Henry Aaron is a class act.
I don’t make that comment because he is one of the most beloved sports figures of all time or because he is a fellow Atlantan. I just saw the news replay of his speech last night as he congratulated Barry Bonds for surpassing him as the all-time baseball homerun champion. I’m reprinting it below in case you haven’t seen or heard it.
I would like to offer my congratulations to Barry Bonds on
becoming baseball’s career home run leader.
Throughout the past century, the home run has held a special place in baseball,
and I have been privileged to hold this record for 33 of those years.
I move over now and offer my best wishes to Barry and his family on this historic achievement.
My hope today, as it was on that April evening in 1974, is that the achievement of this record
will inspire others to chase their own dreams.
You might think that Barry Bonds’s tremendous accomplishment or Hank Aaron’s scoreboard address would have nothing to do with voice-over. However, I see a parallel between these sports heroes and my voice-over career.
First, I liked Aaron’s line that achieving the homerun crown required skill, longevity and determination.
Those three attributes are required to be a leader in any field, including voice-over!
Aaron’s short message also points out that no matter what Bonds or anyone else accomplishes, no one can ever take away Aaron’s own achievements. This fact is true for those of us in voice-over as well. If we strive to be the best in our niche, we wouldn’t have the time or inclination to be jealous of others because of jobs they have booked or fortunes they have made. Each person’s diligent practice and hard work will reap rewards that will always stay with us.
The last sentence about inspiring other to chase their own dreams is a call to action. If one person has done what you want to do, you know it’s possible for you, too. Whatever you envision as success is possible for you if you are willing to focus your attention on it and take the necessary, persistent series of actions.
Barry Bonds is unequivocally one of the greatest players in the history of baseball. (BTW, I found a nice comparison of Barry Bonds and Hank Aaron. The overall stats are very close between Aaron and Bonds except when you factor in Bonds’s speed.) He can field his position (8 Gold Gloves), he can run (over 500 stolen bases), and obviously, the man can hit.
A while back, I read that despite all of his stellar achievements on the baseball diamond, he found that fans in opposing ballparks booed him endlessly. He said that the tremendous stress from the negativity constantly directed at him was giving him migraine headaches. He finally decided that he had to ignore those fans and concentrate on his game. He would not let booing fans stop him from achieving his dreams.
I also read once that Barry Bonds played baseball for the love of playing the game. I suspect that he might have played even if he wasn’t paid.
This intrinsic love for one’s career is bound to lead to great success. I see so many people wanting to develop a career in voice-over because they perceive it as an easy way to make money. I encourage people to examine their hearts and determine what they really love and not make choices just because of the money.
Henry Aaron encouraged people to dream. I say
Barry Bonds is proof that you can achieve your dreams. Bonds has practiced his skills throughout his illustrious baseball career. Even when he was in a slump, he still showed up for batting and fielding practice. As a voice talent, I also continue to practice my skills, both in performance and production. To truly be a master in your vocation, practice and education are lifelong habits. If you visualize and practice enough, real situations will seem like deja vu. In fact, they will usually be better than you ever dreamed possible!
Barry Bonds didn’t get discouraged when he was ill or injured. He didn’t quit when his batting average slumped. In voice-over, I know that I will experience times where my career seems in a slump. Visualization and written goals keep me motivated.
Barry Bonds never doubted that his dream was attainable. From my reading about the Law of Attraction, I know that constant thoughts of doubt, discouragement, disappointment, fear, worry, anxiety, etc. will impede or stop the flow of blessings coming to me.
Read the biographies of any person you admire, and I’d bet you find commonalities between that person and these legendary sports figures. Successful people in any field create blueprints that others can emulate, adapt and exceed.
Barry Bonds admired Henry Aaron. I admire both of them. I may never play baseball, but through observing and applying the success principles of Henry Aaron and Barry Bonds, I know how to hit homeruns in my voice-over career.