I can’t say enough about Dwight Gooden. He’s somebody I have known since his days with the Mets in the 1980s all the way through his current work with Steiner Sports. He was one of the most electric pitchers of his generation. Think about all of the attention Harvey and deGrom have been getting for the 2015 Mets…then double that. THAT was Dwight- shutting down New York City every fifth day of the week.
A few years ago I interviewed him about his career in baseball, the troubles he had off the field and how he turned his life around by embracing his negative experiences. I decided to pull two important lessons from that interview.
1. Make a decision about the life you want to live.
There were a lot of dark times in Dwight’s life. There was alcohol and drug addiction and jail time. Those are three things no one ever wants to have to deal with, but Dwight was able to tell me something very valuable from his experience.
When he was in jail, he had time to think about his life and ultimately he realized that it was up to him to make a decision about his life; about the direction he wanted to go. He realized that he was in control.
2. If you experience something negative, take whatever you can out of it and turn it into a positive.
Another thing Dwight pulled from all of the low-points in his life: everyone is going to experience a negative. The key to that is finding something, even the smallest snippet that you can use as a positive point of reference. If you can gain an understanding about why you’re in the situation you’re in, you will be able to learn something from it.