“During my 18 years I came to bat almost 10,000 times. I struck out about 1,700 times and walked maybe 1,800 times. You figure a ballplayer will average about 500 at bats a season. That means I played seven years without ever hitting the ball.” – Mickey Mantle
Bottom of the ninth, score tied, two outs, three-two count — it all comes down to one more swing. Sometimes in life, it feels like the circumstance is such. We have deadlines to meet, people to impress, food to put on the table, you name it. Pressure is lurking around the corner and stress is chasing you, but that’s short term. It’s going to come, and it’s going to go. You’re honed in on what’s happening at this very moment. It might seem like nothing else matters. You may think what happens in this situation will affect the outcome of your career.
But, you’re not Marty McFly racing Needles down the streets of Hill Valley. It’s not about what happened in the past. It’s not about what might happen in the future. Maybe you strikeout, maybe you hit a walk-off. It’s about being in the moment, how you handle it, and enjoying it — even in the face of stress and pressure.
Granted, the perspective of seeing the immediate situation is often short-sighted. But right now, whether you fail or succeed, don’t forget the moment. There’s no point in going through the grind if you’re not going to enjoy the ride. Embrace it.
When all is said and done, will you look back on your career as having seven years of collected moments without ever hitting the ball? Or will you look back and see that in every one of those moments you stepped up to the plate like “The Mick.”