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May 27, 2022

Growth Mindset (Bechukosai)

One of the few players to go straight from college baseball to the MLB was left-handed pitcher, Jim Abbot. Through the 1990s, Abbot played for the Angels, Yankees, and the White Sox.

In his tenure in the MLB, Abbot became one of the greatest pitchers to play the game. In 1991, he won a whopping 18 games for the Angels. In 1993, he pitched a no-hitter, one of the hardest feats for a major league pitcher. His record as a pitcher was nearly .500. He won almost 100 games!

All of these facts attest to the greatness of Jim Abbot as an incredible pitcher in the MLB. But there was something else about Abbot that makes all of these stats even more significant. My friends, Jim Abbot had no right hand!

A reporter once asked him, “How did you learn to play baseball at the major league level with only one hand?!”

Abbot responded, “No one ever told me I had an impairment. If they had, I probably would never have played baseball.”

Most of the limitations we have in life are the ones we place on ourselves, in our very own minds. I can’t… I will never… It’s impossible… The list goes on and on. We sell ourselves short and convince ourselves that we just “don’t have what it takes.”

It’s about time that we stop with this negative mindset of “I don’t have what it takes,” and instead think, “Let me take what I have and do something great.”

The Torah (Parshas Bechukosai) discusses the blessings and curses that will befall the Jewish people. If they do the will of G-d and keep the commandments of the Torah, they will merit much blessings. If not, then G-d forbid, curses may come.

This reality is not meant to scare us. But it should enlighten us with the importance of fulfilling our Divine service and embracing our personal life mission. We mustn’t sell ourselves short and place limitations of growth on ourselves. Rather, let us realize our immense inner holiness and greatness, and have a positive mindset, a growth mindset.