Of Novels, Baseball and Life

by on June 8, 2016

Baseball on the Infield Chalk LineIf you have read my blogs or newsletter before, you know I love the sport of baseball. While a lot of things have changed in my life over the years, my passion for following the sport still remains strong. Some of it is based on always following it passionately since I was a child. A lot of it has been renewed by having a wife who equally shares that passion and with whom I can have daily conversations about our favorite teams and players.

Baseball seasons are quite long. They are twice as long as the seasons of two of the other major sports in the United States, professional basketball and professional hockey. The season is 10 times longer than a football season in terms of number of games. It is a game played by teams mostly every day. Because of that, teams who early in a season do not do well many times have time to make adjustments and be in contention for finishing in first place by the end of the season. (The other phenomenon can happen too, where a team that plays very well in the beginning of the year, fades as the summer moves toward autumn).

I like to equate baseball to a good novel. For those of you who like to read, you may start out the novel and not exactly connect with the story. However, being an avid reader you know there are times when that has happened in the past and you have kept going and found yourself engrossed in a book later on, so much so you can’t put it down after that. A good novel has twists and turns in the plot. Something that may have been foreshadowed or briefly mentioned in the beginning has a significant impact on the story by the end. There are more baseball seasons than I can likely remember that is very true.

Baseball and novels tend to conflict with the way life is lived today in our society. There is a desire for instant gratification, instant results. When that does not happen, individuals get upset, they want to react, change things quickly, toss aside what is not working for something different, anything different, as long as it is not what is being done at the moment. In the novel, it may be giving up the book and putting it aside with the intention of never reading it again. In baseball, the phenomenon in today’s world is called Sports Talk Radio, where sportscasters and their callers are reacting to every game of the season, and its result, as if it is the worst thing that can happen. It takes the truly patient and learned, to live each moment as it occurs and let everything play out to conclusion before making a judgment.

While instant gratification is nice to have, usually something worthwhile obtaining is going to take a significant investment of time and effort. There will be times when a step taken today, (a completed homework assignment, a meeting with a networking partner, an investment in a promising property), appears to be of little value or a mistake based on early returns. And, yes, there are times when one needs to not only reassess, but possibly walk away from a situation gone bad. But, if there is true belief in yourself, what you have committed to, your values, and also learning from experiences you have had before and which did not start out well but turned out right, it can calmly keep you on track.

What is that something in your life that you know will take time to achieve? Are you willing to give it the effort it deserves and the patience and persistence to see it through? You may find that you will be looking back at it someday as your “best seller,” or “championship season” in your life.

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