Are You Willing To Strike Out To Succeed?

In 1923, Babe Ruth broke the record for most home runs in a season. That same year, he also broke the record for highest batting average.

There is a third record he broke that year that most people don’t know about. In 1923, Babe Ruth struck out more times than any other player in Major League Baseball…

See, Babe Ruth wasn’t afraid to strike out. It was this fearlessness that contributed to his remarkable career. He was the first player to hit 60 home runs in one season, a record he held for 34 years until Roger Maris hit 61 in 1961.  He also held the lifetime total home run record of 714 for 39 years until Hank Aaron broke it in 1974.

He held other records too. He had 1,330 career strike outs – a record he held for 29 years until it was broken by none other than the great Mickey Mantle.  Think about that for a few seconds.  Two of the most celebrated competitors who ever stepped onto a baseball field are the two that struck out the most!  Now that’s a powerful lesson.  To succeed, you can’t be afraid to fail while trying.

Here’s another way of looking at it… the two players that failed the most are the two that succeeded the most in their sport.  I know the same principle holds true in each one of our lives.

I’ve had the great privilege in my life of failing more miserably than most.  (See “About Gabe” for my story)  It wasn’t easy to lose over $23 Million in real estate, over $13 Million of private funds from friends and family, and have half a dozen businesses fail (each with their own set of liabilities and legal issues).  Even with all that in my past, I consistently step up to the plate time after time and swing for the fences because I know my next swing can be another home run!

Most people want to hit home runs, the problem is they are afraid to fail in order to get there. As Babe Ruth proved, you can’t have one without the other. It’s perfectly fine to be a good, solid player who doesn’t go down swinging that often…but it also means you won’t hit that many home runs. Those players are needed on a team – they are the consistent and reliable players.


If you want to swing for the fences, you have to be willing to strikeout.

There’s your food for thought for today.  Hope that inspires and motivates you to keep on keeping on.

InspirACTION Is More Than A Tagline; It’s A Lifestyle – A State of Mind! So Get Inspired & Take The Challenge! Find Out How…

To Your Success,

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13 Responses to “Are You Willing To Strike Out To Succeed?”

  1. Luhi Says:

    It’s all about winning the war. If I lose a few battles along the way that is OK. The average millionaire strikes out at least twice (a.k.a. bankruptcy) before he/she makes it. The list of famous business people that have filed for BK is endless. I don’t have my book in front of me, but here are a few from memory:

    Donald Trump, PT Barnum (Barnum and Bailey Circus), Dan Kennedy (Marketing Guru), Abraham Lincoln, Charles Goodyear (Goodyear Tires), Francis Ford Coppola (Film maker most famous for the Godfather series), Henry Dunant (Red Cross founder), Henry Ford, Henry John Heinz (Heinz catchup), Mark Twain, Milton Hershey (Hershey’s Chocolate Co.), Rembrandt , Walt Disney, and the list goes on and on and on.

    Keep pluggin’,
    Luhi Purcell


  2. Nephi Boss Says:

    I’m not a big fan of baseball, I’ve never even watched an entire game; but I know who Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle are. Great post Gabe.


  3. Ryan Sleater Says:

    The nice thing about failure is that when you get to that point, and you look around and realize that you are still alive and can be productive, you lose that fear of failure. On the other hand, that loss of the fear of failure can also result in unnecessary risk here’s to hoping that we learn from the failures while removing the fears and continuing to swing for the fences…


  4. Ryan Sleater Says:

    Yeah, that car was my favorite, though I am probably biased…I picked out every detail on that car, including the custom color, and then waited a year for it to be made and delivered…good times.


  5. Setema Says:

    Thanks for sharing this. So friggin true…”Failure is HIGHLY WELCOME AND ENCOURAGED.” I love ‘failure’ because it shows us what not to do and how to do something better.


  6. Beth Allen Says:

    You are so right on with this….our failures are our best teachers! As Jim Rohn said something like, the key is to make our failures our servants, lest the repetition of those events makes us their slave.

    Thanks for this awesome post, Gabe!


  7. Jerem Eyre Says:

    I remember a similar statistic with Michael Jordan. In games he often missed more shots than anyone else on the floor. But he also took more shots, and scored more points than anyone else on the floor too. The good thing about failure is that it is never permanent, but the lessons learned from it can be.


  8. Toni Mckeown Says:

    Hey Gabe,
    Great life lesson here! Really good job too.


  9. Shandi Joseph Says:

    So grateful you are still stepping up to the plate! Its those who are so afraid to fail that they don’t even try that live mediocre and mundane lives (I’m totally swallowing my words here because you know how much of a risk taker I am) I’m so grateful for the big ups and the big downs in our lives. It’s way more exciting than trying to climb the corporate ladder trading a lifetime of servitude only to find you barely living on social security. When its good its really good and when its bad…, just makes us stronger and more determined to succeed.


  10. van025 Says:

    I like your post about the meaning of the baseball sport very much.
    To live is to fight.Be proud of yourself because you can stand up from your failure.
    I also love Babe Ruth


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