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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 21, 2014

No Cubs (again) this year

Apr 04, 2014

By BROOKS TAYLOR

Mt. Pleasant News

In years past, I was excited during early April. That excitement was brimming with optimism.

Not this year.

It is not that I am not optimistic, but my optimism has shifted to a different subject.

When I think of April, I do not think of showers, I think of baseball.

April formerly signaled a rebirth and recovery from Cabin Fever. In a normal April, it would be especially welcomed after the never-ending winter.

This year, there isn’t much reason for optimism. Hope springs eternal, they say, that is unless you are a Cub fan nowadays. At one time Cub hope did spring eternal for me. Maybe my “Cubfandom” has outlived its life cycle.

I did consult some baseball publications before deciding this was not a year to visit Wrigley Field. I don’t believe in paying Major League prices for a minor league product.

One “expert” had the Cubs losing 100 games, another said that he didn’t think the team would be that bad, he figured the losses would number about 95. Hmmm, not much difference if you ask me. Anything over 90 losses is high draft pick territory.

Someone else said when looking at the Cubs’ lineup, he saw a lot of holes. Another expert assessed the pitching with nearly identical verbiage.

The experts say the Cubs are on the right track. Someone boldly predicted last summer the team would be a contender in 2016. Maybe.

Forming the basis for those predictions is a strong farm system. The Cubs have been trading for prospects for years. Prospects, however, are just that. Remember Cory Patterson and Felix Pie? They were five-tool prospects. Baseball “know-it-alls” put them in the “can’t miss” category. They both flopped badly.

Until proven, I don’t get too excited about prospects. Add in the fact that the New York and Chicago media habitually over-hypes prospects and I’m in a Missouri state of mind: “Show me.”

When the Cubs become serious about fielding a major league baseball team, I’ll become serious about being fan. For now, it’s go (Detroit) Tigers.

Did you know Winston Churchill lost every public election until becoming prime minister at age 62; Henry Ford went bankrupt five times; Van Gogh sold only one painting during his lifetime; and Albert Einstein was a terrible student and expelled from school.

So what do these men have in common — ideas, brilliance and genius to name a few. However, none of the aforementioned attributes mean anything without the guts, passion and tenacity necessary to make dreams a reality. Often times, excuses get in the way of success.

Following are six tricks, according to Dan Waldschmit, international business strategist, for jumping off the excuse train and forging the path to your goals.

• Avoid the need to blame others for everything. Mean, small-minded people know that they aren’t successful. That’s why they are so cranky and eager to point out others’ mistakes. They hope that by causing others to feel inadequate, everyone will forget about how woefully off the mark their own performance is. Don’t blame anyone, for any reason, ever. It’s a bad habit.

• Stop working on things that just don’t matter. Not everything needs to be done in place of sleep. If you work for a boss, then you owe them solid time. You can’t cut that out. You can, however, cut out television time, meetings and anything else that gets in the way of achieving your goals. Replace entertainment with activity toward your goal.

• Refuse to let yourself wallow in self-doubt. You’re alive to succeed. Stop comparing your current problems to your last 18 failures. They are not the same. You are not the same. Here’s something to remember: Your entire life has been a training ground for you to capture your destiny right now. Why would you doubt that? Stop whining and go conquer.

• Ask yourself, “What can I do better next time?” And then do it next time. If you spend a decade or two earnestly trying to be better, that’s exactly what will happen. The next best thing to doing something amazing is not doing something stupid. So learn from your mistakes and use the lessons to dominate.

• Proactively take time to do things that fuel your passion. Exercise is a great example. Living in the moment requires you to live at peak performance. A huge part of mental fitness is physical fitness. A sparring or running partner is a great way to refresh physical competition. Physical activity accelerates mental motivation.

• Apologize to yourself and those around you for having a bad attitude. Do this once or twice and you’ll snap out of your funk fairly quickly. When you start genuinely apologizing for being such a bad influence on those around you, you learn to stop whining and start winning.

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