Recently, I’ve had some challenging (and enlightening) discussions with a few student-athletes that reminded me of Aesop’s “The Fox and the Grapes” fable:
One afternoon a fox was walking through the forest and spotted a bunch of grapes hanging from over a lofty branch.
“Just the thing to quench my thirst,” quoth he.
Taking a few steps back, the fox jumped and just missed the hanging grapes. Again the fox took a few paces back and tried to reach them but still failed.
Finally, giving up, the fox turned up his nose and said, “They’re probably sour anyway,” and proceeded to walk away.
The moral of the story: It’s easy to despise what you cannot have.
When faced with adversity in their sport of choice, there are some kids (and, perhaps, parents) who apparently feel that it’s better/easier to give up than continue working to improve. I hear comments used to justify quitting, like, “There are more important things in life than sports,” and “It’s not like I’m going to be a professional athlete.”
Of course there are more important things in life than sports — and very few of us will become professional athletes, but that doesn’t mean sports aren’t important. Using that argument, you can rationalize any shortcoming.
You can make a case that there are also more important things in life than school — studying, doing homework, getting good grades, ACT scores, etc.
I suppose there’s also more to life than working — learning a craft, managing some aspect of a business, earning money, etc.
At any given time, you can add just about anything to to the “there’s more to life” list: faith, friends, family, and any other obligation/responsibility — or choice — you care to name.
I find it ironic that you rarely hear these types of comments from people who are committed to succeeding. Certainly, they also know that whatever they’re doing is not necessarily the defining aspect of their lives.
What these folks have learned is that success is not only about the end result. True success is also about the process. It’s about learning and practicing and working through adversity.
What do you do when the going gets tough? Do you rationalize failure or do you strengthen your resolve and work harder?
Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!