"My message to all the young guys would be, ‘Enjoy it.’ You know, I think it goes by quickly. It seems like yesterday when I was - well, I was drafted in ‘92, I was called up in ‘95 for the first time - and I’ve seen a lot of players come and go and you almost blink and it’s 20 years later. So, I’d say try to enjoy it as much as you can. Unfortunately, you can’t do it forever, you can’t play forever, there’s only a small portion of your life that you’re able to play this game. So, you know, enjoy each and every moment. For me, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I should have … It worked for me but I think it’s just enjoy it as much as you can and try to share every experience with everyone that you care about." - Derek Jeter, 2/19/14
Caught the Derek Jeter “retirement” press conference he clearly wanted little part of on the radio yesterday and then watched a replay on TV. Thought this was the most meaningful and poignant thing he said - so universally true and applicable, but even more striking with Jeter, who has achieved so much, at such an uncommonly high level, as the spokesman.
One of the all-time greats, up there with icons like Ruth, Mantle, DiMaggio and Gehrig, looking back on a Hall of Fame career and noting that it went by in a blink and he wished he’d enjoyed it more. The whole idea of the importance of living/enjoying in the moment reminded me of that line in the Steve Jobs Stanford commencement address about looking in the mirror every morning and asking yourself whether what you were about to do was what you would want to do with the last day of your life - and changing things up if the answer was “no” too many days in a row.
I’ve hit on this theme here before, but Jeter’s comments yesterday were an authentic and welcome reminder, from a guy sitting at a table answering questions on a mountain of success few will ever see, with one season of baseball left and then it’s into the history books, no way to go back to the beginning and do it all again.
From the smallest incremental step, to a career, to a life - it all goes by so fast. Listen to The Captain, and don’t forget to enjoy it.