Here is the conclusion to a book I just finished. I thought it was relevant and profound. He said:
““Early in my career I went around telling everyone of my lofty goals—that I’d be the best ever in my field. People laughed at me.
You’re crazy man.
Can’t be done.
Yeah right! No one in history has done the things you’re talking about.
Maybe I was dreaming, but it was an attainable dream. I knew it all of those things could be done, just as I know I was going to be the guy to do them. I never once doubted myself, and that’s the attitude that gets me through everything.
Nobody is gong to tell me I can’t do something. Nobody. And when the world tries to beat you down, you don’t let it. It’s that simple. You stay positive. Focused. Keep your eyes on the prize. Put on blinders. Don’t look left, don’t look right. The goal is right there in front of you, and that’s where you need to be looking.
I was single-minded about becoming who I am today, and it paid off. And like I said, maybe that’s what it takes to succeed—that drive and that desire and that intensity. But if you want something badly enough, you’ll work for it. And when you get there, you’ll realize that everything you did to get there was worth it.
My daughter, Josie, will be a teenager soon. I’ve tried to be a good father, and I think I’ve succeeded more often than not, though I’m sure I come up short from time to time. Still, in one area I believe I’m actually qualified to give advice, and that concerns this business I’ve been talking about—this business about setting goals.
Josie, if you’re reading this, please pay attention: You can do anything you want in life. Anything. All you have to do is figure out what you want, and who you want to be, and stay on track. It will not happen overnight, but if you believe in yourself, and you stay focused, and if every step you make is a step in the direction of that goal, even a tiny step, you will make it. You will reach your goal.Along the way, people will tell you that it can’t be done. That you’re dreaming. That you should lower your sights and expectations. Don’t listen to them. They don’t know what they’re talking about, and they have already been defeated by life. And never, ever, lose faith in yourself [or God]. Keep dreaming.””
These words were written by Jose Canseco in his second book, Vindicated. That’s right—the same steroid Jose Canseco that blew the lid off of the hidden secrets of Major League Baseball. But he does have a point, he does know something about achieving goals. He promised to his dying Mom that he would become the best baseball player on the face of the earth, and he did—in record fashion. He was the first player in baseball history to hit 40 home runs and steal 40 bases in a single year. He won the American League MVP award. He won 2 World Series rings. And he signed the highest paid contract in Major League history (to that point), 5 years for $23.5 million.
In the end, he accomplished his goals, and so I think we should listen to his wise words. What about the steroids—didn’t those give him an unfair advantage? For what it’s worth, I actually believe him that about 80% of all Major Leaguers were doing the stuff. So no, they didn’t give him an unfair advantage against the majority of people he was playing against. None the less, re-read his words, and they’re encouraging and applicable to all of us chasing a dream others don’t think can happen—whether that is breaking baseball records or wanting to build a bridge between the GLBT and religious communities.