I was recently driving my son to work, and he started talking about baseball. I never mind talking about that topic, for sure. Especially now, when we may not be able to go to any live baseball for months. I can’t wait for that day.
He was looking back on his days as a youth baseball player — his favorite position was pitcher. In his first few years playing baseball, he was often the starting pitcher because he was able to throw strikes at an above-average frequency relative to his peers.
On this particular drive to work, he went on to describe the feeling of receiving a brand new baseball from the umpire at the beginning of the game. He was able to share in great detail what it felt like — the smoothness of the ball and the feeling of the laces on his fingers with his two-seam fastball grip — his go-to pitch. He went on to talk about the feeling of reset that comes with a brand new ballgame. Nothing else mattered in that moment — if the team won or lost the last game, or whether he struck out in the last game. It was a new game, a new challenge, a new opportunity to feel optimism.
Agile Best Self Principle #10: Simplicity – focusing on what energizes your best self — is paramount.
This story my son shared is a very simple example of one way to build resilience, which can help us build our optimism skill. All things become new again. We put the past in the past and reconnect to something good. It could be a happy thought, or just a good cleansing breath. It’s similar to what we’re taught when we practice guided meditation — when we get distracted, just begin again. By beginning again, and again, and again we develop resiliency.
We all have days when we aren’t our best self, where we have a hard time feeling our own optimism. Hopefully when that happens, we can practice resiliency by lean on something simple and good, like the feeling my son has of a brand new baseball at the beginning of a game, to help us reset and begin again.
Copyright © 2021 Michaele Gardner and Brian Hackerson