Sun. Aug 19th, 2018

Hey Jealousy

Los Angeles Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani is performing like the rare combination of Zeus, Shaft, and Gerard Butler from the movie 300. The rookie phenom has been on fire. Remember the infamous “show me the money” line from Jerry Maguire? We might be seeing “Sho-hei the mon-naaay” signs in Angels country soon. Sorry, Starz is the only premium movie channel I currently have.

The Japanese stud has been the Swiss Army knife of production. He hit three home runs two weeks ago and struck out 12 batters against the Oakland A’s last Sunday. That would be impressive as a 15-year-old Danny Almonte posing as a 13-year-old. Ohtani is doing all of this as a daisy-fresh rookie in Major League Baseball! Filthy splitter + 100 mph fastball + scorching bat = is this dude from the future?

So far his teammates have said the right things about him. They’re absolutely blown away by his rare combination of talents. It makes me wonder if there will be a teammate or two that will get tired of Shohei Mania and the spotlight not being on themselves. Remember when Albert Pujols thought it was an insult to be compared to Mike Trout? When asked, “Are you motivated to put up the same numbers as Mike Trout?” Pujols responded, “Are you freaking kidding me?”

There are many other examples of pettiness that trump Pujols. Take the Seattle Seahawks for example. The reports of Russell Wilson’s teammates being envious of his commercial success have been well documented. A teammate resenting Russ for being in a TV ad is the equivalent of a 4th grader saying the most popular girl is school has a stupid face. At some point you just have to grow up.

If you think this dynamic doesn’t exist in sports talk radio, you’re sadly mistaken. Hosts are supremely aware of which people get opportunities. The news of a promotion isn’t normally met with, “Golly gee, that’s great.” It’s typically, “That hack? Really?” These same hosts don’t realize the damage their mindset is doing. A bad attitude is like a governor on a semi truck — it limits your potential.

Think of a Super Bowl party. There is the person that’s upbeat and makes positive comments about the food or bean dip. “You guys made sliders? Awesome!” Then you’ve got Debbie Downer who complains about everything. “They don’t have much to drink and the TV is too small.” Which person would you rather hang out with? You’ll find out that life is just like a big Super Bowl party.

The exact same dynamic takes place at work. Bosses have thoughts about who they’d like to be around when making a job offer. You’d need to be talented on a Shohei Ohtani level for a boss to think, “Man, this guy has an awful attitude, but let me offer him the gig so I can deal with his awful attitude daily and drive myself crazy.” It normally doesn’t work that way.

A positive attitude not only makes yourself feel good, it makes everyone around you feel good. It’s amazing how doors magically open after making other people happy.

The question then becomes how do you MacGyver your way in to a promotion? Outside of the obvious things like being good at what you do and networking, it comes down to attitude and approach. If both are bad, so are your chances of success.

In relationships, the worst approach to get your partner to do something you want, is to point out what they’re doing wrong. That isn’t motivating. It’s deflating. “You never take me out on Friday night. Why not? How come?” Your partner won’t be fired up to take you out. If it’s the opposite approach — “I love when we go out on Friday night. It’s so much fun being with you!” Your partner will be strutting around like a peacock. The positive approach gives you a much better chance of getting what you want.

Sports talk job seeking is no different. Don’t whine to your boss, “Why did John get that shift? Why not me? Whaa whaa whaa.” Instead, find ways to be positive. “I love working here. I’m very thankful. What steps can I take toward a greater role?” It’s not that you’re asking. It’s how you’re asking. You can’t expect a girl to go out with you after saying, “Why’d you go out with Chris? Why not me? No fair.” Don’t expect a promotion by saying the equivalent to a manager.

All of these things help increase the odds of having success. I don’t know about you, but I want the odds to be in my favor as much as possible. Your dream job might not fall from the heavens the minute you have a positive mindset. I’ll guarantee two things though — your odds of having success will be better and you’ll be much happier in the meantime.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft has said that “jealousy and envy are incurable diseases.” It’s easy to become envious of someone else getting a big opportunity instead of yourself. That doesn’t make it right. It only makes the problem worse anyway. Remember that song “Hey Jealousy” by the Gin Blossoms? As bad as that song was, think of your outlook being worse when you’re consumed with jealousy.

Wow, Gin Blossoms and Jerry Maguire. I’m sorry I didn’t fit in stone-washed jeans and Lou Holtz to complete this throwback experience.

Positivity is one of the greatest allies in life. It’s a door opener. Jealousy and envy are opportunity destroyers. You can’t even spell jealousy without lousy. Be happy when people achieve things that you’re striving for. It isn’t easy, but it’s necessary. If you resent the success of others, the chances are greater that you will never experience similar triumphs.

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