Pete Rose, the famous baseball player, and I have never met, but he taught me something so valuable that it changed my life. Pete was being interviewed in spring training the year he was about to break Ty Cobb’s all time hits record. One reporter blurted out, “Pete, you only need 78 hits to break the record. How many at-bats do you think you’ll need to get the 78 hits?” Without hesitation, Pete just stared at the reporter and very matter-of-factly said, “78.” The reporter yelled back, “Ah, come on Pete, you don’t expect to get 78 hits in 78 at-bats do you?”
Mr. Rose calmly shared his philosophy with the throngs of reporters who were anxiously awaiting his reply to this seemingly boastful claim. “Every time I step up to the plate, I expect to get a hit! If I don’t expect to get a hit, I have no right to step in the batter’s box in the first place!” “If I go up hoping to get a hit,” he continued, “then I probably don’t have a prayer to get a hit. It is a positive expectation that has gotten me all of the hits in the first place.”
When I thought about Pete Rose’s philosophy and how it applied to everyday life, I felt a little embarrassed. As a business person, I was hoping to make my sales quotas. As a father, I was hoping to be a good dad. As a married man, I was hoping to be a good husband.
The truth was that I was an adequate salesperson, I was not so bad of a father, and I was an okay husband. I immediately decided that being okay was not enough! I wanted to be a great salesperson, a great father and a great husband. I changed my attitude to one of positive expectation, and the results were amazing. I was fortunate enough to win a few sales trips, I won Coach of the Year in my son’s baseball league, and I share a loving relationship with my wife, Karen, with whom I expect to be married to for the rest of my life! Thanks, Mr. Rose!