Attitude | Another Missed Shot

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Another Missed Shot

If you have ever watched a basketball game, even once in your life, you know that the players miss a lot of shots. Even the best players, when they are being aggressively guarded, fail to score about 50 percent of the time.

Like almost everything else in basketball, this reminds me of life. In life, we don’t plan to miss. Every time we take a “shot,” we hope to score a goal. We hope every relationship works, we hope every investment gives us a return, we hope to make 100 on every test we take in school, and we hope every sales call will end in a written contract. Nobody gets up in the morning, stares in the mirror, and says to himself, “Man, I hope every shot I take today hits the rim and bounces off.”

But life isn’t like that. Life isn’t a game of perfection. Like basketball, life is a game of recovery. You shoot every shot you take with the full confidence and assurance that you are going to hit that shot. But if you happen to miss the shot or if a competitor happens to block your shot, you have to recover the basketball and position yourself to take another shot at the goal. And you have to keep doing this over and over again until you finally score, because nobody hits 100 percent of his shots in a basketball game and nobody hits 100 percent of his shots in life. The winner is the guy who has an attitude that just won’t let him quit until he recovers his missed shots and puts them back up for 2 points.

I read a lot of history. And if there is one common thread in all history books, it’s the fact that history is the story of people. It’s the story of what people do right and the story of what people do wrong. And it’s the story of the resulting consequences of our actions. But the people who really shape history are the people who just keep “pounding the boards.” Like great basketball players, they simply refuse to quit. I have seen a basketball player jump five or six times in an effort to rebound a missed shot. We should do the same. We should have the same kind of confident attitude toward life.