THEY SAID IT COULDN'T BE DONE. The record was unbreakable. It had stood for nearly a hundred years. Yet here he was, the first ballplayer in major league history to have a legitimate chance at breaking Ty Cobb's all time hits record. At a spring training interview that year, he was fielding questions as nimbly as he did a baseball, when one reporter blurted out, "You only need 78 hits to break Cobb's record. How many at-bats do you think you'll need to get the 78 hits?"
PETE ROSE STARED AT THE REPORTER for a moment, then calmly replied, "78."
The reporter yelled back, "Come on Pete, you don't really expect to get 78 hits in 78 at-bats do you?"
THE ROOM GREW QUIET as the horde of reporters anticipated the veteran's reply to this seemingly boastful claim. Confidently, Rose explained the simple philosophy that had made him a winner, "Every time I step up to the plate, I expect to get a hit! If I don't expect to get a hit, I have no right to step in the batter's box in the first place! If I go up hoping to get a hit," he continued, "then I probably don't have a prayer to get a hit. All of my hits have come as a result of positive expectation."
PETE ROSE DID BREAK Ty Cobb's long-standing record that year - and it did take him more than 78 at-bats to do it. Still he approached every at-bat expecting to get a hit. When he didn't get a hit, he quickly put it behind him and focused on his next opportunity. Throughout his career, Pete Rose had paid the price and earned the right to expect success. His simple formula - earn the right to expect success, and then if it doesn't happen, focus on the next opportunity until it does.
THE CORRELATION TO FINANCIAL ACHEIVEMENT is clear. Every opportunity should be approached with the power of positive expectation. It doesn't mean that the course will be easy. The equivalent "curveballs," sliders," and seemingly unhittable "fastballs" that made Rose's accomplishment all the more remarkable will challenge your achievement. However, the manner in which these challenges are faced will determine your level of success.
LOU HOLTZ, FORMER NOTRE DAME football coach observed, "Winners and losers aren't born, they are the products of how they think."
Apply the success formula to your investment efforts. Earn the right, and then persistently expect success.