Baseball is tough because it’s a game of failures. A game of struggles, and a game of obstacles. In fact, some of the greatest players and my biggest idols were good hitters because they failed 7 out of 10 times. It’s a difficult thing to overcome when failure is expected. Figuring out that failure is merely a learning experience was my biggest turnaround in life.
Everyone fails in life. At one point or another, you’re going to suffer through failure. If you haven’t already experienced some monumental failures, then you can just wait and see. I don’t say that because my outlook is pessimistic – it’s the realist in me speaking here.
The problem? Most people associate failure with complete defeat. I know, because I’ve failed countless times over and over again. In fact, at one point, you could have called me a professional failure. I was failing at everything. Relationships. Business. School. Life in general. And I felt this sense of total and absolute defeat.
But through those failures I learned some important lessons. In fact, before having to suffer through countless failures, one after another, I never realized the importance of failing. I also never realized how some of the most famous people to have ever lived had failed the most times.
If you want a rainbow, you have to have rain. Much like reaching success, you have to fail first. Michael Jordan was once cut from his high school basketball team. Oprah Winfrey was told she was unfit for television. Walt Disney was fired for his lack of imagination. It wasn’t their natural talent that propelled them to greatness, it was their tenacity to get back up and chase after their goals.
Now this is usually the part of the feel good story where I rise to greatness, but that never happened.
After I quit the game, I felt like a complete failure. Everything I worked so hard for meant nothing. Yes, I was sad. Yes, I was depressed. But it was my choice to bounce back that led me to where I am today. I always said I wouldn’t go back to school without baseball, but I did just that. I enrolled in Central Washington University a year later, and guess what. I failed again.
I originally came to this school as a history major. I wanted to be a teacher, a coach, and a mentor; but six weeks into my first quarter, my teacher informed me that it would probably be best if I dropped the class. So there I sat again. A failure with no idea what I was to do. So I took my own advice, on failure being a good thing, and tried again. This time in the communications department and I haven’t looked back since.
When we fail, we learn. We grow and mature, achieving new understandings and perspectives on life, love, business, money, relationships, and people. We’re forced to make new connections, bridging gaps where we have never connected the dots before.
However, if you’re going through failure right now, you might not find its utility at this very moment. I know that suffering through failure hurts. In fact, the pain can run so deep, that at times, you question your very existence. But there’s most certainly light at the end of the tunnel – I can promise you that.
Throughout my very many failures, I came away with some important lessons, lessons that I wanted to share with all of you. I know how hard it was to move through and get past failure. And I know that if you’re going through it right now, I can relate. I feel for you, because I know just how much it sucks.
Still, lessons learned through failure are some of the most invaluable lessons you could possibly garner in life. In fact, I pray I fail again because it was the failures that taught me the most. It is the failures that shape you for the better and prepare you to conquer life, no matter your goals. Keep on keeping on, and never let a failure keep you down.