When to graduate?

In Blog, Hustle Podcast by Eric Byrnes

We talk often about immersing ourselves in the process and doing the work…

We set goals, chase goals, kick ass, wake up and repeat…

At different points in our lives, we will face the very difficult question of when to move on.

This could be moving on from a job, a sport, a hobby or possibly even a relationship…

In 2010, I was face to face with the hardest decision I’ve had to make thus far in my life.

After getting released by the Seattle Mariners, the question was do I continue to play baseball or do I move on to the next chapter?

Sitting in an office with Mariner’s GM, Jack Z and manager, Don Wakamatzu, Jack Z said that he still felt I had a lot of good baseball left in me and that he was willing to make calls on my behalf.. Wak then interjected and said…

“Byrnsie, in all my years of playing and coaching, I’ve never seen anybody play as hard as you.”

When I heard those words, a peace and calm came over me like I had never felt before…

Since I was 9 years old, I gave baseball absolutely everything I had. I never really concerned myself with the end game because I was so entrenched in the process of doing everything in my power to continue to get better. But now, the end game was staring me in the face, and I was so incredibly GRATEFUL for it.

In all my years, I was never the best player, definitely didn’t have the prettiest swing, and nobody ever accused me of being graceful in the outfield… Yet, I worked and willed my way to being a Major League Baseball player by playing this beautiful game with every ounce of energy and passion that I had within me…

The blood, sweat and tears were real… Very F*cking REAL.

I wasn’t necessarily sure what I wanted to accomplish in my career. I could bullshit you and say I wanted to be “the best there ever was,” but for whatever reason (possibly because the talent wasn’t there), that just wasn’t the case. I do know that whenever I would make a diving catch or blow up a middle infielder or catcher, I would get this crazy sense of pride when I came back into the dugout and saw the boys jubilant reaction.

When Wak said he had never seen anybody play harder, it was almost as if a bell went off… School was over, all the classes were complete and the final exams passed. It was time to graduate and Wak just handed me my diploma.

The one constant in our life has been and always will be change…

Moving on is never easy, and it often hurts, yet when we are able to figure out what sort of degree we want to achieve, we will know exactly when it is time to graduate. 👨‍🎓

-EB