Life Lesson #3: Eating Your Slice of Humble Pie

Lately, I have been applying to internships with local minor league teams, and let my make one thing clear, it’s been an excruciating process. Hours of filling out applications, revising resumes, and writing cover letters only to find out “ehh, maybe you’re not quite there yet.” To be honest, getting rejected by a smokeshow at the bar is a hell of lot easier to take compared to your dream internship informing you that you aren’t the right guy for the position. But that’s part of the process of failure I referred to in my earlier blog. I realize that just because I think I’ve worked my ass off to get to where I am, doesn’t mean I am obligated to receive anything. I never anticipated for this process to be easy, and I’m not expecting any hand-outs. I merely focus on what I can control. “Control the controllable,” as my coach use to say.

Life has a way of humbling you. If you think you have everything right now, you better be working to keep it or else it could all be gone in an instance. I talked about my mediocre playing days of freshman year in my original blog. I also talked about dedicating an entire year to improving my game in hopes of fulfilling my D1 dream. I controlled the only thing I could control, my work ethic, and I knew good things were on the horizon; you couldn’t have told me otherwise.

Well, three days before my sophomore season started, I guess it was time to be served my slice of humble pie. It came in the form of a busted hamstring and a ride on the disabled list for all of preseason. I was devastated. All I could say was “why me?” “Why did this have to happen right before it was my time to shine?” I tried to keep a positive view, knowing that I would return to the playing field, but I just wasn’t the same by the time I got healthy. Mentally, my play was hindered, which ultimately led to my final season of baseball.

Sooner or later, life will throw you a curveball, and it will suck. But you must focus your energy away from your ego. This is one thing I struggled with in my playing days, and one of the life lessons I learned the hard way. In a game of full of failures, it was hard to not let the little things get to me. Looking back at my playing career, I realize how minor any error, strikeout, or failure I stressed over was. Shoot, I can barely remember any of them, no matter how much I felt like I sucked at that very moment.

Chances are, the curveball you were thrown in life was unfair. You were treated unjustly. You didn’t deserve it. However, even if you feel that you’ve been wronged, you need to stop thinking along the following lines:

  • How dare they do this to me?
  • Don’t they know who I am?
  • They’ll be sorry they did this.

This kind of thinking consumes an enormous amount of energy and doesn’t help you in any way. It’s selfish to be so anchored to the present that we forget about our future.

In the age of millennials, we’re perceived as having everything handed to our self-centered selves. This couldn’t be any further from the truth. I, in fact, encourage the humbling to my cockiness. The new me doesn’t stress about the horrible timing of life’s servings of humble pie, instead I say, “got any whip cream to go with it?” Staying optimistic is one of the best things you can do for yourself when life finds a way of kicking you when you’re down. For example, getting laid off from a job can lead to working for a better company, the same way an internship rejection can lead to better opportunities. Never let  these obstacles stand in the way of reaching your goals no matter how strenuous they can be. And for that I remind my readers to never give up, and to keep that container of cool whip ready for the next slice of humble pie.

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