Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Success or Failure by Diane Burton

As I was watching a Detroit Tigers baseball game last week, I thought about our theme. How do you measure success or failure? If you succeed only four out of ten times, that means you fail 60% of the time. Yet, Miguel Cabrera, whose batting average is .350, is an 8-time All Star, was voted American League MVP in 2013 for the second consecutive season, and is considered one of the best hitters in baseball. On Friday, he hit his 2,000th career hit, the 7th youngest in history. And that’s for a man who fails to get a hit more than six out of ten times.

What does that tell us? If baseball players who are paid big bucks to play for our entertainment, rarely (if ever) succeed half the time, who are we to give up when we occasionally fail? Players who strike out go back and try again.

With anything we try—sending manuscripts to agents or editors, losing weight, running a marathon—we’re probably going to fail part of the time. We could give up. (Been there, done that.) It all depends on how badly we want something. It can be depressing to fail. I remember a quote attributed to Thomas Edison (during the movie National Treasure) about inventing the light bulb. He didn’t fail, he found 2,000 ways how not to make a light bulb.

Let’s hope we don’t have to find 2,000 ways how not to get our book published or lose weight. We just need to find that one way that works. What works for some people might not work for us. We have to try and try again until we find success.

I blog here on the 8th and 30th of each month and Mondays on my own blogsite http://dianeburton.blogspot.com


Margo Hoornstra said...

Way to put success and failure into a workable perspective, Diane. Your words are encouraging!

Alicia Dean said...

Very well said. I love that quote by Edison. And, of course, I love your baseball analogy. :-) There's another quote I like, something along the lines of, the only way to guarantee failure is to stop trying. Something like that. Anyway, thanks for the entertaining, uplifting post!

Diane Burton said...

Glad you found the post encouraging, Margo.

Alicia, I knew you'd like the baseball reference. :)

Jannine Gallant said...

I always like hearing the stories about how JK Rowling or Stephen King got rejected a gazillion times. Gives me hope that someone is just waiting out there to discover me. Yep, try, try again has to be our mantra.

Melissa Keir said...

Powerful message. You're right. Even the UConn team didn't win all their games. We just have to keep improving. :)

Diane Burton said...

Jannine, good mantra.

Melissa, you're right. If we don't improve, we get stale.