choice

Do You Suck or Are You Due?

Let’s set the stage: Major League Baseball is featuring Game 3 of the National League Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Mets. The series is tied 1-1 and it’s the top of the 2nd inning. The score is 0-0 with two outs and runners on 1st and 2nd as Yasmani Grandal steps up to the plate for the Dodgers.

A stat pops up on the screen and the announcers tell us that Mets fans have something to cheer about as Grandal is a whopping 0-22 when at bat with runners in scoring position.

My friend’s Dad, an ex-Dodger himself, says “Alright Bets, 0 for 22… does he suck or is he due?”

The optimist inside me screamed, “He’s DUUUUUE!!” and was promptly punched in the gut by the reality of 0 for 22. Reality told me 0 for 22 was bad. Really bad.  If I knew nothing about baseball and you asked me if I wanna put a guy at bat who hasn’t driven in a run the last 22 times he’s had the opportunity I’d think you were crazy.

0 for 22. Does he suck or is he due?

The pitcher wound up and Grandal answered our question with a bullet through the gap to drive in both runners. He was DUE!

The Mets went on to win Game 3 but I can’t stop thinking about Grandal and the question, “Does he suck or is he due?”

The poor guy failed 22 times before he succeeded in driving in a run.  With the weight of going 0 for 22 staring him in the face, something in Grandal defied the odds and changed the game.

Think about it - in Grandal’s situation it would be sooooo easy to suck. So simple to get up there, take your cuts, and sit down at 0 for 23. I mean what’s one more of the same when 22 tries have all told you “you can’t.”

Now think about this – what an incredible difference it would make to think with every failure that you’re now one step closer to success.

0 for 22 is a lot of failure. 0 for 22 makes a strong case for sucking. And, 0 for 22 is a helluva stage for success.

Think about where you’ve been failing recently. What is it you arguably suck at? Where is it uncomfortable to go right now? What could happen that hasn’t yet?

The choice is up to you if you suck or if you’re due.

Let’s change the game ;)

Gratitude, Perspective

Gratitude + Presence = ?

While driving my grandmother to her Silver Sneakers class at the YMCA she turned to me and said, “It’s a strange thing, this being 90.”

“How do you mean?” I asked.

“Your memory. You do things and then later you don’t remember them. It’s just, ‘poof’” as she made a tiny explosion with her hand.

For years I’ve watched as Grandma’s fading memory frustrated and angered her as she refused to accept the fact that she was aging. While I empathize with the fear she feels at being unable to remember, the silver lining in her evolution is that she’s been brought fully into the now. My Grandmother knows that she will soon forget what just happened, so she’s learning to live moment to moment.

Lately I’ve been researching gratitude and I’m finding more and more that a by-product of being grateful is being present. In order to appreciate something (gratitude) we have to be consciously aware of its existence in this moment (presence).

As we wind through the hills she whispers “Oh my…” and “That’s beautiful” and “Look at that!” with a smile that would convince you that she’d always seen the world this way.

Grandma lost her memory but found gratitude and presence, which have combined to gift her the experience of “joy”.

Before we lose anything, let’s take a moment to be grateful, get present, and experience some of the joy that exists in our life right now. Enjoy your day!

Perspective, Adventure

The Power of a Little Yes

“And then he said, ‘I think you and I are going to date’ which was ridiculous because we’d just met. But it made me smile…and, well, now we are.”

My friend’s eyes sparkled in the darkened ambiance of a San Francisco bar as she told me about her new boyfriend. Long story shorter, she said “yes” to road tripping from Connecticut to Boston with two high school friends and that night met a guy who is turning into the love of her life. 

Unless you’re a hopeful romantic like me you’re probably thinking, “Yeah but it’s new and they’re excited. It’ll pass.”

Maybe. Or, maybe they live happily ever after?

No matter the outcome of their relationship, what intrigued me most about her story is that she almost didn’t get in the car. Lately I’ve been thinking about what happens in our lives when we say yes. When we choose something unknown or adventure into the unplanned and the things that show up when we show up.

These thoughts were on my mind as I started the 3.5 hour drive back to San Luis Obispo and saw the sign for Highway 92 over to Half Moon Bay. In that moment I made the choice to do something different and headed for the coast.

The next 8 hours were magic!

I got snacks from 2 roadside fruit stands. I helped 3 Russian exchange students get to the beach and accepted their gift of a beer in gratitude for the lift. I played ping-pong with Arthur and Jay; two very bearded, very gay men whose toy poodles “Sugar” and “Baby” watched us from the shade. Along the way I was treated to breathtaking coastal views and delighted in pulling over to explore or to sit it total awe.

Sometimes we think big changes are required to shake things up when the truth is it’s the little choices that stir the pot or routine and serve up something new. Wherever you are, do what you can to make a different choice today. Use a new coffee mug, take an alternate route home, get lunch from a spot you’ve never tired before. 

Challenge yourself to show up differently and see what shows up for you.