Guest post by Michael Neuendorff
I don’t watch a lot of sports on TV or listen to it on the radio, but I am a fan. I’m a sports fan because I like to see amazing achievement when it matters. I like to see the indefatigable pursuit of a worthy goal. The laser-like focus of winners inspires me.
So, right now, the San Francisco Giants inspire me a lot. They entered the post-season with a head of steam going against the Cincinnati Reds. The Giants wanted to be in the World Series for the second time in just a few years.
It didn’t go their way in games 1 and 2 of the Divisional championship series. In a best of 5 series losing the first two games is basically death. Indeed, no National League team had ever come back from a 2-0 deficit to win the divisional playoff series since it was created in 1995. What the Giants did was unprecedented.
Next up were the St. Louis Cardinals, the World Series champs from 2011. The team that did the impossible in that challenging season coming from 8 ½ games out in September to win it all. In that best of 7 series for the berth in the World Series the Giants fell behind 3-1. The only way to take it would be to win three games in a row against the reigning world champs. That would mean winning six elimination games in one post-season, a feat that had only been done once before. Could they do it?
Well, we know now that they not only did it, they devastated the Cardinals in the deciding game by beating them 9-0. In the final inning it rained down upon AT&T Park so hard the game might have been stopped if it wasn’t the tail end of the deciding game. Fans joked that it was raining champagne on their champs and fans as it ended.
This storybook season had one more chapter, the World Series against the Detroit Tigers, who got there by sweeping the New York Yankees. The same Tigers featuring Miguel Cabrera, the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years. If the previous two series had been challenging for the Giants, this one was looking to be even more difficult. It would be important for San Francisco to start strong in this one. Maybe they could play it differently with renewed confidence and not get so behind.
That’s exactly what happened as the Giants won games 1-4 in convincing fashion reducing the Tigers to also-rans when it seemed they were the clearly stronger team heading in to the matchup. But sports often doesn’t go the way it seems. The unprecedented happens every day somewhere in the world on a field of dreams.
How about you? What would be unprecedented for you? What do you think you can’t accomplish because the chips are down and you’re looking at very improbable odds? I’m here to say you can do it. But you’ve gotta have the courage to face down your adverse circumstances and turn the tide.
Just like Michael Phelps went to London and left the most decorated Olympian in history. Just like Felix Baumgartner broke the sound barrier by dropping from the edge of space hitting a top speed of 833.9 mph. And just like the San Francisco Giants beat the Reds, the Cardinals and then the Tigers. If you have it in your heart you can do it. Don’t give up. Never give up when it means the world to you.
“What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill
Michael Neuendorff works with small business owners and independent professionals and can be found at Build and Balance