A sense of doom and gloom now hangs over our lives like a black cloud. The laundry list of daily downers seems endless: shrinking earnings that in turn lead to massive layoffs; Wall Street's bear market; Mad Cow disease; skyrocketing energy costs and California's energy crisis; endless violence in the Mideast.Worrying about how long it will take your investment portfolios to recover, or whether the burger you ate for lunch will make you insane, isn't beneficial for your mental health or your job. Staying focused is the key to success, as many baseball superstars will attest to.

I don't profess to be as enamored about baseball as George Will is, but the start of a new baseball season is a reason to be optimistic about the future. In April, the days begin to grow warmer and longer, a fact that any Chicago resident can tell you is a major source of optimism after a long, dreary winter. All baseball teams, including perennial basement dwellers like the Chicago Cubs, enter a new baseball season with the belief that they can win the World Series.

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