Life Isn’t A Straight Line

Learning To Make The Adjustments

For a boy, growing up in a Cuban household meant you were playing baseball.

It didn’t matter if you showed inclinations in some other discipline like music or art, you were playing baseball and you darn-well better enjoy it.

In my case, baseball came naturally to me. From the mechanics, to understanding the rules, to the superstitious traditions, and even the strategic undercurrent of each decision the coaches made during a game.

I got baseball. It made sense. In fact, growing up, there weren’t many things that made more sense than baseball. I would venture to say, as far as practical application goes, baseball better prepared me for real life than the public school system.

Through the years, I’ve applied many of the lessons from the sport into various areas of my own life. One of those lessons was the need to make adjustments.

Small Adjustments Impact Performance

When a batter is at the plate, the smallest tweak to his stance can make the biggest difference in the outcome of his plate appearance. For instance, the lowering or raising of the batter’s back elbow by only an inch or two could be the difference between a pop-up and a ground-ruled double.

For a pitcher, switching his grip and release determines if he throws a fastball or a slider.

On defense, we often shifted one or two feet over to our left whenever a left-handed batter was at the plate. This helped to blanket the side of the field where lefties normally pulled the ball.

As a base runner, the smallest degree of lean toward the next base meant the difference between being thrown out by the catcher or stealing the base.

I could go on but you get the gist.

In life, as in baseball, if you aren’t willing to make even the smallest adjustment it will reflect in your life performance.

No Straight Lines

No matter how much we may think otherwise, life isn’t linear. And if it isn’t linear, then neither is anything else within the sphere of life.

Change truly is the only constant.

Conditions change. Priorities change. Interests change. Consumers change. Economies change. Bodies change. People change. Relationships change. Opinions change. Governments change.

The only way to counteract all of this change is to stay mindful of the possibility of an adjustment.

Prepare To Readjust

“I have a plan of action, but the game is a game of adjustments” — Mike Krzyzewski

A friend recently asked me how I’ve been able to remain above water despite recent hiccups in some of the projects I’ve been working on.

My answer was, “I planned for it.”

I wrote down a basic contingency plan detailing whatever adjustments I might need to make if X, Y, or Z were to occur.

This is in no way a full-proof method but it keeps me aware of the possibility of life’s curveballs (pun intended) and ready to make the right adjustment.

For example:

  • If you’re trying to start a business? Plan for any potential changes to regulations or market demand or wholesale costs. If they occur you can readjust with ease and minimize the loss in production, time, or revenue.
  • If you’re trying to reach a goal weight, plan to readjust your exercise routine and your diet plan in case you get injured or hit a weight loss plateau.
  • Trying to finish a manuscript by a certain date? Think ahead and consider what your options would be if your day job, family, or other obligations were to start interfering with your writing time.

Assuming everything will go as you initially planned is a perfect way to get frustrated, defeated, and swept up in the whirlpool of life.

So, go ahead and make your plans but also prepare to make the adjustments to those plans.

I post daily right here on The Current. Follow the publication and watch my every move, Truman Show style.

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