One Calling, Infinite Answers

This is a guest post by Steiner Sports EVP Steven Costello.

There are jobs. And there are callings.

As you're developing your life and career, it's important not to confuse the two.

Because if you can't land a particular job, you must remember that that never means you have to abandon your calling.

Lemme explain.

See, last week I had the pleasure of spending a few days with Coach Bob Knight.  When you are with “Coach” it is always invigorating, as you feel like you're on your way to a doctorate in leadership.

In anticipation of this past weekend's induction ceremony in Cooperstown, Coach and I got to talking about the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Namely, we talked about all the great managers who are honored with plaques for their brains, not their bats.

Connie Mack for instance - the first manager ever enshrined. Mack managed the Philadelphia A's for 50 straight years! (They say DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak is a record that will never be broken, but Mack's half-century in the dugout seems even safer to me.)

Then there's New York baseball legend Casey Stengel. Stengel was at best an average player; he's in the Hall for winning 7 World Series as a strategist.

It's a similar case with the manager who currently holds the longest tenure with one team in the majors, Ron Gardenhire of the Twins. Gardenhire probably couldn't be called even an average player; but he's widely regarded as one of the league's best skippers, and won Manager of the Year in 2010.

The Hall is peppered with other men who made it in on the strength of their minds, including Tommy Lasorda, Earl Weaver and Walter Alston. And soon they'll be joined by the likes of Tony LaRussa, Joe Torre and (hopefully) Sweet Lou Pinella.

Not to mention the great executives, umpires and "pioneers" in the Hall.

Out of 294 total Hall of Famers, a full 54 made it in for something other than playing. That's almost 1 in 5!

Which brings us back to that concept of job vs. calling.

See, all of the men I've mentioned considered baseball to be their calling. Just because they weren't great players didn't mean they didn't answer their calling.

Baseball is a calling and it has many jobs. Player is but one.

All callings are like this.

You don't have to be a doctor if you consider helping sick people to be your calling. You can be a nurse. You can volunteer in any number of ways. Etc. Etc. (Think of all the different jobs in a hospital that aren't doctor or nurse.)

If justice is your calling, you don't have  to be a lawyer, a judge or a cop. You can be an investigative journalist, for instance.

Are children your calling? You don't have to be a kindergarten teacher (although you might love that). You could find work at a local Boys & Girls club, or become a tutor, get the picture.

I see too many people who, if they don't get their dream job, abandon their calling for another job that seems good for them at the moment, because of the pay, or location, or some other convenience.

But that's ruinous for the soul.

So the next time you're considering where to devote your spiritual and mental energy, please remember:

You don't have to hold a bat to make an important contribution to baseball.

1 comment

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