There was a show recently on ESPN about young baseball players coming out of the Caribbean and Latin America.
They were making their way up the ladder through the minor leagues with a dream of making it all the way up to the major league baseball level because that is where the big money is.
These talented young men are passing up college to become professional baseball players.
However, ESPN said that most of these players, the overwhelming majority of which are playing in the minor league ball, ones that you think of as professional baseball players, are not making the million dollar salaries they do in the big leagues. That’s just a small slice.
The majority are making minimum wage!
When they come, in their first summers they get a 3 month tryout at only $150 a month. Of course you can’t live off that and so they stick them in these little barracks where they let them sleep and hang out when they’re not playing. From the outside looking in it appears to be inhuman treatment.
You may wonder, “Why do people put themselves through that?”
It’s because they look at things differently. They have a burning desire to play baseball and play it at the highest level. This is the road to the top. This is the next step. By getting here they proved they may have what it takes. They’ve left the less talented and less driven behind.
They’re not focusing on their current circumstances.
They’re focusing on the prize of walking onto the bright green grass of a major league baseball stadium and hearing the crowds cheer. They’re not worried about the barracks or the $150 per month. They’re excited to have the opportunity to keep moving to the top and that’s all they’re thinking about.
It’s the same with actors
I’ve never understood the acting bug. The idea of people wanting to get up on stage and act is something I just can’t relate to. But for actors it is a burning compulsion. They love it! They are driven to act and they love everything about it. Getting makeup, learning the lines, dressing up in different costumes and clothes, pouring themselves into the role…they love it all.
It’s true of musicians, dancers and artists
They know that the overwhelming majority of people in all these professions are working other jobs, selling comic books on the side, waitressing or caddying at the golf club so they can get the occasional audition or exhibit.
Supporting themselves on the side they’re looking for any kind of opportunity to get a break and work their way up the ladder. They know the odds are against them but they really don’t care. They think they can be the exception and many of them are.
They have their “eyes on the prize.”
They have something inside them that drives them to pursue their dream and it’s so strong that they can put up with what otherwise would be considered extreme hardships.
They know that as long as they can be tough enough to endure they still have a chance at greatness. If they can make it they know that it will pay off thousands of times more than the price they paid and they’re not going to quit as long as the dream is still possible.
That’s why amazingly talented people are sometimes working menial jobs. For them it’s just a means to an end, a way to survive financially until they can make it to the big time.