In life, you need at-bats. It’s less about hitting them all, but more about getting as many smart at-bats as possible.
Getting an at-bat can be scary. At bats tend to sit at the intersection of momentary success or failure.
They’re deciding moments.
I have never played baseball.
But when I see a big-league pitcher throwing a 100mph fastball towards a batter, it’s not like I want to trade places with that batter.
At bats are a judgment of sorts, which we’re afraid of.
Which is ironic, because success doesn’t come from the outcome of a sole at-bat. Instead, it comes from putting yourself out there.
Here are some examples.
It took a few attempts before I got my now wife to go on a date with me. Every one of those tries was an at-bat, and they were all scary. The first few didn’t work, but eventually, one did.
You need money in the market to capitalize on what tends to be a long-term upwards trend. Not every investment will work, but if you don’t have money in the market, none will.
Finding a job
You don’t shoot for one job. You need to pursue many opportunities, and one will work out for you. Finding a job is a numbers game. Ditto for investing. Ditto for dating.
If you never say “yes” to a task or project that scares you, you won’t grow. You won’t be the person who is sought out for bigger opportunities. Nor will you be the person earning the raises and bonuses that come with stepping up to the plate when others won’t.
In education, at least in post-secondary education, we get it all wrong. We focus too much on students getting it right. We focus too much on that one test. On that one paper. Education should be much more iterative. It should be more open to the idea that even moments of failure can lead to extraordinary learning and growth.
I have worked in marketing for the last 20 years. And even though I’d love to tell you otherwise, most marketing doesn’t work. Most ideas don’t. Most campaigns won’t. But some will work, and the only way to find the ones that work is by doing the ones that don’t. Marketing, too, is a numbers game.
Eventually, you’ll have a portfolio of working efforts, which you can then grow, optimize, and scale as you see fit.
Some at-bats, you need to work harder for than others.
Those tend to have a bigger impact.
Often the most meaningful at-bats happen after delaying satisfaction.
Don’t buy that nice car. Now you have money to invest and get an at-bat you otherwise wouldn’t have obtained.
Don’t binge Netflix every night. Invest that time to ramp up a digital side project of sorts. Now you have an at-bat to potentially earn some extra income.
Don’t swipe right on Tinder. Instead, do something thoughtful for someone you genuinely want to learn more about.
You get at-bats by saying “yes” to others.
But most of all, you get at-bats by saying “yes” to yourself.
Again, and again and again.
Eventually, you’ll hit a single. And then a double. And another single.
Let those at-bats compound, and you win.