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How to be a Winner, even if you're not a Major-Leaguer

by Odette Laurie on June 14th, 2011

WinnerHe's rich. He's handsome. He's young. He's got it all. He also had three years of hard luck. Can you imagine setting a world record for not accomplishing something? Well Toronto Blue Jay's Pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes almost did. He had one more chance and blew it...thank the good Lord. Now I get that he probably 'has it all'. From the outside his life looks a little cushy. But as a professional baseball player with a 28 game losing streak, it wasn't. Until now. Talk about sliding into home plate for a win in the 11th inning.

When I sat down at my favorite coffee house, I flipped through the Toronto Star and read his article on 'How to be a Winner.' I was moved and inspired. And of course I had to write about it. We can never under estimate what other people go through in their day to day lives, in their thinking and in their feelings. Just because we think Jo-Jo has it all, he might not. That's right, a rich, successful, young, handsome, sought after guy doesn't have it all.

Not only did I give myself a kick in the rear for pre-judging this guy, a guy I never heard of before and certainly don't know personally, I had to give myself a good talking to for assuming that failure for this kind of guy is not the same kind of failure for the rest of us. It's exactly the same! Then I had to give myself a jolt for thinking he was 'this kind of guy'. What is different is how we think, feel and behave with the failure that is presented to us.

Jo-Jo didn't get to where he is today with a defeatist, crappy attitude so common amongst us commoners. I am not good enough. I can't do that because oh-wait-let-me-think-of-an-excuse. Here's a guy, and he is just a guy, who lost 28, count them, 28 consecutive starts without a victory, over a 3 year period, under the scrutiny of the public eye and he DIDN'T GIVE UP!

He wasn't turfed out, he didn't quit. Why? Because he and everyone around him never lost sight of what he loved, what he was good at and that his positive attitude and good work habits would see him through his funk.

This is Jo-Jo's recipe for success:


  • Have fun
  • Be prepared
  • Forget yesterday
  • Be confident
  • Don't forget your roots

No fancy footwork. No change in routine. No tricks. Just good ol' fashioned perseverance, determination and a winning attitude. That's it, that's all. In 5 easy steps.This seems simple enough, even for us simple folk.

I couldn't say it any better than this; “I didn't get here by myself...Remember, someone helped you along the way...You're always a winner when you're surrounded by people who care about you.” ~ Jo-Jo Reyes

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