Hall-of-Fame slugger Hank Aaron has something for you to try.
Aaron fought through batting slumps, the negativity of others, intense media pressure, and the universal ups and downs of life by maintaining a steady grip on his daily motto – “Keep swinging.”
Aaron’s 755 home runs now rank him second on the all-time home run list behind the achievement tainted Barry Bonds (whose likely personal motto is similar to Aaron’s in length only: “Keep Taking Steroids.”).
Given the frequently unpredictable speedy-kwik pace demanded of school leaders and communicators today, Aaron’s motto is worth embracing as our own.
He didn’t dwell on his 1383 strikeouts or any of his other occasional flubs as they arose from week to week, season to season; and nor should we.
Good communicators “Keep swinging”… and usually even attempt to improve quotes by attaching their own individual expressions.
“Keep swinging… and keep learning.”
“Keep swinging… and staying flexible.”
“Keep swinging… and telling your story.”
“Keep swinging… after that first morning cup of coffee.”
“Keep swinging… [Your own line goes here. Mine comes next.]
“Keep swinging… once you see which way your boss is leaning.”
If you follow the Detroit Tigers at all, you’ve probably seen the chart that shows “the stats” for Miguel Cabrera (now age 31) and Hank Aaron (when he was 31). It’s uncanny how close their incredible baseball accomplishments match up.
When I played baseball on my high school team in Flint, I also made sure I reaped the benefits of a purposeful “keep swinging” mindset – especially evident when you compare my personal stats to Cabrera’s.
In fact, my career batting average is nearly identical to Cabrera’s, only a shade below it.
Unfortunately, since Miguel wasn’t born yet at the time I was playing ball, my stats are listed in the officials record books next to Mrs. Gregoria Cabrera – Miguel’s mother!
She was actually the shortstop for the Venezuelan national softball team for 14 years.
She was a talented athlete and hit about .240.
And yes, as embarrassing as it is, history confirms that I couldn’t even hit as well as Miguel Cabrera’s mother!
But at least this explains why I love Hank Aaron’s “Keep swinging” motto.
With my career batting average, what choice do I have?