The legendary Babe Ruth was once asked what he thought about when he struck out. His answer: “I think about hitting home runs.”
We may not be baseball sluggers, but Babe has something to teach us: Like most people who achieve success, he learned to forget about his past failures and focus on his present goals. He didn’t let the past define or confine him: Every time he stepped up to the plate for a new at-bat was a fresh opportunity to swing for the stars. And if he wiped out, well, so what? Failure wasn’t fatal — it was effort.
Let’s embrace the Babe’s winning at-bat attitude! Just for today, let’s:
Forget the past: If we had a bad day on the page yesterday, so what? Today’s a fresh new day! Endless possibilities await us — the perfect word, the best phrase, a novel way of handling a problem, a great idea — any one of which can transform our work. The bright empty page on our desk or computer holds all of these if we can stay in the present.
Accept failure: Most of us, myself included, have a hard time coping with failure. We see it as a short-coming in ourselves — a weakness, a lapse, a lack of ability or opportunity. The Babe didn’t see it that way. He saw failure as a natural part of the rhythm of his game. He was the home-run king, but he also held the record for most strike-outs, because you can’t hit home runs unless you’re willing to swing your bat. He knew that striking out was just a step on the path to another home run. Instead of getting angsty about his outs, he accepted them with grace and humor.
Play big: Even when he failed, the Babe didn’t shrink from the plate or hold back. He always went all out — he gave every swing everything he had. He never played small — he always played big. He always took a mighty swing. And when he connected — watch out!
OK, here’s our plan for today — forget the past, accept failure as the price of admission, and swing for the stars as we all write on!