It’s now October. With that comes the changing of the leaves, crisp fall air, pumpkin lattes…and playoff baseball. As I watch the postseason embark, a baseball-themed life lesson springs to mind.
In every baseball player’s career, it’s inevitable that they will go through periods where they just can’t get a hit. Maybe they’ll hit the ball hard, but right at someone. Maybe a defensive player will make a spectacular play to rob the batter of a sure hit. Maybe they just can’t make solid contact for a week or so. These periods of futility are called slumps.
The frustrating thing about slumps is that it’s hard to tell if the lack of success is physical or mental. Or if both, how much of each? No matter, the mark of a champion is to not let difficulties in one area carry over into other areas. In other words, if you’re struggling at the plate, don’t let it affect your performance in the field when you’re on defense. Thinking about the lack of offensive success can cause other significant areas to suffer, if they’re not mentally strong.
There are times in our lives when we’re just not on top of our game. It’s inevitable. It’s hard to tell what the reason is. I mean, we went through our typical morning routine, went to work, did our thing…but for some reason, we’re just swinging and missing. Something just isn’t right. Our emotions are flat. The things that usually make us smile are actually a little annoying. Things we don’t even notice most of the time are now frustrating us.
Just like the baseball player, we can expect periods like this. But also like the ballplayer, we have to fight to not let our slumps carry over into other areas of our “game”. We have to be careful not to let our frustration carry over into our relationships. We may have to grind away at whatever is bothering us, but if we’re not careful, other things…and people, will suffer.
I was in a pretty good funk on Wednesday. The past six months have been a trying period in my life. Then, in a very concentrated period of the last couple months, it was even more challenging. Meanwhile, there were also very good things happening. Finding refuge in the oasis is always a wonderful thing. But then there are days when even it’s raining on your oasis. I know, I’m mixing metaphors. Work with me. This is my brain. I’m just going along for the ride.
Anyway, it can be discouraging when your source of escape isn’t available to you the way you think it should, or as you have come to expect. Yeah, mama always said there’d be days like this.
And it’s okay.
As the day drew to a close, all I could think of was making a choice to not let the slump of Wednesday carry over into Thursday, and certainly not into relationships and my performance in my business. I don’t know that I’ll hit a home run and bust out of the slump on Thursday, but I can definitely make sure that no matter what, nothing and no one else will suffer from it. I will not let my slump cause someone else to have a bad day.