What Price Are You Willing to Pay for Success?

David Brooks, in his best-selling book, The Road to Character, talks about Resume Virtues, or what we accomplish during our life, versus Eulogy Virtues, the legacy we leave behind. In that regard, following are the Resume Virtues and Eulogy Virtues of Ted Williams, one of the greatest professional baseball players of all time.

Ted William’s Resume Virtues

  • One of the greatest players in baseball history
  • Selected to the All-Star team 19 times
  • Six-time American League batting champion
  • Two-time Triple Crown winner
  • 521 career home runs
  • Career batting average of .344 – highest of any player with 302 or more home runs
  • 48.2% on-base percentage, highest of all time
  • Inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966, his first year of eligibility; Major League Baseball All-Time Team in 1997; Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999
  • Recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991
  • Inducted into IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame

Ted William’s Eulogy Virtues

  • Three failed marriages – one woman he dated, Evelyn Turner, repeatedly refused his marriage proposals as she wanted a commitment that she would come first in his life. His response, “It’s baseball first, fishing second, and you third.”
  • Failure as a father to three children – “As a father, I struck out…I was never there. I was always gone. I had my commitments. I just didn’t do the job.”; When his daughter Bobby-Jo would ask him about his childhood, he told her to read his autobiography.

This begs us to answer the question posed by Jim Loehr, author of The Power of Full Engagement:

“Is the life I’m living worth what I’m giving up to have it?”