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When legends and trailblazers die, we often are able to see glimpses into their lives and the mindset which helped them to succeed.

This week we lost baseball legend Hank Aaron. He was a baseball player and Guinness World Record Holder. Not to mention an African American icon.

Hank Aaron made history and he did it through using hate as a motivator. People magazine posted an article entitled Hank Aaron Used Record-Setting Hate Mail for Inspiration Before Breaking Babe Ruth Record

The article indicated Hank Aaron won the Guinness World Record in 1974 for the most fan mail received by a private citizen. Of the 900,000 letters – a third of them where hate mail.

Hate mail!

That is a lot of hate.

But he did something we should all strive to do. He used that hate to motivate him. What others intended to create fear, created determination.

Those letters may have portrayed hate but they also exemplified belief. Those haters believed he could break Babe Ruth’s record. They believed so strongly that they were compelled to do something to stop him. But they did something to make him more determined.

The letters were to tear down one man, but every time Hank Aaron told that story of his secret motivator – those letters motivated others. Hank Aaron gave a strategic tool which every person has experienced at some point in their life.

Hate!

Bullying!

On the surface these hurt but they can also heal. It can break you down or you can let it build you up. I don’t know who the original author of this quote is but it is one which comes to mind:

Make your haters your motivators. – Author Unknown

Hank Aaron did that!

You can do that!

Keep swinging!

Rest In Peace Hank Aaron. Thank you for your legendary example.

Til next time,

“My motto was always keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging.” – Hank Aaron

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