I’m swinging for the fences here, they can’t all be home runs.
Come on, how do you want to live your life.
It’s cool if you want to bat percentages.
I once knew a guy in college who was the de facto coach of our lame intramural softball team.
He said, and I quoteth:
“You should bat .300 or .400 at least in softball. Singles all day long.”
Fun! This should be fun then right? Fun.
And he looked pissed as he said it, kind of strutting around kicking up infield dirt in his baggy grey sweats and beat-up red Phillies hat.
It was an INTRAMURAL team, and our league was the most casual thereof – nothing of consequence at stake other than the sporting life.
So I disagreed and swung for the fences. I can’t remember what happened, other than I swung. And I’m glad I did.
On a similar note, my friend Adrian (who I haven’t spoken to in about five years because that’s how things go and he’s super smart and fun)…
…well Adrian and I grew up playing tennis.
As hobbled, out-of-shape adults we hit once awhile back and it was a mess. I kept cranking the ball into the net, into the ceiling (we were indoors), all over the place. Adrian actually played pretty well.
I should have slowed it down and played to my (then) current level of physical conditioning, which wasn’t much. But I hit out, I couldn’t help it.
Upon completing our scheduled task of terrifying everyone in the tennis center, I pointed out to Adrian I should have dialed it back, and he said:
“What’s the fun in that?”
Indeed. What. Is. The. Fun. In. Holding. Back.
I’m not talking important financial or medical decisions here. I’m talking the stuff we do all the time that is essentially inconsequential (yes, this includes within our professions), yet we tip-toe dance around things out of a misguided desire to play it safe.
During a meeting at work?
Keep your head down.
Chatting with a fellow parent at your kid’s school?
Better look put together.
In line at Starbucks (yes, even the drive thru)?
Better not chat up the workers or be kind to them in front of other people. No one else does.
Oh goodness, don’t go out of your way to welcome them.
The idea here is not to turn shy people into bold people or introverts into extroverts or anything crazy.
Rather, it’s to take whatever version of swinging for the fences and hitting out is inside you, and embracing it, and developing the courage to use it.
What if everyone felt safe enough to do this?