My biggest takeaway from playing college baseball was how to redefine success. As you may have heard, if you're not so familiar with the sport, baseball is a game of failure.
In baseball, you will fail a lot. You'll fail big, and you'll fail small. You will have faults where only you notice, and you will have failures where it feels as if the whole world was watching. It is because of that that the ability to redefine what success means to you becomes so essential. It becomes a survival technique but also presents you with the key to thrive.
In my last at-bat ever, I struck out. I lost the game. But as I said in in that story, at that moment, I became who I wanted to be. For the first time, I played the game exactly my way. I was only responsible for living up to my standards. It was as if external measures of success didn't matter anymore. They still existed, but they had no impact on how I viewed myself at that moment.
The ability to redefine what success means is not just a sports thing, its a life thing. I'm done playing baseball, but it is still a guiding principle of my life.
I know that that won't be the last time I'll strikeout with the game on the line. But I also know that holding myself up to my standards and not those of others will put me in the best position to win, and that is all we can ever ask of ourselves.
In baseball and in life, you never want to fail; you never want to strikeout. But when you do, and it feels as if you lost the game, take a moment and be proud that you had the opportunity in the first place.
Remember, you can't ever win the game if you never step up to the plate.