Actually, we don’t all make mistakes.
I played baseball as a kid. Sometimes I was even good at it.
Most of the time, I was average.
The sport taught me a ton about myself, especially in retrospect. One of the most important lessons that I learned was that there are people who never make mistakes.
Here’s what I mean.
There was one particular player who I could never beat. He was more skilled than me, even when he wasn’t trying. And that was the thing: he never really tried.
Because he never really tried, he never really failed.
He’d catch every ball hit to him, but he’d never try for the ball that was just out of reach. He’d hit line drive after line drive, but he’d strike out looking because he wouldn’t swing at tough pitches.
His jersey was always clean at the end of the game because he’d never slide, and he never left the field unhappy. Why? Because he never came up short.
And why did he never come up short?
He never came up short because he never stretched for anything beyond his reach.
Baseball taught me that I was a failure.
If a failure was someone who tries hard, then I was content with being a failure.
If a failure was someone who wanted desperately to be better, then I was fine with being a failure.
If a failure was someone who left the field covered from head to toe with dirt every game, then I was more than happy to be a failure.
If a failure was someone who dove at every ball, went down swinging, and got so upset after some games that he’d stay in the batting cage until his hands bled, then I was more than happy to be a failure.
Looking back, I don’t think that this kid ever got upset.
What was there for him to be upset about? Nothing. Because he tried for nothing, and that’s exactly what he got. He didn’t want to be something, so he never got anything worthwhile.
He may have never felt the frustration that I felt at being a failure, but there’s another thing I’m positive he never felt that I definitely did:
What it felt like to truly win.
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Photo: Flickr/Christopher Sessums