if you keep ignoring dental hygiene long enough, you are going to be buying Polinex at Walgreen’s with the rest of the Senior Citizens. 

 

The importance of Mindset

Mindset is such a complex and important thing to discuss that I decided I needed to break this down in several subcategories.

Daily affirmations– Your self-image will dictate where you are going. I am going to repeat that. Your self-image will dictate where you are going. If your self-image is that you can’t throw 90 mph then you will never throw 90 mph. 

The beauty is that you can change your self-image through daily affirmations. I had a daily affirmation letter that I read to myself every morning and every evening and this really helped me change my self-image.  The key to writing a good daily affirmation letter is to write the letter in a way that your subconscious won’t just reject it. For Instance, if you simply wrote down I am a millionaire. Your subconscious will reject that and counter with You and I both know you don’t have million dollars and your self-image will not change. But if you write ‘I am going to work my tail off for the next five years to become a millionaire’ your subconscious will say That sounds wonderful, so let’s get to work.     

Learn to enjoy the grind– For three years my velocity record was 88.9 mph. Then I hit 89.8 mph, which was my record for the next six months.  During that three and a half year stretch, my velocity would vary between 80 and 87 mph. Do you think that if I quit each time my velocity was down that I would have ever hit 90 mph? The answer is obviously not. In fact I would say I threw it 90 mph because on those days when I didn’t have my best velocity I had to figure out how to push my body past its limits.      

Failure is part of the process– Henry Ford once said,  “If you want to double your rate of success then double your rate of failure.”. Thomas Edison failed over 10,000 times trying to make an incandescent light bulb. When asked about it, Edison responded with, “I didn’t fail. I simply found 10,000 ways that didn’t work.” If you try to avoid failure then you will never truly be successful. Failure is not the opposite of success is simply a speed bump along the road.             

We stop ourselves– When I read stories like Dustin Carter or Faith the Dog it becomes obvious that when a person has a big enough why, they will figure out a way to get the job done.

 

You are capable of so much more than you think you are. 

 

 

These lessons are taught over and over again here at The Texas Baseball Ranch.  Check out the “Events” tab on the website to learn more.

 

 

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