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Beating the Odds

What to Do When You Fail

Everyone strikes out now and then. It doesn’t matter if you play baseball or not. You can fail a test, get cut from the team, or lose money in a business.

Striking out isn’t the issue. Your attitude about striking out is the issue.

Hall of Fame slugger Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times in his career, a record he held for years. When asked what he thought about when he struck out, Ruth replied, “I think about hitting home runs.”

Another Hall of Famer, Ted Williams, was sitting in the dugout one day when a teammate sat down after striking out.

“Tell me,” Williams said. “When you swung and missed that pitch, did it go over your bat or under it?

“What difference does it make,” the player asked. “Either way, I didn’t hit the ball.”

Knowing how you missed makes all the difference in the world, Williams told him. When you know what went wrong, you can fix it.

See the difference in their attitudes? For one player, the game ended when he struck out. When Williams struck out, the game had just begun.

Which person will you be? Will you give up when you fail? Or, like Ted Williams, will you get interested and figure out how to do better?

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Would you like to get better at what you do? Read “The Improvement Factor: How Winners Turn Practice into Success.” For motivation, check out “Thank God You’re Lazy: The Instant Cure for What’s Holding You Back.”


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