When I was a kid, I was lucky enough to have a dad who could teach me some core, basic life lessons.
I learned to quick-touch a soccer ball between my feet, dribble a basketball, and swing a bat.
But Chris, these are all sports moves, not life lessons.
You’re right, and this is what I thought for a long time, too.
I remember swinging the bat, looking to the imaginary outfield, waiting to feel the connection with the ball.
I would hit nothing but air.
Then another pitch would come and I would look again, into the imaginary bleachers of imaginary screaming fans, brace for a huge impact, and . . .
Then my dad would deliver the lesson.
“Keep your eye on the ball.”
What? Eye on the ball? How will that have anything to do with my success?
It didn’t matter. He was my dad and knew everything.
The next pitch was coming and I stared at the ball.
Nothing mattered but that small, white ball.
It was gone.
It happened so fast that I barely caught a glimpse of the ball hurling over the neighbor’s fence.
My dad smiled. That was an easy one.
Here’s the core, transferrable lesson that I didn’t realize I was learning:
When you’re shooting for the stars, it’s easy to get caught up in the glamour of the crowd or the magnificence of the feat. It’s easy to forget the difficult steps of what you will actually need to take to get there.
You can look at the bleachers when you step up to the plate, but when it’s time to swing, you had better keep your focus on the task at hand.
If you don’t, you’ll “whiff” every time.
And what’s worse? You’ll never learn to hit a slow, underhand pitch!
It’s that first step that will get you the muscle memory and focus needed to hit a fastball later in life.
2 Minute Action
Take 1 minute and think about your long term goal “the bleachers.” You can even write this goal down right now.
Then take the next minute and create your short term goal, “hitting the ball.”
Keep in mind here that the trick is to think long term and act short term.