The Secret to Winning Is NOT What You Think!
Running a business presents you with a never-ending string of challenges. Sometimes they seem overwhelming … as if you’re playing a game you can’t win.
It’s the rare person who’s never experienced that sense of having too much to handle … of facing such big a gap between where you are now and where you need to be that you have no idea how you’re going to close it.
Have you ever been there? Of course you have.
Well, I’ve got a blazing insight for you … straight from the 5th game of this year’s World Series!
The World Series? Yup. And it isn’t some recycled, rah rah, “Winners never quit, quitters never win” kind of thing. Actually, it’s almost the opposite.
Not a baseball fan? Doesn’t matter. The lesson is universal.
Let’s set the stage: The series is tied at 2 games apiece. You have to win four games to win the series, so winning game 5 is big. You don’t want to lose or you’re facing elimination in game 6, and then the pressure’s really on.
The Houston Astros fall behind 4-0 in game 5. It doesn’t look good. Nothing’s going right. Their starting pitcher … their star … the guy they’re counting on … gets knocked out in the fourth inning, and they don’t have much in the way of relief pitching. And their vaunted hitters aren’t hitting.
Okay, so what would most people say to themselves when they’re behind the eight ball and they’ve got to make something good happen? What would most people do?
They’d buckle down. They’d try harder. They’d attempt to gut it out. They’d say, “It’s now or never. We have to step up. We gotta go get ‘em.” Rah rah rah … etc. etc.
In other words, we have to become more intensely focused and grit our teeth and make something happen.
That’s NOT what the Astros did.
Why not? Because it doesn’t work.
Why not? Because when you grit your teeth and try harder, you’re “battling against” … rather than just allowing the energy to flow and bring out your best.
Your muscles tighten up, your mind becomes less supple and creative, and you suck all the joy out of what you’re doing.
And you can’t play any sport well if you’re all bound up and tight. You can’t realize your full potential in any field … especially business … if you’re grinding it out, not having any fun, and playing desperately not to lose.
Effort is always important, but it has to be a joyful, even playful, effort if you want to make special things happen.
No, the Astros didn’t panic. They didn’t allow the energy to get sucked out of their systems. And they didn’t “try harder.”
In between innings, a bunch of players got together behind second base. One of them said, “Our backs are against the wall …” You would expect the next words to be, “We gotta play like our lives depend on it.” … or something like that, right?
Instead, one of the team leaders cracked a smile and said, “Let’s play loose and have fun!”
That’s why they won. That, and they have a load of talent. But we’ve all seen talent crumble under pressure. They didn’t. They came back and tied the game!
And then, they fell behind by three runs. And it’s just that much closer to the end of the game. Now, what do you do?
You play loose and have fun! After all, it might not work, but it’s the only way of being that could work … that could give them the extra energy and the edge they needed to prevail in a tight contest over an excellent Dodger team.
And prevail they did on a game winning single in the bottom of the 10th in what was arguably the single most exciting game in baseball history. Final score … 13-12.
The lesson is simple. Be relaxed. You aren’t helping yourself when you get tied in knots. Play loose and have fun! Believe in yourself and trust the process. It’s the same for your life and your business as it is for baseball.
When you’re tapped into the energizing, uplifting, inspiring power of what’s possible, you’re capable of accomplishing some very special things.
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