by David DeFord
No one has ever matched Ted Williams’ .400 batting average since he achieved it in 1941. Baseball historians regard Williams as the greatest hitter of all time.
But even in his best year, Williams suffered three failures for every five tries.
Today, major leaguers who fail 75 times out of a hundred make millions of dollars a year.
Experts consider hitting a baseball the most difficult of all athletic achievements. I know I had my problems hitting that little thing.
No one likes to fail, but some use failure as a teacher.
As a hitter walks to the dugout after striking out, he evaluates his swings and decides what adjustments he must make at his next at-bat. When he approaches the plate for his next attempt, he focuses on his adjustments rather than on his last failure.
Do you expect a perfect batting average?
Do you find it difficult to try again after a failure?
Do you search for easier goals which you can attain with little risk?
We all fail. We fail in our families. We fail in our careers. We fail in our academics pursuits. Failure happens.
But we can turn our failures into triumphs. You’ve read of Edison’s thousands of attempts to find the right filament for the electric light bulb. You’ve read of Lincoln’s list of miserable failures leading up to his incredible influence on the world.
When faced with failure, I challenge you to make adjustments to your approach and try again. I challenge you to focus more on your adjustments than on your last failure. I challenge you to keep striving for your highest aspiration.
Don’t allow yourself to shoot for something lower than you deeply desire.
Don’t allow yourself to lower your risk tolerance.
Going into the last day of the 1941 season, Ted Williams had his .400 average. In response to manager Joe Cronin’s suggestion that he sit out the double-header with Philadelphia so he could end the season at .400, Williams said, “If I can’t hit .400 all the way, I don’t deserve it.”
That day, Williams had six hits and finished the season with an astonishing average of .406.
In spite of the risk, Ted Williams achieved baseball immortality.
His greatest goal was to be able to walk down the street and have people say, “There goes the greatest hitter ever.”
He achieved his goal in spite of repeated failures and courageous risks.
You can too.
The faster the pitch the farther the ball will fly when we solidly connect. The more difficult the challenge, the greater the reward for meeting it squarely. David DeFord
The value of a thing lies in the cost of attaining it. David DeFord
We are continually faced with great opportunities brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems. Lee Iacocca
I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I’ve been entrusted to take the game winning shot…and missed. And I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that’s why…I succeed. Michael Jordan
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