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Beating the Odds

What Will You Be Three Weeks From Now?

Years ago, before a baseball all-star team sailed to Japan on a goodwill trip, catcher Moe Berg received an invitation to join them.

This offer came not because of Berg’s baseball talent but because of his skill at foreign languages.

“It’s true that I know foreign languages,” Berg protested, “but Japanese is not one of them.”

Berg wound up going on the trip anyway. When it was over, the players gathered on the dock, waiting to board for the trip back home. There they saw Berg chatting with Japanese officials — in Japanese.

“Wait a second,” they said to him. “Didn’t you say you didn’t speak Japanese?”

“Yes,” he replied, “but that was three weeks ago.”

Even allowing for some poetic license, this story is a reminder that what you are today need not be what you can become. And what you become is a product of how you think and how much you can grow.

“Becoming is better than being,” said Carol S. Dweck, author of “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.”

You, can change your work habits, your diet, your schedule, your mindset. Small gains in any of these areas can change how you view the idea of impossible.

“We like to think of our champions and idols as superheroes who were born different from us,” Dweck said. “We don’t like to think of them as relatively ordinary people who made themselves extraordinary.”

Which brings us back to Berg. He was an average big-league baseball player at best. But he was good enough to play in the major leagues, and he was world class when it came to learning languages.

“He can speak seven languages, and can’t hit in any of them,” quipped a teammate.

Remember Berg when you’re tempted to think you’re limited in some way. Make the right changes, and you can amaze yourself with your improvement. Even in three weeks.

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Thank you for visiting Total Game Plan. If your team, group or business needs a motivational speaker, please email coachtully @ totalgameplan.com. Here are some other resources for your success:

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