PHILADELPHIA (JSC) — What’s Good Y’all. That’s right. #JSCWOW is back on its bullshit again and with this being the start of the baseball season, I decided to hit you guys off with a little motivational message with a baseball theme. This kinda hit me out of the blue when thinking about my current situation as well as that of a lot of people who are trying to find their way and their niche in their careers and even their lives.
I’ve always said that “Sports is a Metaphor for Life” and one of the best sports for that is baseball. When you think about how to go about making things happen for yourself, you don’t always have to do it the way everyone does it. You can take your own approach as long as it works for you. No better place to get an understanding of this than to simply take a look in the batter’s box in a given inning of any given game. Every guy that comes to the plate has a different batting stance — one that makes them feel comfortable. This post is about helping you to find your stance and get your comfort level.
Feel free to share this on your favorite social media outlet with the hashtag — #JSCWOW.
I grew up loving baseball. As I have mentioned previously (long time ago) on this site, baseball was my first love. It was the first sport I was really into. More than basketball and way more than football. No matter how good or bad the Detroit Tigers are — and, from the looks of things, this is going to be a bowling shoe ugly year for them — I am always going to be a fan of the sport. I think it can be, in a lot of ways, a roadmap for your life. I was particularly intrigued by the way the routines guys have when they come to the plate.
Let me backtrack a bit. I’ve always been about doing things my own way. Conventional approaches to life, whether it’s writing, producing radio, how I organize my desk, exercising, whatever the case may be, I have always prided myself on doing things a certain way. Just because what you did worked for you, doesn’t mean that’s how it works for me. And that’s cool, especially if we each have the same goal in mind. Too often, we find ourselves trying to emulate what others have done and will keep pushing that even if it doesn’t work for us.
That brings me back to the dude in the batter’s box. Batting stances add originality and individuality to an at times stogy game. Whenever you watch a baseball game, just watch what a guy does when he steps into the box. He has a routine. Sometimes, it’s as simple as adjusting your batting gloves or helmet. Sometimes it’s as wacky as Nomar Garciaparra’s wristband routine, Darryl Strawberry’s sweeping swing, Kevin Youkilis’s odd hand placement, Julio Franco holding it over his head, Gary Sheffield waving around his head like a helicopter, or Cal Ripken being the man of 1,000 stances. Finding your comfort zone takes time and that’s only one part of it.
The Batting stance analogy can work for anything you do. In my line of work, I have always been someone who didn’t believe in simply doing things the same old way. When I first came into radio in 2005, I was a square-ass, “proper sounding” nerd on a hip-hop station. That sort of thing didn’t mix 13 years ago. As this was my first radio gig, and since I had been listening to rap radio for 15 years at that time, all I had ever known was the sound that damn near every other rap DJ had been giving me. When I tried to talk that way and be that way on-air, it flopped. Hard. Like Vlade Divac in the lane flop. It was bad. It got me through a couple of shows, but it didn’t feel right. It wasn’t me and I wasn’t in my comfort zone. I was trying to swing out of someone else’s stance. I’m not Funk Master Flex. I’m not DJ Kool Red Alert. I sure as hell ain’t DJ Envy. I was just trying tro figure out who Jay Scott was (the Smith would be added later).
I eventually settled into a comfort zone. An odd combination of angry, cocky, super nerdy Jason Smith with the volume cranked up to 10. That was my stance. That’s was where my feet were set, my hands were in the right place, and my eyes were locked in. I found my stance and it served me well for years. Over the next few years, I made adjustments. I’ve always marched to the beat of my own drummer, even if that beat were occasionally provided by a different sized drum. I have always been the star-shaped peg that gets shoved into round holes. And you are that star-shaped peg too. It’s all about finding your comfort zone. Doing it the “normal” way was a no-go for me in urban radio. Doing it my way — which was always about the same goal as any other guy — worked wonders for my career.
This whole blog is about finding your level and finding your comfort zone. In some cases, you can keep it one way for 20 years, or you could be like Rikpen and switch it up multiple times. As long as it works for you, that’s what matters. People on the outside probably won’t always get why you do what you do. Sometimes, they’ll judge it, question it, mock it, etc. That’s cool. That’s them. Finding your stance takes time. It’s not something you come up with instantly. In the last 10 years, I have changed my approach to things multiple times in terms of writing, speaking, producing, interviews, and everything else. The way you dug in at 25 is probably not gonna work at 40. Such is life. But just keep working on finding that level and finding that stance and don’t let someone else’s opinion of what works for you sway that.
In closing, finding your way is all about making adjustments. while I use hitters as an analogy, you may be comfortable using pitching. Some of you may want to use football, or basketball, or hockey, or soccer, or whatever. The main thing is that it’s all about finding your level out here. Find that comfort zone and the rest will follow you. For me, it’s being able to be alone in my thoughts, have everything slowed down and making sense for me, and, most of all, being able to focus. Whatever that is for you, find it. No matter how mundane or funky it is, that’s your stance. Find it, and make that shit work for you.
Until Next Time, That’s The Way It Is. Monday, April 2, 2018.
Take Care, God Bless, Always Dare to Be Different, and G.O.M.A.B. Σ