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.
To Your Success,