By David DeFord
We all have dreams. Many have forgotten theirs or just given up. But the really successful, when faced with the fact that they are not able to achieve their dreams, find ways to transcend them.
I really wanted to play second base for the Chicago Cubs in the World Series. I never realized that dream. Of course, neither has anyone else since WWI. But I now see that my happiness is greater because of the life I’ve been able to live.
In the early 20th century the owners of the major league baseball teams entered into a “gentlemen’s’ agreement”. They agreed to ban African-Americans from playing in their leagues. Thus, none of the thousands of gifted non-white players could realize their dreams of playing major league ball.
In 1920, the first Negro league was formed. These leagues grew and grew and grew. Baseball became one of the largest black-owned businesses in the U.S. They played an aggressive, fun-to-watch type of ball. They bunted more and stole more bases (even stealing home regularly). They had great fun.
Even though they couldn’t use restrooms or eat at restricted restaurants, they stayed in the nicest hotels that happened to be black-owned, ate in the best restaurants, again black owned.
They supported black business owners. The owners gave the players free meals and huge discounts on merchandise. Fans loved to dress up for games—the stands looked like a giant fashion show. Predominately black churches started earlier on the Sundays of home games, so their congregations wouldn’t miss any innings.
During the off-season, the Negro league players barnstormed with white teams, traveling from city to city playing against each other. And the black teams usually won those games by wide margins.
Thus, these talented players, banned from playing in the majors, built leagues and teams that rivaled and even surpassed the major leagues. They had fame, fortune, and joy in their profession.
We can do the same. When disappointment strikes, we can turn the disappointment into greater opportunity. When laid off or fired, we can find success in another company or in our own business. When struck with ill health we can compensate by remaining productive in some way.
Failure comes not in challenges and disappointment, but in giving up.
The Cubs still haven’t called me even though their first baseman is on the disabled list. And at age 51, my chances of playing in the majors are slim. But I am satisfied with the state of my family and with what I have made of my life.
Live your passion, even if you have to make some adjustments to it!
"A man may fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else." John Burroughs
"Before success comes in any man's life he is sure to meet with much temporary defeat and, perhaps, some failures. When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to quit. That is exactly what the majority of men do." Napoleon Hill
"Do not let the future be held hostage by the past." Neal A. Maxwell
“When it is dark enough, men see the stars.” Benjamin Disraeli
"It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer." Albert Einstein