My four-year-old son played baseball this summer. He only swung a bat for the first time at his first baseball practice. Needless to say, he had to learn the basics and had the attention span that one would expect out of a four year old. But when the games got started, I was reminded of some very basic concepts of success.
Sometimes people become successful through sheer luck; however, don’t count on this – it’s a rarity at best.
The majority of the time he would just go through the motions and swing the bat. Once he got lucky and hit the ball (His eyes were closed and it was more like golfing because it hit the ground first). I’m sure he struck out at least ten times swinging this way.
Just “swinging” at your goals doesn’t cut it. You can’t go through the motions and expect success. In fact you can pretty much guarantee failure.
He swung hard and made real contact twice. Throughout the season, he made two runs and got on base three times.
If you want to be successful, you have to give it your best and work hard.
Blaze struck out while swinging hard maybe another four times. He was upset when this happened (as most kids are). In fact, at one game, he threw his glove on the ground and said he wasn’t playing anymore (which was semi-cute because he’s four….and adorable). 20 minutes later, however, Blaze got the game ball (awarded to a different player each game) and was so happy again. I explained to him that if he had quit, he never would have gotten that game ball and that I was the proudest of him when he tried his hardest. That batting was about trying more than hitting. The hitting would fall into place eventually.
Success is not about always getting it right or perfect. Success is learning in motion. When you try hard and fail, learn from it. Get up dust yourself off and get going again. Failures and difficult times in life are when you learn the best lessons, realize who your best friends really are, and what the most important things are in life. You can’t be successful if you fear failure. The only real failure is when you don’t give it your all and fail. You’ll never know your full potential.
I started my own dental practice from scratch about a year ago. Overall, it is very successful and hopefully it continues to be that way. But I have failed in many things along the way and it was not easy. One of the best words of wisdom a fellow doctor told me was: “What happens if your business isn’t successful? You’re still a dentist. The bank can’t take that! Don’t burn bridges and you can go right back to a salary position.” Hearing those wise words diminished my fear of failure.