Welcome back to “New Man, New Woman, New Week.” I’m Ben Newman, and I’m fired up to be with you today. You know why? Because we’re talking about deciding to be great. That’s right! It’s a choice! Decide to be great every single day. And sometimes the greatness comes out in you through defining moments.
You know, for some of use the defining moments happen when we’re 2, some of us when we’re 25, some of us when we’re 18, some of us it was last week. So I want to share with you a story, a defining moment, something that happened recently in my life.
Because of my life with the St. Louis Cardinals organization, I had the opportunity to go out and throw out the first pitch. That’s like a kid in a candy store. That’s like right off the bucket list. And I get the call, and they ask me to come throw out the first pitch, and I’ve gotta tell you, I’m getting a little nervous here. Like, I have to throw out the first pitch in front of 40,000 people, and I have people telling me, “Well you can’t throw a dribbler, you gotta get it to the plate,” and I’m thinking, “How far is it from home plate to the pitcher’s mound?” So we live in the Google world, right? So I Google “How far is it from home plate to the pitcher’s mound?” 60 feet 6 inches. So, of course, I walk off into the back yard. I go to the outside fence, and I walk off 60 feet 6 inches, and all of the sudden my back is to the fence and I turn around, and I think, “Oh my goodness, look how far it is…60 feet 6 inches.” And I can’t believe, whether you like sports or not, I can’t believe that some of these baseball players will throw a baseball 95 miles per hour, exactly where they want to put it, over and over and over and over again. How do you do that? It’s through habits. It’s through belief in yourself that you can actually accomplish something.
Now we’re gonna leave you with a tool today, talking about attaining belief in yourself, and I believe that just like those pitchers, once you get laser focused on something that’s important to you and you attain that belief in yourself, anything is possible. So that’s how those pitchers do it. So what did I have to do? I had to practice, right? Sometimes we’ve gotta practice to get it right. So I pick up my 3-year-old daughter, Kennedy Rose. I pick up her pick Hello Kitty baseball, and I start firing that baseball against the fence, firing that baseball against the fence, and I start hitting it. I’m doing pretty good, and I’m thinking this is gonna be great. I’m gonna walk in, and I’m gonna throw it right into that catcher’s mitt and it’s gonna be perfect. And then here was the big day. I get to Busch Stadium, home of the 11-time World Champion St. Louis Cardinals. Now if you ever watch a game on TV, a Cardinal game, it looks like it’s dirty on the field. It’s actually crushed red brick, and my feet hit that crushed red brick and I walk out, and I look out, and I started to get a little nervous. Now I don’t get that nervous anymore. I had the opportunity to speak in front of 12,000 people after Super Bowl Champion head coach, Tony Dungy warmed up the stage, so I don’t get nervous anymore, but I was nervous. And I was thinking, “I can’t throw a dribbler, I can’t throw a dribbler.” Everybody’s telling me I can’t throw a dribbler, and I walk out to the mound, and I get my ball. And I look right into that mitt and I fire it in there. BOOM! That ball hits the mitt. It was the most perfect 40 mile an hour change up. It was awesome, but you know what? It hit the mitt. And the next thing you know, I’m walking back towards that catcher, and I look off to the left, and there was all of this media that was in the St. Louis Cardinals dugout. And here’s Mike Matheny who’s peeking through two of the people in the media, and he gives a thumbs up and he waves. Oh…as soon as he waved, I thought to myself, “This is becoming too good to be true. Mike Matheny thinks I’ve got the stuff. Mike Matheny thinks I’ve got it. Maybe I’ll go pitch for the St. Louis Cardinals. Maybe this will be the last video we ever film for ‘New Man, New Woman, New Week’ because I’m gonna go pitch for the Cardinals.” Now, I’m not going to pitch for the St. Louis Cardinals, but why does it take that sort of event to think about doing something for the last time? Me giving my all in these videos, me firing you up in these videos, why does it take an event like that to think that way? Can’t we choose to be great every day in our work, in our relationships? It doesn’t have to be that type of a moment. It doesn’t have to be an intervening event in our lives. You can choose to be great.
So imagine if I were to go pitch for the Cardinals, I’m gonna give it everything that I’ve got. Imagine if you started to live your life that exact same way; every day you chose greatness. You focused on the things that you can control. You chose to give it your very, very best every single day, and you said that you’re gonna get in that ring no matter what obstacles come, no matter what fear speaks to me, I’m gonna connect my head, my heart, and my gut, and I’m gonna get after it.
Decide to be Great, Choose to be Great, Attain Belief in Yourself
So the message today is easy. Decide to be great, choose to be great, and attain belief in yourself. I know so many of you have experienced incredible success. Some of you are on your way to incredible success, and some of you, right now, might be in a spot where you need the inspiration to drive greatness in your life. So take out a piece of paper before we see each other next Monday. Take out a piece of paper. Write up at the top “attaining belief in yourself,” and write down with crystal clear clarity and vision the person that you were destined to be and the things that you are believe you are capable of achieving in your life, and then every day, connect to the vision, be clear on that vision–clarity is power–and decide to be great every day!
You know I love bringing the fire every single week. I can’t wait for next Monday for “New Man, New Woman, New Week.” Continue to go do great things in your life.