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I was about eight years old as I walked along our thick carpet, past the pictures of my grandparents on the hallway walls and into my parents' bedroom. I announced that I was going to play for the Yankees. They were already in their pajamas, but they patiently listened to what their skinny son with the wavy brown hair and green eyes had said, and then told me the type of thing I was aching to hear. They told me that I could do anything I wanted in life if I worked hard enough and stayed dedicated to it, which was like offering me season tickets. Forget about lounging in the box seats, because, in my mind, I was heading straight for the dugout. Before I was nine years old.
My parents could have gently put me off and told me to go to sleep that night, but instead were receptive to my dream and talked about what it would take to achieve such a difficult goal. They sat me on the edge of the bed and told me that if I was serious about being a professional baseball player, I had to realize I wouldn't just be competing against players from Kalamazoo or from Michigan, but against players from all over the world. Everyone in the Westwood Little League where I played wanted to be a major leaguer, my mother and father emphasized. The competition to be good enough to make it to the majors will be ferocious, they told me. But I didn't blink. I didn't focus on that right away. I had a dream and I was ecstatic, because they didn't say it couldn't be done — just that it would be tough to accomplish this goal.
I used to imitate announcers doing play-by-play, with me as the star, of course. "Deep to left," I'd bellow, "and that ball is gone! Jeter has done itagain!" I probably weighed 70 pounds with two rolls of quarters in my pockets when I was eight, so the idea of me hitting a ball 420 feet someday was just a dream. When all of my questions about being a Yankee were exhausted that night, my parents told me it was time to go to sleep. I went to bed, clinging to the blanket and to my dream. My dream remained with me, from the time I was eight until the time I was 18, and it stays with me now. It never left. It got stronger. It kept pushing me to get exactly where I am today.
I think we should all set goals in life and set them high. I did that, and my parents encouraged me to do it, which is one of the main reasons I am where I am today. I had a vision about playing baseball, and my parents used that positive vision to establish guidelines that would enable me to grow as a person while I pursued my dream. From setting high goals to dealing with growing pains, to surrounding myself with trustworthy friends, to understanding that the world can be an unfair place, to obeying and loving my parents, to thinking before I acted, I was learning about life while I was yearning to be a Yankee.
But it all starts with setting goals — we all need them. Whether your goal is to play for the Yankees or to win the pie-eating contest at summer camp, goals are what motivate us to do better. My ultimate dream was to play major-league baseball, but I had smaller goals along the way. No matter how elated I was on that night in my parents' bedroom, I wasn't going to be a major leaguer at the age of nine. I chased my dream through smaller goals. Making the Little League All-Star Team, starting on the high school varsity as a freshman, making all-district, making all-state, and so on, until I eventually wound up at shortstop for the Yankees. But, believe me, there were dozens, even hundreds, of small goals that led me to the point where I finally became a Yankee.
We all have to start somewhere. Think about it. What do you love to do? What are you good at? What is something you would like to do for the rest of your life? These are important and serious questions, questions that you might not feel like answering before you graduate from high school. Some people even get to college, or after, and still can't answer them. But you really should think about them as soon as possible, because when you find that interest, that goal that excites you like nothing else, you'll want to open your bedroom window and yell it to anyone with ears: Guess what I'm going to do with my life!
A feeling will envelop you and you'll treat that goal like it is the most important thing in the world, acting the same passionate way I used to act about baseball. No matter who asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I told them I was going to play baseball and I was going to play for the Yankees. I was so confident in my abilities and so consumed with my dream that I wanted to shout out my intentions.
If you don't set goals, you're not going to have dreams, either. The goals are the achievements along the way to get you to your dreams. Dreams don't just happen, and you're not going to make your pursuit easier by being lazy about it. The longer you wait to decide what you want to do, the more time you're wasting. It's up to you to want to do something so badly that your passion shows in your actions. Your actions, not your words, will do the shouting for you. People will see how devoted and prepared you are as the captain of the debate team, and they might say, "One day, that kid is going to be a great lawyer."
Once you've set goals and pondered what kind of dream you want those goals to lead to, it's extremely helpful to have someone who can support you. It might be your parents, a sibling, a teacher, or a friend, but we all need somebody who is going to be there to prop us up when things aren't going well and to keep us levelheaded when things are going very well. My parents provided this for me.
Posted December 31, 2002
This book was so awe inspiring! I couldn't put it down. I would recommend it to anyone. It is a book for any type of person. Jeter is not just a great baseball player. He is a wonderful human being and writer.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 13, 2002
Derek Jeter is more than just a great shortstop and World Champion. He's an inspiration to millions of kids. This book is an insightful look into Jeter's life and how he got to where he is today. I especially liked the stories about him, Tino Martinez, and David Cone that he used to illustrate some important points about life, no matter what your profession. This book taught me how to follow your dreams and stick them. Also I think it would be hard growing up when your parents were birational. This book was the best biography I ever read in my lifeWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 17, 2001
When I first read this book I thought it was the best book I have ever read. I couldn't put it down! He is such a great role model. I felt like he was right there giving me the lessons he mentions throughout the whole book. I can't wait until his new book Game Day is released!! Go Yankees!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 18, 2001
Posted June 1, 2001
I'm already in the middle of Chapter 5 about not beiing afraid to to or make a mistake. Every word, every emotion, every pain, joy and expression. What can I say, it was though he was talking to me personally and it gave time to look at myself and how I've been treating friends family and myself. Mr. Jeter has done a lot of soul searching himself in order to get himself together. He's had made serveral sacrifices to get to where he's at, I'm glad to hear that he show emotion by crying or talking to his parents if needed a shoulder to cry on. He's a remarkable young man.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 28, 2001
This book is great! I didn't like Jeter that much before I read this book but know he is one of my favorite players. It's a mix of a biography and how to acheive your goals.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 19, 2001
This book is wonderful for people of all ages and dreams. Jeter gives us real life examples and easy tips on how to be successful. This book is easy to read and honestly, I could not put it down. It is motivational and very inspiring. I read it, my dad read it, and I even shared some of it with my softball teammates and coaches. They loved it!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 25, 2001
This book is such an inspiring book. For all the young teens, like myself who like Derek, this puts him in a terrific perspective. This book was so good, even my mom read it. When you first start it, you can't put it down because his life wasn't the best, but they made it be. I loved Derek for his looks and baseball ability, but after this book I like him even more for the person his is and wants to be.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 10, 2001
I chose to read this book because of my great interest in baseball and Derek Jeter. Derek Jeter is my role moddel for baseball because of his humble beginnings in baseball and kids. This is a book for anyone that enjoys the awesome game of baseball. If you read this book it will definitly make you want to read more book on Derek Jeter and the Yankees. I hope you will find this book as inspiring as I did when I read it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 3, 2001
This is the best book ever. I personally am a jeter fan but even if i wasnt i would have like this book because it does have lots of lessons on how to achieve your dreams/goals. No matter what age you are you will love this book so much yu will not be able to put it down.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 5, 2001
As a 17 year old, I know it is pretty pathetic, but I don't really enjoy reading novels too much. However, when I bought this book and began to read it, I honestly could not put it down!! The Life You Imagine: Life Lessons for Achieving Your Dreams, is an extremely inspirational and motivational book. I thought it would mainly focus on the younger group of kids in the society, but I could especially relate to his stories pertaining to high school. It was really interesting reading about someone who is so famous and being able to actually relate to them in some ways or another. I would recommend this book for kids and adults of all ages! Even if you aren't a Yankee fan or a Derek Jeter fan, you will get something amazing and extremely positive and helpful out of it! Never give up on your dreams! I know not to do that now and because of this book I've realized anything is possible. Derek Jeter is an example of it. GO YANKEES:)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 1, 2001
Derek Jeter is my favorite baseball player. I think he has a wonderful attitude toward the game.He is the star of the Yankees and the star of baseball! This book is excellent!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 1, 2000
Posted October 30, 2000
When I first heard that Derek Jeter wrote a book, I was very excited to read it. He is one of my role models because he had a dream in life, to play shortstop for the Yankees, and he made that dream come true. Even coming close to that goal would be unreal, but he is living his dream. To me, that is incredible. Therefore, I look up to him. In this book, which kept my complete attention throughout, Jeter describes the steps that he took to be where he is today, and not all of them were easy. He attributes most of his success to his family for supporting his every move. I think that is very loyal and respectable, especially for such a successful athlete. I have recommended this book to many peopel since I have finished reading it and will continue to do so. If you are looking for some inspiration or simply a good book to read, this is the one.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 22, 2000
I have had growing respect for Derek Jeter as a person and an athlete since I first heard of him four years ago. His book raises that level of respect even higher. I am impressed with his honesty and openness. No matter what your goals and dreams are in life,no matter if you are young or maybe just young at heart, you will find encouragement and inspiration through Derek telling his own story. Reading his simple truths gives you a feeling of sitting down and having a conversation with him... very refreshing.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 11, 2000
I think that Jeter has put a lot of thought and effort into writing this book. He is the ultimate proof that if you really want something, all you have to do is believe in your dream, set your goals, and work hard to make that dream come true! Thanks for making me believe too.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 8, 2000
I bought this book when I was in New York and read it on the plane back to San Francisco that was a 6 Hour flight I could not put it down This book is not just for kids but for everyone. After reading his book makes me have more respect for him.....Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.