Legacy Lessons Learned from MLB Career- Part 1
1) What will we pass on in this life from which others will benefit from for generations and 2) what will live on with us into eternity? These are great questions to ask oneself! It is uncommon for most young people to think about legacy and also uncommon for most adults because of the distractions of life. It’s easy to get pulled into the daily grind of life without future thinking.
I’m coming out of a period of inactivity where I’ve been sitting and thinking about what’s next. You may have also been thinking about what’s next? Up until a couple of years ago my job opportunities just came to me, As a player, broadcaster, business owner and MLB executive, these opportunities were laid out in front of me, no effort was made to look for them. In the past few years nothing has just come to me out of the blue. I’ve come to a place in life that it seems I need to be proactive and intentional.
In the past year, I’ve become aware that I have a greater opportunity to add to my legacy over the next 5-10 years than the entire previous years. So do you! Thus I’m making a greater effort to be mindful to reach out, love others and better connect with people. I challenge you to do the same!
I haven’t been removed from this life’s trials, and at my age, how one finishes matters. I want to finish strong and encourage you to live with a greater sense of purpose and build on your legacy.
Thirty-eight years ago while playing for the Milwaukee Brewers, I heard a purpose statement from James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family that dramatically impacted me. I took his outline and reshaped the statement to be consistent with my accomplishments and beliefs. The purpose statement goes like this:
The Essence of Legacy
“I have concluded that all the accumulation of wealth, even if I could achieve it, is an insufficient reason for living. When I reach the end of my days, I must be able to look back on more than just Gold Gloves, All-Star Games, World Championships and records. Nor is fame of any lasting benefit. I will consider my earthy existence to have been wasted unless I recall a loving family, a consistent investment in the lives of people and an earnest attempt to serve the God who made me. And nothing else makes much sense”.
For 38 years, this is my go to statement to balance myself. I’ve memorized it so I can reflect on it at any moment. It’s something I’ve grown into and continue to grow towards. In other words, I don’t have it mastered. It challenges me daily. But for me, it’s the essence of Legacy. James Dobson did a great job in providing an outline to contemplate.
Since this purpose statement in 1984, I’ve come to realize that personal fame is fleeting! The pursuit of personal fame can be a trap if you don’t keep an eye on the big picture. Memorizing the purpose statement keeps me grounded. The reason I say, fame is fleeting, is recently I interacted with some young kids who did not know of Nolan Ryan or Ivan Rodriquez. It’s almost sacrilegious to live in Texas to not know those two MLB Hall of Famers. While history records a number of people who are remembered, like former Presidents of the United States and world leaders, most people are not remembered over time, but God remembers everyone.
What matters to you when it comes to legacy?
(Stay tuned, to be continued)