Column: Finding the silver lining

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My son recently completed another season of travel baseball.

It’s about this time each summer that I begin to question the time commitment this sport requires.

However, this year my wife challenged me to quit my complaining and consider the positive aspects of the season.

Which made me think, why do we have our kids play sports at all?

I’ve concluded that the main reason we encourage them to play is to provide our kids with a constructive “experience” that helps them to learn new skills.

That’s it.

So, instead of complaining, I decided to ask myself – “Did baseball provide a positive and meaningful experience for my son?”

My conclusion … this baseball season was outstanding in just about every way.

First, we had three parents who committed hundreds of volunteer hours coaching my son (this was especially difficult for one coach who spent two-three hours per day practicing corn hole). They provided just the right amount of discipline and positive reinforcement over a long season. I can only hope that my son is fortunate enough to be surrounded by men like this in the future.

Next, we were introduced to a new baseball “family”. Over the course of 50+ games you are going to spend a ton of time with moms, dads, grandparents, brothers, sisters and siblings – it could be an awful summer if you don’t get along. We loved all these people and made some great new friends.

Finally, the game. As a dad who never picked up a bat, it’s hard for me to understand the sport. What I now realize is that baseball teaches you a ton about failure and adversity. This past season taught my son that you need to develop a short memory and take each game one play at a time. Valuable lessons that apply to every facet of life.

What should a professional take from this story?

Your satisfaction with life is a direct result of the perspective with which you view every situation. It’s human nature to focus on the negative aspects of our jobs, our clients and even our employees.

This week, challenge yourself to find the “silver lining” in every situation.

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