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It’s springtime and for many that means the start of baseball season. In many of my markets this week, and over the next few weeks, you will have the rare opportunity to meet a true baseball legend. He is Hall-of-Famer Cal Ripkin, Jr. and holds the one record in baseball they say will never be broken when he passed Lou Gehrig’s record and played in 2,632 consecutive games. With his book, Get in the Game, he shares with us his eight elements of perseverance that we can all apply to our own lives.
There are many things that stand out in my mind from my conversation with Cal, but one in particular I want to share with you today.
It’s obvious that when you hold a record like Cal’s, perseverance and endurance are a trait you must possess. Yet, on some level, we all must have endurance just to get through daily life. But what I learned over the years is that endurance is much easier to handle when it is attached to love.
Love is the true driving force behind endurance. It could be a love for life itself as depicted in the film 127 Hours starring James Franco who played the real-life Aron Ralston. Aron had to endure cutting off his arm after being wedged between two boulders for over 5 days. I once heard Aron speak and it was due to a true love of life that enabled him to endure.
Another powerful example is this year’s Academy Award Winning Best Picture 12 Years a Slave where it is the love for family that allows Solomon Northrup to endure the unimaginable.
For Cal Ripkin, Jr. it was the love of baseball itself that not only allowed him to endure for so many years without missing a game, but to do so with pure joy.
With the love of what you do, the love of family, or the love of life itself, endurance is filled not just with the will to persevere, but the enthusiasm to do so. And to endure not because you have just the will, but the joy, is the secret to leading a life of success.
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