“Winners lose more than losers. They win and lose more than losers, because they stay in the game.” Terry Paulson
My son is an awesome baseball player. Yet it’s his most frustrating sport.
Maybe because in baseball it’s more obvious to the crowd when you make a mistake, than in football. I’m not sure. But it messes with him (it always has).
Last night he missed two fly balls. Just doesn’t happen to him. He was dejected. Mortified. I didn’t know what to say. He certainly didn’t want to hear my advice, that’s for sure.
When we finally talked I told him, “You are a straight A student. You go to one of the toughest schools in the state and even nation. You got a 99.9% score on your high school placement test. You are tired. Overwhelmed. And stressed. You did your best.”
His answer surprised me.
He was adamant he did NOT do his best. Yet even when I asked, “So you were distracted? Tired? Not playing full out?”
He answered, “Of course not, Mom! But if I had done my best I wouldn’t have dropped those balls.”
And he MEANT it.
That’s when it hit me – do you really believe your best is determined either by outcomes or external accolades? WTF? Are you kidding me? That’s insane!!!
I then carefully, but adamantly told him words I hope YOU hear too.
“You’re NOT taking in the wild card piece of it – the universe and your soul. Now you might only be 14, so your life lessons might come in the form of a baseball game so maybe what I’m getting ready to explain will sound crazy because baseball doesn’t seem like it’s that important. But at 14, could it be possible sports are how YOU are teaching YOU to prepare for harder things to come? If everything is super easy for you now, what will happen to you when you’re married and your wife has a miscarriage? Or you get fired? Or God forbid something else awful happens? Do you want to wait to test your emotional fitness when the people you love need you most? How will you handle that level of life disappointment if you’ve never even faced things as simple as giving it everything you have on the field and still dropping balls? It’s time to hunker down, get real and if it’s important to you then you need to try that much harder. But you have to believe you’ll get through this. Have faith in YOU. Accept your anger, embrace it; but don’t let it mean anything more than you are angry and learning how to move through anger to get to the other side of YOU.”
I don’t believe you should sweat anything – much less the little things, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t uber-important to your growth. You just don’t need to make them into mountains!
(All you need to do is pay attention to them so you can move through them more effortlessly.)
Learning to accept your best isn’t good enough at times, for whatever reason, will build your emotional fitness.
Knowing you might not win the prize every time, but knowing you got SOMETHING out of the experience is where joy comes in and will bring you outrageous fulfillment.
If you KNEW the experience wasn’t about winning or losing, but about just feeling and growing, how could you ever resist or avoid any emotion again? You should be shouting to the world, “Bring it on – I GOT this!”
Open your heart to get out of your head so you can see what is being revealed – like a movie scene playing out a bigger plot.
What you experience is exactly what you’re supposed to – it’s the meaning you put on it, like, “I have to try harder next time” is where you miss the boat.
It’s not always about trying harder. It’s about feeling whatever you’re feeling in that moment.
While it’s fine to build your skills on failures, it’s also important to enhance your soul through accepting your emotions as you have them. Avoid letting the ego take over to make them any more than they were supposed to be. Experiences breed growth. We crave them at a soul level.
But I also know you can’t know the reason part FOR SURE. It’s the wild card part of the equation. So use your joy detector (hint it’s not your mind!) to get closer to the truth – it’s there – and it will feel outrageous.
When you are on the field of life and you get knocked down pay attention to your next move because for the most part you have three basic choices.
- Grab your bat and glove and go home.
- Lay on the field in the fetal position.
- Pick yourself up and get back up to bat.
No matter what you choose, the only outcome I can GUARANTEE is that you’ll never hit that home run if you choose to go home or freeze. I can also promise you that life will hunt you down like a dog and find new and better ways to “teach” you what you are avoiding.
But facing the situation, picking yourself up off the ground and getting back up to bat is your only real chance to swing for the fences and knock that ball out of the park!
Watch this inspiring video and tell me, where would we be today if these people had chosen to quit?