I was reminded yesterday that the best baseball players fail most of the time they come to the plate to bat. Think of 3-point shots in basketball, same situation. Failure is a familiar friend. Even when one goes beyond the obvious statistics, one finds great competitors in golf, racing, and running without a win when competing at the top of their sport. In each sport, the individual’s skills are world-class. One could conclude that the best are the best of the best regardless of the number of wins on their resumes.
There is a pause in the reflection. Life is not about everyone winning; it is about winners. Two cricket teams battled to a draw in a world cup match. For many, the outcome was the wrong one. Regardless of the team you supported, there should have been a winner! As supporters from each side replayed the details, I found myself caught in a particular thread that talked of what could have been done in different moments during the match. The game was not decided in the final moments. The opportunities to win were lost long before the two teams got there.
In life, there are options for every choice. A friend reminds me that there are always at least three. The first rule is that if you cannot see the three is to stop and go on a quest to find the third alternative. With three directions possible, the best choice in the moment will likely be among them.
One should reach for the best. Too often I find myself settling for what is easy instead of what will help me in the future. Making a difference often involves taking on the tough challenges now.
It is also helpful to remember that decisions are relative. There is an reminder that illustrates the point. “The difficulties of marriage are preferable by far to a sexually tortured life as a single.” (1 Corinthians 7.9) The observation is a relative one. Take it in stride, remembering the first two mantras.
Life is lived in the moment we have.