“There’s No Crying in Baseball”: Inspirational Quotes

Just about every popular movie has at least one famous line. (Think: You had me at “hello.”) But some movies have one-liners that are far and away above the rest. You know what I mean … it’s a phrase that not only jumps out at us when we first hear it, but becomes a staple in pop culture and sticks in our minds for years to come. There are so many of these types of inspirational quotes from our favorite films, and I know I’ve turned to more than a few in my times of need.

For this blog, I’m going to go back to the inspirational quote delivered by Tom Hanks in the 1992 baseball movie titled A League of Their Own.

“There’s No Crying in Baseball”

In the scene, one of the baseball players (Evelyn) is called out by the team manager (Jimmy), played by Tom Hanks, after she made an error that allowed the other team to tie the score. As Jimmy is expressing his displeasure with Evelyn’s fielding, she begins to tear up and then starts crying. Jimmy notices this and then says… Are you crying, are you crying…there’s no crying…there’s no crying in baseball.

I believe the point team manager Jimmy is trying to make to Evelyn and her teammates is that errors or mistakes, while not desired, are a part of the game of baseball. Nobody is perfect. What is important, however, is not the physical act of making an error but how the error came about and what the player can do to put themselves in a better position to successfully execute the play the next time the situation occurs. In other words, learning from your mistakes.

What We Can Learn From Inspirational Quotes Like These

This same philosophy can also be applied to a challenging time in your life — whether you’re confronting a major health issue, like cancer, or personal or professional challenge.

I like to use quotes by successful people to reinforce points I’m trying to emphasize so here are a few more of my favorite inspirational quotes on this topic:

  • • “It’s not what happens to you but how you respond to it that matters.” – Epictetus
  • • “It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get back up.” – Vince Lombardi
  • • “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it.” – Lou Holtz

 

Will each of us experience challenges, obstacles or setbacks from time to time in life? Of course, if you are living life to the fullest. The question becomes, “How will you respond when confronted with a difficult life experience?”

As I see it, we have two choices: you can waste valuable time and energy feeling sorry for yourself (i.e., pout about it), or you can pick yourself up off the floor and direct your efforts toward solving the problem (i.e., kick some a%#!).

Can you guess which one I recommend?

Keep Smiling. It’s Good for You

I’ve been writing about heavy topics lately and want to lighten it up a little bit for this blog. Today’s topic? Smiling.

In my research for this blog, I came across a post on the Psychology Today website dated June 25, 2012, by guest blogger Sarah Stevenson*. It was titled There’s Magic in Your Smile, How smiling affects your brain. I really like the way Sarah describes how smiling affects the brain and I’d like to share an excerpt from her post…

How Smiling Affects Your Brain

Each time you smile, you throw a little feel-good party in your brain. The act of smiling activates neural messaging that benefits your health and happiness.

For starters, smiling activates the release of neuropeptides that work toward fighting off stress. Neuropeptides are tiny molecules that allow neurons to communicate. They facilitate messaging to the whole body when we are happy, sad, angry, depressed, or excited. The feel-good neurotransmitters — dopamine, endorphins and serotonin — are all released when a smile flashes across your face as well. This not only relaxes your body, but it can also lower your heart rate and blood pressure.

The endorphins also act as a natural pain reliever — 100-percent organic and without the potential negative side effects of synthetic concoctions.

Finally, the serotonin release brought on by your smile serves as an anti-depressant/mood lifter —and you don’t need a prescription from your doctor.

How Smiling Affects Those Around You

Did you know that your smile is actually contagious? The part of your brain that is responsible for your facial expression of smiling when happy or mimicking another’s smile resides in the cingulate cortex, an unconscious automatic response area. Looking at the bigger picture, each time you smile at a person, their brain coaxes them to return the favor. You are creating a symbiotic relationship that allows both of you to release feel-good chemicals in your brain, activate reward centers, make you both more attractive, and increase the chances of you both living longer, healthier lives.

I wrote the first version of the following poem/song titled “Smile-away” in the 1989/90 timeframe. Recently, I got it out and re-worked it until it became the version you see below.

I have a challenge for you. Try to get through this piece with a frown on your face. I’ll bet by the time you’ve said smile-away four times you will be smiling, just from reading the words…and if so, go with it. Smiling, as described in this blog, is not such a bad thing after all!

Smile-Away

Smile away, when you’re feeling blue.
Smile away, it’s getting better for you.
When times get tough and life gets you down
you can smile away, cuz it will soon turn around.

Smile away, when your blue skies turn gray.
Smile away, everything will be okay.
When times get tough and life gets you down
you can smile away, cuz it will soon turn around.

Smile away the tears of today
Smile away, no matter what they say
When you smile away soon you will see
Your smile will always set you free

Smile away, girl don’t you cry.
Smile away, and never ask why.
Good times and bad both come and they go,
Remember, from the rain comes a brilliant rainbow.

Smile away, each and every day
Smile away, no matter what they say
When you smile away soon you will see
Your smile will always set you free

Smile away. when you’re feeling blue.
Smile away, it’s getting better for you.
When you smile away soon you will see
Your smile will always set you free, set you free, set you free…

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Now keep smiling.

*Sarah Stevenson, a.k.a., The Tini Yogini, is a certified yoga instructor in Southern California. She has a degree in Behavioral Psychology and teaches not only yoga classes, but also life-affirming workshops

The Real Warriors: Cancer Fighters

In the dedication section of Know Your Enemy, I described the individuals that I believe are the real warriors of our time.

They are not to be confused with so-called warrior athletes, labeled as such from their “freakish” exploits on the field of play. The individuals I am referring to are not playing a kids’ game; they are adults and children, patients and caregivers, and medical professionals engaged in a daily struggle against a formidable opponent—cancer.

In re-reading this description five years later, I don’t think I could say it any better today, so I’ve included an excerpt for this blog…

They are the chemotherapy patients on a cocktail so strong they have little energy to get out of bed in the morning—or the radiation patients that suffer treatment side effects, such as severe joint or nerve pain or burning skin. Then add the responsibilities of raising a family or maintaining a career, and now you’re talking about a Herculean effort just to make it through the day.

They are also the caregivers whose worlds are turned upside down when a loved one is confronted with a cancer diagnosis. They need to be strong in helping to battle this enemy, while coping with their own fear and trauma.

Last, but not least, they are the medical professionals on the front lines caring for, supporting, and consoling patients and family members in their greatest time of need.

— Dedication excerpt, October 2015

Do you have someone in your life that has exhibited extraordinary strength of character in their battle with cancer? If so, have you told this real warrior that he (or she) is your hero? If not, what are you waiting for?

So here is my ode to the real warriors in my life.

To my mother, Maxine R. Antonicelli; my wife, Alyson C. Antonicelli; my little buddy, Derek Johnson #223 (son of Tina and Scott Johnson); personal friend and neighbor Stephen B. Wagoner; and all those who are engaged against the enemy—cancer—this book is dedicated to you, for you are true warriors, gladiators in the arena of life.
Frank Antonicelli

Time is Precious

I realized early in the cancer journeys with my mother, Maxine, and wife, Alyson, that time is precious and finite. Our time on this earth is fleeting, often said to go by at the “blink of an eye.”

These experiences caused me to reassess the value that I placed on time and what I really considered to be my priorities in life.

I was never one that felt the need to define my being with material things. I would never say something like “I live in a $450,000 house (which I don’t). Instead, I’d be more likely to say, “I live in a house that is warm and welcoming, and friends say feels comfortable to them.” One of my go-to sayings that I think captures this sentiment best is: “I want all my belongings to be able to fit in the back of my Ford pick-up truck.”

A new measure of happiness … time

But as I went through my cancer journeys, my priorities shifted. It was no longer about how much (or how little) stuff I had. Or how well liked I was. In this new world order, I found a different type of personal happiness and fulfillment; one that involves family and friends that have a similar appreciation of time and friendship. These relationships are very special because the people are authentic, comfortable in their own skin and “givers” (see prior blog post: A giver has got to know his/her limitations).

Now, I also try to focus on investing my time in activities that give me a real sense of joy and accomplishment. I seldom find myself in situations that are uncomfortable or “just not my deal.” Now that I understand just precious time is, I have learned that the word “no” is not a bad word. In fact, it often leads to a more enjoyable experience for all parties because each participant is committed and all-in.

And that led me to write the following poem. Have these questions in mind as you read it:
“How would your life and decisions change if you knew the end was near? Would you play it safe or take a risk and venture outside of your comfort zone?”

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Time is Precious…

How would your life change if you had but one year?
How would the news impact your hopes, dreams, and fears?

Would you invest more time in your current profession?
Or feel the need for greater purpose and expression?

Would you settle on a relationship long since grown stale?
Or seek a special bond you know will prevail?

Would you surround yourself with loyal friends from the past?
Or spend time with new acquaintances unlikely to last?

Time waits for no one and only you hold the key.
To unlock the door and set yourself free.

So live each day as if you had but a few.
And savor every moment like you are starting anew.

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Remember. Time is precious. Live every day to its fullest.