It ain’t over till it’s over.” Yogi Berra

“It is not that I’m so smart; it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” A. Einstein

As the baseball season gets ready to come to a close, it brings back fond memories of  long ago. Baseball was the first sport in which I became acquainted. It was 1967, and the Red Sox had won the American League Pennant. Excitement was in the air! New England fans were cheering for the magnificent heroes of that feat. Jim Longborg, Rico Petrocelli, Reggie Smith and Triple Crown Winner the great Carl Yastremski mesmerized us. My parents were immersed in this drama along with others, and I sat entranced during the World Series against the Saint Louis Cardinals. That final game between pitching aces Gibson and Longborg brought heartache to the Boston fans. The long-yearned win was not to be. Unbeknownst to everyone, the Red Sox would wait many years before capturing another Pennant and even longer before winning a World Series. At the time, however, hope remained strong. The next year, my father took me to historical Fenway Park to see the Red Sox play. As we sat in the Grand Stand section, I had the memorable experience of seeing Tony Conigliaro attempt his comeback from a severe eye injury.  It was a day I will never forget…

Since that time, I have watched all of the New England sport teams off and on. Because it was my first, baseball has held a special place in my heart. Many people tell me they no longer enjoy watching America’s favorite past time. I have been told the games are too long, too boring or too disappointing especially if the team is in a slump. These individuals report to me that they prefer the speed, movement and action of basketball, hockey and football. In this era of constant movement, I understand their frustration, but I view baseball through a different lens. For me, it is pleasurable to watch a game which may have lulls but could explode with a thrill at any moment. By remaining steadfast, I am optimistic that such an exercise of persistence will reward me with a game changer. For those who remember the late eighties, it is exactly what happened. During a final game between the Red Sox and California Angels, things appeared grim for Boston in the ninth inning. In fact, many of their fans had left the stadium, and the sidelines were setting up for the Angel victory. What happened next altered this scenario. The Red Sox came back with a fury and won the game to the surprise of everyone around them. Yogi Berra’s words could not have been more fitting. The fans who capitulated to impatience and departed before the end of the game missed an exhilarating victory, and what a victory it was!

Such is the way it can be with life’s dreams and goals. Many people surrender at the brink of success. Recognizing they gave it their best shot, some are at peace with their decision and take another route, but others continue wondering, “If only I had persevered…” These decisions are never easy, and remember, efforts are never wasteful. Life does not have to stay constant because it truly never is. Like a baseball player up to bat, you must stay open to a fleeting opportunity. As I tell clients in psychotherapy and hypnotherapy, whether you are in the bottom of the third or top of the fifth inning who knows when your game changer will occur. If you work hard and believe you should persist in pursuing your dreams, you might hit a line drive or perhaps a double off the wall, and maybe, just maybe, you will hit it straight out of the park.

Originally posted on on the evening of 9/22/2015. The next day, I learned the beloved Yogi Berra died some time on 9/22. How appropriate I quoted him. On 9/24, this was posted on LinkedIn Pulse.