How do you achieve the impossible? What makes one person successful and another not? In one simple answer, it is belief. It is the belief they will be successful.
A successful person inherently believes in their soul one day they will be successful. They believe riches, fame, and fortune will eventually come their way, so they may as well try something new. And who cares if they fail – that failure will just be a stepping stone and learning tool on their way to success.
An unsuccessful person, on the other hand, believes deep in their soul they are unworthy and are incapable of success. They believe they are a failure from birth, from a line of generational failures. And they may as well never try something new, because they are guaranteed to fail. They are a loser and will never change.
Achieve The Impossible – Baseball
I was never really “great” at baseball. I got cut from my high school team after all – and that’s a horror story for another day.
But growing up, as a kid, I liked baseball. I liked hanging out with friends, picking daisies in the outfield, and stuffing my face with Big League Chew gum. It’s a nice leisurely social game.
And while I was never going to be the next Babe Ruth – I hated striking out. Striking out sucks. It’s like instant feedback that you’re a failure. It’s like, “You suck. Now sit down.”
And in baseball you’re failing a lot. The statistics prove it. If you’re batting .400, you’re like Ted Williams. You’re guaranteed to be immortalized in the Hall of Fame. And it still means you’re failing 60% of the time.
And yet you’re successful. You will be the most successful baseball player ever. And you still strike out a lot.
Achieve The Impossible – Strike Out
There’s a complicated play in baseball where you can strike out and run to first base. If the catcher drops the ball after your strike out, you can hustle to first base. And if you’re safe, you’re safe. It still goes on the record book that you struck out. But so what. You’re helping your team by adding bodies to the bases. So it’s good.
And needless to say, I was the master of striking out and running to first.
Even though I wasn’t really that proficient at the baseball arts, the one thing I was great at was being fast. I was always the fastest on my team, or a half-step behind the fastest person. So even though I was a perennial bench-rider, I was like wicked fast.
Achieve The Impossible – Inspiration
I had heard my softball playing friend scored a homerun after striking out. She struck out, then ran to first, second, third, then home – all without being tagged out. She was a legend around school for an entire week. We were all amazed at her athletic prowess.
All except for me. I was jealous. Granted, I was excited about her accomplishment, but I was fiercely jealous. After all, I was the strike out king of my team, and also the fastest.
There was no way I was ever going to hit a homerun fairly. If I wanted to score, I was going to have to steal it.
And so you know, this play is impossible. In Major League Baseball, it like never happens. I think I saw it happen last year, on some crazy fluke play. But it’s like a mythological creature. It’s like catching a leprechaun. Everyone talks about it, but it doesn’t really exist. It’s impossible.
Or so I thought. Until I had heard my lady-friend had done it. So now I was convinced.
Achieve The Impossible – The Play
Later that year, I struck out (like normal), and ran to first. As I rounded the bag safely, I immediately saw the catcher still rummaging around home plate for the ball. He still hadn’t picked it up.
So I dashed to second. I knew how quick I was, as I was always able to outrun any catcher any time I wanted. They were always too slow. I don’t ever remember being tagged out for a stolen base. It was like never going to happen.
So I slid into second base and was safe by a mile. I was thrilled at this point. Stealing two bases after a strike out is a tremendous feat. I could hear my entire team cheering and rooting from the dugout. I was a hero. And I wasn’t done.
As the second baseman failed to corral the ball, it sailed into center field. Suddenly thoughts of my softball friend filled my soul. This was my chance. This was the once in a lifetime opportunity that I had to steal home. It was going to happen now, or never.
I got up and booked it to third. The entire time I ran I thought of home. I was like “home run, home run, home run.” I was about to be a champion.
I then prepared to slide into third base. However, the third baseman was ready to halt my ridiculous feat. He had already received the ball in his glove and was knelling, protecting the bag.
Well, I wasn’t about to be stopped from my goal. I was the fastest kid in the world and I was a base-stealing genie. I would constantly steal bases, without my coach’s instruction, pretending like he had given me the sign to steal anyway.
So, this third baseman wasn’t about to tag me out. I had another base to steal and I still needed to make it home.
As I slid into third, like a ninja I switched legs and fooled the third baseman. He was a moron and didn’t know my base-stealing ways.
“Safe!” The umpire yelled.
Achieve The Impossible – Safe
Of course I was safe. I had just stolen three bases from this Mickey Mouse team. But that’s where my antics ended. I stood on third, safe, and brushed myself off.
There was no more advancing, and no getting home. My incredible “once in a lifetime” feat had come to an end.
My team was going nuts. They had lost their collective mind because I achieved an impossible act. But I was sad. I hadn’t accomplished my real goal, of making it home, and immortalizing my name forever in Little League glory.
Doubly too, my coach was angry. He slapped my helmet hard and said, “Don’t do that again.”
I shrugged my shoulders. He didn’t know what he was talking about. I had just stolen three bags with ease, but failed short of my ultimate goal. I felt like darting off the bag then, just to spite him, and take my chances in a rundown – which wouldn’t have ended well. They would have thrown me out. (Maybe)
As the inning ended, my teammate batted me home and I eventually scored that run, which is all that really mattered – scoring runs and helping my team win.
Achieve The Impossible – Fame
The next day at school everyone thought I was a wizard. I got tons of high-fives and pats on the back. No one believed I had stolen three bases.
But I hardly cared – I fell short of my goal.
What mattered is that I knew it could be done. My softball friend put the idea in my head that a “strike out homerun” was possible. Without her ingenuity and willingness to succeed, I never would have seen the path.
I would have gotten to first and stopped, having been satisfied, or never had ran hard at all.
But I knew I could do it. I told myself I could. And you know what, as I ran around those bases, that’s all I could hear myself saying, “I can do it. I can do it.”
Granted, I fell short of my ultimate goal, but that doesn’t matter. I still achieved a triple off a strike out. Do you know how hard it is to get a triple off a strike out?
What sort of impossible things do you want to achieve? Why do you feel stuck in a rut? Are there other people you can look to for inspiration?