Have you ever found yourself stuck?
The kind of stuck that has you frustrated?
We've all been there.
Life throws us a curveball.
We were hoping to make contact, but then we swing and miss.
And after we swing, we realize the pitch wasn't as good as we first thought.
How do we respond in those moments?
The ones where it feels like there is a stadium full of people watching us strike out.
It's been said we can't hit what we don't swing at.
But I think we are missing out on some equally solid perspective.
We can't hit what isn't in the strike zone either.
If the pitch is high and tight, low and away, up and in...making contact is doubtful. And if it's a wild pitch or a pitch-out? Well, you get the point. We aren't getting on base swinging at offerings like that.
We aren't going to make progress by swinging at bad pitches.
I think sometimes we place so much value in putting our head down and pushing forward, that we miss the point. There is a more effective way to move forward. It requires more patience (that's not always easy). It requires more persistence to "foul-off" a few pitches that we aren't sure if they are strikes or not, just to keep the at-bat alive. But in the end, there is a common goal we are trying to reach.
Getting on base.
Listen...if you are finding the pitches aren't there today...stop swinging.
Stand in. Don't leave the batter's box. You can't get on if you aren't in the game.
Be patient. With a watchful eye, value the swings you don't take as important too.
And at the end of it...when enough bad pitches come?
Enjoy the moment when you can...
In the next blog, we'll talk about what to do once you're on base.
That's just as important.
If the process doesn't excite you,
the destination likely won't be able to fulfill you.
Because the destination often ends up looking very different than we think it will.
If you aren't all-in on the process,
you'll bail even faster once you realize what the end looks like.
So whatever it is you are working on, make sure the work wakes you up everyday. Make sure the work puts a smile on your face. Make sure the first set-back isn't an attractive opportunity to quit.
If the work you are doing matters,
every difficulty you encounter becomes a welcome challenge.
If you do?
Something tells me you are going to love the destination when you get there...
The joy of "arrival".
"If I could just get there, things would get better".
Except the part where that's a lie.
Things get better when we embrace the journey for what it can teach us, rather than treat it as an inconvenience standing in our way. There are people, experiences, and yes...even obstacles, waiting to teach us who we are and why we exist. They will challenge and refine us. They will force us to choose between what we think we need, and what we actually need. They will force us, thankfully, to look beyond what we think are our limitations. And in the midst of that grand collision of change, uncertainty, joy, fear, hope, desire and the rest?
We need to slow down long enough,
to appreciate the leverage that tension provides.
It will keep us from falling over the emotional cliff of overreaction.
It will keep us moving forward fast enough,
to avoid a rest that becomes a personal pity party.
It will keep us right where we need to be today,
so that we can learn from our surroundings on the way.
I don't know what journey you are on today.
But I am sensing that if you only value arrival at a destination,
you'll be missing some pretty amazing stuff along the way.
Let today serve as a reminder that when "getting there" seems like the end game...
Being present today, in all of your faculties, is.
Enjoy the journey, my friend.
It's a gift.
(As I type this blog I am on my porch, sitting in overcast, gloomy weather. As I typed that last sentence...I'm finding it more than a coincidence that the sun burst through the clouds, made me have to squint just to see my screen, and offered a warm reminder that all of this is true.)
From the desk of our founder, Brett W. Gould.