In the 1930s, minor league baseball was really outstanding, especially in the Texas League. The San Antonio team had seven batters who hit over 300, compared to the dozen or so players from the American and National Leagues who hit that well.
Everyone was certain that San Antonio would win the pennant, but San Antonio lost its first six games. In fact, at the end of 21 games, they had lost 18. Every member of the team blamed another player for the losing streak, but no matter who took the blame, the slump continued.
Then one day this team of hitters took on Dallas, the weakest-hitting team in the league, and lost 1-0, with only one hit for the San Antonio team. Josh O'Reilly, San Antonio's manager, knew that the problem with his team was not physical, but mental. The losing streak had given them a bad attitude.
At the time there was a faith healer in Dallas named Slater who had earned a reputation was a miracle worker. An hour before the second game in the series O'Reilly burst into the clubhouse and told every player to hand over their two best bats, saying he had an idea that would win them the pennant. He took the bats, put them in a wheelbarrow and left.
He reappeared with the bats about five minutes before the game started. He told the team that he had been to see Mr. Slater, who had blessed the bats so that they would hit the ball anytime they took a swing. He convinced them that with these blessed bats they would win the game and the pennant.
The previous day they had only gotten one hit; this time they got 37 hits and scored 22 runs, including 11 home-runs. Not only did they win the game, but they went on to win the pennant.
So what changed? Did O'Reilly really take the bats to Mr. Slater? If he did, was Mr. Slater's blessing really what got the team to start hitting again?
The fact is, it does not matter if the bats were really blessed or not. The team believed the bats were blessed. The bats looked, felt, and worked the same as they did before O'Reilly collected them. Before and after the “blessing,” the bats were just a pile of wood. The real changed happened in the players' minds.
In order to change anything in your life, you have to first change it in your mind. You have to have the mindset that what you want is not only possible, but that it is going to happen. The San Antonio team had everything they needed to win the pennant; all they needed was the belief that they could do it.
If you are trying to get fit, you have to think fit. It's not enough to just change what you eat or how active you are. You also have to change your mindset. If you start a new diet or fitness routine but believe it's not going to work for you, you'll start to make excuses for yourself. “A day off my diet will not make a difference,” or “It is okay if I do not work out today because I've been working hard and deserve a break.”
One excuse begets another, and that's a slippery slope to start down. Then you'll wonder why it's not working. You have to make a committed lifestyle change; otherwise your efforts towards reaching your fitness goal will be “just a pile of wood.”