When my son was growing up he played Little League baseball for six years. The first three years he played he hit the ball, maybe, three times… total. He was at the bottom of the batting order and he played in the outfield. He didn’t have any close friends on any of his teams, yet he continued to play. Bottom of the order, stuck in the outfield, bored in the dugout.
During his fourth year playing he started to hit. And hit. And hit. By mid-season he had one of the highest batting averages on the team. He continued to hit for the next three years, moving up in the batting order as he did. His final year of baseball he played first base and was among the top five guys in the batting order, as he continued to be one of the top hitters.
I don’t know what kept him going those first three years. He didn’t seem to particularly enjoy the game, but each season when it came time to sign up he wanted to play again. After the sixth year I remember telling him that if he had quit during those first three years he never would have known how good he could have been.
It’s interesting, isn’t it? You never know how close you are to success. No matter how many times you have failed, success might be waiting for your next attempt. There is only one way to find out and that is to try again.
How many times have you tried and what keeps you going when you feel like you are at the bottom of the order, stuck in the outfield, and bored in the dugout? Do you sign up for one more season or hang up your glove? What factors do you consider in making your decision? What if you knew that the next time you stepped up to the plate you would hit that sucker out of the park and it would be the beginning of a hitting streak that would continue?
Here’s the thing – and this is important – you have no way of knowing. Like my son, you have to decide if you are going to continue playing without knowing whether you will ever hit the ball again. There is no taro card that will tell you, no crystal ball, no way of knowing what lies ahead. You have to make your decision based on you, your experience, and your faith – or lack thereof – in yourself.