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Great Successes from Small Changes

One hit a week.

That’s what it takes to improve from a .250 to a .300 hitter according to Bull Durham’s Crash Davis.

A good major league player will have a .250 batting average (25 hits in every 100 at bats). A player who hits .300 over his career will, most likely, earn a spot in the hall of fame.

When I first heard Crash’s advice, I didn’t believe it. Could it be that only one more hit per week takes you from average to hall of fame? I did my own Excel spreadsheet – and, sure enough, Crash is correct.

The world of retail self-improvement presents before and after pictures of people completely transformed. They lose 50 pounds in a month, learn a foreign language in days, or earn millions in weeks. Perhaps a few of these transformations do happen, but most of us give up soon after trying because the grand transformation seems unreachable.

Quick change rarely endures. Lasting change comes in the fullness of time. After all, a rock is shined at the bottom of a stream not by the quick rushing flood but by the gentle polishing-years of slow-moving water. Its transformation is so gradual that we assume it’s always been that beautiful.

That one extra hit a week doesn’t need to be pretty. A nubber over the shortstop’s head into shallow left field counts the same as a 3-run blast to center – a hit is a hit.

Philosopher William James must have been playing with Crash when he wrote, “I am done with great things and big plans, great institutions and big successes. I am for those tiny, invisible loving human forces that work from individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so many rootlets, or like the capillary oozing of water, yet which, if given time, will rend the hardest monuments of human pride.”

Keep swinging.


Submitted by Anthony Romanello.


Image courtesy of http://www.squidoo.com/baseball-coloring-pages.




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