One person gets hit more than anyone and makes $130 million. Another person quit because he didn’t like getting hit. Who made the right decision? What if I told you they both did…
If you have ever played baseball you know that getting hit by a pitch is not a fun thing. It can lead to bumps, bruises and broken bones.
My older brother Matt learned quickly into his Little League baseball career that he did not like getting hit by the ball. And who can blame him. After all, as a batter your job is to hit the baseball, not the other way around.
After taking a few pitches into the gut, Matt decided that he didn’t love baseball enough to get hit.
So he stopped playing.
Matt was a great athlete and had the skills to be a very good baseball player, but the fear of getting hit by the ball limited his potential.
Some may hear that story and think that quitting was a wrong decision. They may think that he should have stuck with baseball long enough to conquer his fears.
But quitting baseball just might have been the best decision Matt could have made for his athletic career.
Matt stopped playing baseball and devoted his time to track and football where he thrived and became an All-State performer.
The difference between Matt’s baseball career and his career in track and football is that he cared enough about track and football to fight through the hits.
Because of this, he excelled.
Had he stayed in baseball for the sole reason that you shouldn’t quit something, he would have toiled in a sport he didn’t care about and he never would have reached his potential in track and football.
Don’t misunderstand me to think that I am saying you should quit everything that gets tough. What I am saying is that Matt didn’t love baseball enough to get hit.
But Shin-Shoo Choo does.
In 2013, Cincinnati Reds outfielder Shin-Shoo Choo led Major League Baseball by being hit by a pitch 26 times.
Like Matt, I would bet that Choo was also hit by the ball numerous times as a child while playing little league.
He probably didn’t like getting hit anymore than Matt did. But he certainly liked baseball enough to stick with it and continue to get hit.
Choo also slammed over 20 home runs in 2013 and was rewarded with a seven year, $130 million contract with the Texas Rangers.
Choo obviously loves baseball enough to get hit more than anyone. And he has been rewarded for it.
In life we are all going to get hit. Whether it is a bad book review, a poor performance evaluation or fastball that gets a little too far inside, we all get bumps (in the road), bruises (egos) and broken bones (or spirits).
What is important, is finding out what you care about enough to get hit. Once you do this, you will have a road map guiding you to where you will excel.
You still may never like taking the hits, but when you love what you are doing, the hits don’t feel nearly as painful. This is what Shin-Shoo Choo has realized ($130 million probably also helps).
On the flip side, if you do not care enough to get hit, it is better to take Matt’s approach and do something else with your talents. Doing this will bring out the best in your talents and abilities.
Whether it is life or baseball, you are going to get hit. A lot. In order to be successful you must determine what you care enough about to take those hits and keep going (and going and going).