We start playing the game of baseball because we enjoy it and have fun playing with our friends.
Then after a few years, the fun starts to fade and is replaced with the overly-competitive amateur baseball scene which promotes a rat-race mentality to attain a college scholarship and/or announce to the world via social media that we have verbally committed to college as an 8th grader (I’ll reserve my comments on verbal commitments).
Then a few years later, we focus our attention on wanting to get drafted out of high school.
Then when we get drafted, we want to get to the big leagues. When we get to the big leagues, we want to play every day. Then when we play every day, we want to sign a big contract. Then when we make more money, we want to be in the Hall of Fame. Then when we are in the Hall of Fame….
Where does it end?
What Do You Want?
It’s one of the most important questions we can ask ourselves. I’ll tell you what you want – you want your way, you want to do what you want to do, and you want what you want, now.
Every stage of your life requires a better version of yourself. You will answer the question of “what do I want?” differently when you’re 15, compared to when you’re 25, 35, 45, or 55. The younger you are the more what there is. The older you get there is less what – but there is always something that you want. Everybody wants something as they get older, but it becomes less of a thing (i.e. fancy car, bigger house, more money, etc) and more of a value (time with family, enjoying a long walk, having your health, giving back to your community, etc).
In every season of your life you will answer this question a little differently.
As long as you insist on having your way, you won’t get what you really want.
For example, if you started playing the game of baseball for the pleasure of playing the game with your friends, over time you realize that too much a good thing can lose its pleasure. Pleasure is addictive. It can control you. And you quickly discover that what started out as a pastime, was actually a pathway to something that controls you.
And then you wish that you never got the thing that you wanted – the college scholarship, the opportunity to play professional baseball, etc.
This is why “What do you want?” is such a tricky question.
The Value of Time
What we want now isn’t always what we want later.
We want the base hit now. We want to sign with a college now. We want to get the call-up to the big leagues now.
What we want today often ends up in the way of what we want tomorrow.
Think about it this way. What we bought on the credit card when we were younger, isn’t what we are wearing now. What we financed then, isn’t what we are driving now. The high school sweetheart we thought we were in love with, isn’t the person we married.
Regret is having what you want but realizing you’re in possession of something that is of no value in your life. Regret is the elimination of options. It’s the inability to go back to get what you really want because you got what you wanted.
Here is the problem though.
If we always get our way, we lose our way. If we always get our way, we get in our own way. In other words, you got your chance in the big leagues, but you burned a lot of bridges, sacrificed relationships and cut corners to get there. When you arrived, you realized that it’s not the experience you dreamed of because you changed as a person and instead of being happy about where you got to, you’re miserable and wishing that you could go back in time to when it was just a game – or quit altogether.
Because every step of your journey had lost all of the value it was meant to provide. You never get what you want until you discover what is most valuable.
And if we always do what we want to do, we end up in a place that we don’t necessarily want to be in. And if we always get what we want now, it may keep us from getting what we ultimately want later.
In other words, you had what you wanted but as a result, you don’t have what you want because you got what you wanted, which isn’t ultimately what you want.
How many people choose what’s desirable over something that has lasting impacts?
Make sure what you want today, reflects the value of what you still want tomorrow.
For more than a decade, Kevin Wilson has been one of the most respected hitting coaches in the game. He works behind the scenes as a private hitting consultant to some of the best hitters in Major League Baseball. In 2013, Kevin was the hitting coach for the USA Baseball 18U National Team. Team USA beat Japan for the Gold medal at the IBAF World Cup in Taichung, Taiwan.
He is the author of the Amazon #1 Best Seller The #GoodBatting Book and co-hosts a popular podcast, KWB Radio, that showcases unique conversations with the pros. If you want Kevin to speak at your next event or if you want take advantage of his popular 2-day KWB Experience for players and coaches, contact Kevin today!