What’s Stopping You?

“Neither snow, nor rain, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds “Known as The Postman’s Creed

Ok, I have heard this cited many times reading books, in speeches, or even in movies. Each time I have heard it, the point of valiant effort was being made, and rightfully so. But usually it was to point out a very public or heroic effort, until I read Cal Ripken Jr.’s book. Yes, Cal, the Iron Man of baseball who holds the longest consecutive game streak in baseball. Not to mention his many, many other accomplishments in baseball. This guy could write a book on staying at it, oh wait, he did. Anyway, he did talk about another great ball player, Lou Gehrig, who had an incredible streak of his own, but, what caught my attention was the others that he mentioned in his book.

He talked about “Herbert Christiansen, who had not missed a day of work since he’d begun the job back on April 1, 1936”. And Ernie Tyler, who on Cal’s 2,131st game was “working on his 2,180th straight game seated behind the backstop doing his job as the team’s umpire attendant”. Cal’s comment about Ernie, “Talk about a quiet, dedicated guy; Ernie was the best.”

How did they do it? Good question. I’m sure there were plenty of things in their lives that could have gotten in the way. But somehow they didn’t let it. Cal, in a time where the average baseball career is less than 6 years, had a 21 year career with the same team and almost never missed a game. And how about Ernie, that is a guy that doesn’t let things get in his way of commitment. And that really is the point I want to make about all this. I gotta tell you, things try to get in the way, stuff happens, life happens, and all too often we let those things stop us from completing our task. I’m certainly guilty from time to time.

So, whether it be showing up for work every day, or getting the report done, meeting the production goals, making it to the little league game, whatever commitments we make, we must fulfill them. Even the most repetitive or general task. Demonstrate to the people that you lead at work and at home that no matter how far up the ladder you go the daily things still have to be done. If you want to do great things you must start, and continue, the small things. Michael Jordan didn’t stop shooting free-throws after he won his first championship. Tiger Woods didn’t stop going to the driving range after he won his first masters. Jerry Rice didn’t stop practicing catching the ball after he won his first Super Bowl.

Besides, what a powerful message to send to your kids. Dependability, reliability, consistency, steadfast. Let’s tell our families, “you can count on me”. In a world where the popular thing is to do what you feel like when you feel like, our families need to know the truth. So let’s show them how to “get it done”. Even when we don’t “feel” like it.
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