"The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do." Walter Bagehot.
I once sat next to a man on an airplane who told me of his days as a high school baseball player and his dreams of professional ball. “You’re pretty good, but you’ll never make it to the pros,” people in his hometown would tell him. But then he made it to the pros and heard people say: “Enjoy it while you can in the Minors, but you’ll never make it to into the Major Leagues.” When he did make it to The Show, he had to listen to the newest verse of the old song: "There's no shame in sitting on the bench." But he didn't want to sit and watch. And he played, and then heard, “Don't even think about home runs, you’re lucky to be there at all.”
But Willie Stargell would not believe the naysayers. And he took great pleasure in every home run he ever hit, each one of the 475. This Hall of Famer would have missed out on a lot if he had listened to the people around him who had no idea who he really was, deep down inside.
That day on the airplane, I showed Willie Stargell my laminated wallet card on The 7 Cs of Success. He read each condition carefully, and then said, "You nailed it with these ideas. You're the first person to ever explain to me how I became successful as a baseball player. I did each of these things you outline here, and I did them intuitively, instinctively, but I never could have put them into words. Thank you for this. This is a great gift to me."
The whole conversation was a great gift to me.
Remember that naysayers will always be with us. Even our best friends will sometimes warn us about how hard and unlikely our goals may appear, not wanting us to set ourselves up for disappointment. They just don't realize that we're often really setting ourselves up for success. The dream comes first, then the goal, then the work, but always, the belief and confidence deep inside.
You have to know your own strength and follow your own heart, believing in your own sense of mission in life. Then you can hit your own home runs, and take pleasure in the results. So step up to the plate.