Wednesday, May 22, 2013

It's time for summer baseball. Batter Up!

I never saw my dad play baseball, but I know he was the catcher on a farm team with Sunday games that drew his passion for years. I have his wool baseball uniform hanging in my closet.

No, I never saw him play baseball, but I saw my father watch hundreds of baseball games on TV. Of course, he knew the stars of all the teams and always had a good guess about who would move on.

I didn't think it would happen to me…. being a baseball junkie.  But it has happened! I just turned off the broadcast of the afternoon game. It may have shown up first with score checks with my son, Michael. Now, it is a baseball app for my iPhone. I like caring about things that people I care about care about. Michael cares about baseball. He has made a point to visit baseball parks on his adventures around the country. Only true baseball interest would stir that behavior. Of course, he supports the teams closest to his life and work, but one time he reminded me: "You can take the baseball guy out of MN but you can't take the MN baseball team out of the guy."

It's clear my people attachment is showing up. Conversations always bloom. I am often involved in conversations with the people who care about baseball. My friend, Jan, follows the MN Twins even though she lives in TN now. Yet, I know my baseball passion started with my dad. I might be listening to my favorite classical music while writing, but there is often a baseball game on the radio in the background.

As I said, Dad was a catcher. Catchers understand strategy and call the game for the pitcher. Catchers are leaders and often find themselves in long-term careers of baseball management. Or they find themselves in non-baseball management leadership roles, watching games on TV like my dad did or enjoying season tickets to their local team's games.

Dad always said baseball was good clean family fun. I am also convinced he liked the strategy and quiet calculation involved in the game. Some day I'll talk about his wit. I'm sure there is a connection. I'm also sure there is a connection to the creative strategy, which absorbs me. Some days it shows up in artistry, and some days it shows up in baseball!!

The creativity of Disney...

Recently I read a book about the life and work of Walt Disney.   It is filled with creative inspiration, and it seemed helpful to summarize it and share the heart of the work, which integrates many of the creative strategies I value.  Enjoy!

How to Be Like Walt Disney, Pat Williams with Jim Denney

"Walt was unique---and so are you!  The attitudes and traits we learn from Walt's life teach us how to be more uniquely who we are and we were meant to be.   If each of us would dream big dreams, approach life with hope and confidence, and persevere until our dreams come true, then we would not only be more like Walt, but we would become the people God created us to be."
Art Linkletter Introduction

 Lesson One: Live the Adventure
"Walt's boyhood…inspired a sense of wonder and imagination that stayed throughout his life."
Lesson Two:  Be A Salesman
  1. Honesty
  2. Enthusiasm
  3. Confidence
  4. Courage
  5. Persistence
 Lesson Three: Dare to Do the Impossible
"If you can dream it, you can do it."

Lesson Four:  Unleash your Imagination
  1. Draw on all your life experiences.
  2. Remove the limits from your imagination.
  3. Consider all possible solutions to every problem.
  4. Silence your inner critic.
  5. To be creative, be courageous.
  6. Work Hard.
  7. Ask yourself, "What if…?"
Lesson Five:  Become an animated leader:
1.     Vision
2.     Communication Skills
3.     People Skills
4.     Good Character
5.     Competence
      *     A strong track record
      *     A commitment to hard work
      *     A commitment to continual personal growth
      *     A commitment to winning
      *     A commitment to excellence
6.     Boldness
7.     A Servant's Heart

Lesson Six: Take a Risk
"Walt demonstrated that true success lies in going where no one else has gone."
Lesson Seven: Dealing with Loss
  1. When you suffer a loss, let go of the need to know why.
  2. If you feel guilty, learn to forgive yourself.
  3. Look for the meaning in your pain and loss.
  4. Be patient with yourself.
  5. Learn to accept what you cannot change.
Lesson Eight: Plus Every Experience
            Give people MORE than they expect.
Lesson Nine:  Be a Person with Stick-to-it-ivity
"The risk paid off because Walt wouldn't quit."

Lesson Ten:  Become a Sponge for Ideas
"I carry ideas around in my head for a long time."

Lesson Eleven:  Ask yourself, "How about tomorrow?"

1.  Embrace Change.
2.  Identify ideas and trends that produce change.
3.  Learn to effectively plan for change.

Lesson Twelve: Live for the next generation.
     "Think beyond your lifetime if you want to accomplish something truly worthwhile."
Keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things. Enjoy a childlike curiosity.  Curiosity keeps heading us down new paths."

One hundred years from now it won't matter what kind of clothes I wore or the size of my bank account, but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.

Lesson Thirteen: Build complementary partnerships.
Walt was highly creative, but his brother, Roy, was the Left Brain of the family.   
Every Walt needs a Roy.   Every Roy needs a Walt.

Lesson Fourteen: Stay Focused!
"Our dreams will become reality if we remain faithful to them and never lose our focus."

Lesson Fifteen: Accept your mortality.
"Am I using the time God has given me to make my God given talents come true?"

Lesson Sixteen: Make family your top priority.
"Walt always made time for adventures with his girls.   
He didn't just love his family, he enjoyed his family."

Lesson Seventeen:  Be the Person God Made You to Be
"Walt had to gather up his talents and put them into action.   He had to take risks and persevere so that God's gift in him could be revealed."