A story broke yesterday on Bleacher Report about Mark Appel, who was the former 2013 number one draft pick in the MLB, is retiring from baseball at age 26. Mark has been labelled one of the biggest busts in major league baseball history, as someone with so much talent and promise to never make the leap in professional sports.

It happens. As in, life happens. We’re thrown curve balls, which take us in different directions we don’t always plan for.

Now before I move ahead on this, I was impressed by a couple of Mark’s quotes that exemplified a depth of perspective and wisdom.

To quote from the article –

I don’t know what the future holds. I’m pursuing other things, but also trying to become a healthy human.”

“I’m 26, I have a Standford degree, I have many interests beyond baseball, which I still love, but I have a lot of things I care about,” Appel says. “I enjoy challenging my mind. My last four years in baseball have challenged my mind.”

“Sometimes you wonder what would what happen if one thing changed, how different your life would be,” Appel says. “It makes me realize there’s great intention [in] everything that’s gotten you to where you are. But sometimes, you end up exactly where you’re supposed to be.”

I love these words from Mark because they illustrate a deepening and widening of his perspective, and an understanding that life presents us with exactly what we need.
It may not always be what we want, but what we need is the beautiful element. I stress need, because that’s where the personal growth (or even destiny) comes into play.

If Mark was good enough and playing well enough to be in the MLB he would. Who would have picked Tom Brady to the star that he is when he was picked #199 in the sixth round of the NFL draft in 2000?

You just never know what life will present you. But you have to trust it’s for your own development. The wise man or woman swims downstream, not upstream. They go where the river is taking them without attachment to the outcome. This is where being comfortable in the unknown comes into play. Surrendering to the process. Letting go to what will be and allowing a deliberate focus of ideas, energies and action to flow in a direction that feels genuine, honest and true.

When life throws curve balls and you feel life steering you in a new direction, explore that and trust in those feelings and act upon them….And sometimes when you do that, you get what you want, as well as what you need.

The important thing I’ve found in my life is to remember to always stay true to yourself. To know yourself. Have a deep understanding of what brings you joy and fulfillment and make a commitment to honor that, and not settle for anything less – whatever that looks like to you.

I’m a firm believer, you’re always where you’re supposed to be. Even if it doesn’t feel right, there’s a great lesson to be learned, which if taken seriously can help you breakthrough to new levels of awareness and consciousness.

The way I see it, you can either choose to live in a world that supports you or not. And either way you look at it, you’ll be right. That’s why it’s so important to feed our hearts and minds seeds of love, gratitude, kindness, compassion, empathy and other natural states of being. It’s when the unnatural states of being enslave us, do we become anxious, confused and overwhelmed.

When new beginnings are upon me, I amp up my meditation and ask for guidance and direction from my inner-voice direction. I then express gratitude and thanks for what’s going to show up next. I hold true that life is going to work out even better than I could imagine. When I do that, I loosen my grip and enter a state of calm. I let the creative intelligence of the world do it’s thing. My job then is to get out of the way! That doesn’t mean I don’t do anything, it just means I make sure I’m crystal clear with my intentions (be specific!), and then send emotions/thoughts/sensations and actions that propel those intentions.

And then I let go, knowing that I’m doing my part in the equation. That is where I find comfort in the unknown, controlling what I can control, and in any given moment that is my attitude and perspective towards life.

The media and the MLB may see Mark Appel as a “bust” but you can rest assured that experience holds a beautiful lesson, which will carry Mark in good fortune in his future endeavors.