Had a conversation recently with a guy who was a good pitcher when he was younger. He got hurt at 17 (glenoid labrum tear), missed US scholarships and never fully recovered his throwing. He attended university in Canada, got a degree and started working. He did really well in all his jobs and stated building his resume. This is where he is right now, not 100% content with what he is doing because it isn’t what he dreamed he would be doing when he was younger.
“I didn’t have a plan B. Why would someone have a plan B? That’s like already accepting that you may not and that’s as good as saying you won’t. Why introduce doubt?”
He didn’t consider any other option when he was young and developing as a pitcher. He needed to keep his mind free of negative influence so he could pitch well each game and he knew that, over the long haul, a little bit of doubt each day would eventually move him off the path to the pro league. It was an intense and single minded approach that did get him to the top of his game, scouted and with a number of interested NCAA schools. Unfortunately, his body wasn’t able to keep up to the demands of the training and throwing and it shut down a year before it was needed to be at it’s best to showcase what he could deliver.
He didn’t mention regret for having not considered anything other than professional baseball. There was disappointment for the dream not working out, but he knows that he wouldn’t have gotten as far if he had considered what would happen if he didn’t make it to the top. He did his best when he had the chance to do it and that is enough for him to not regret it. He had been 100% focused on the goal of becoming one of the top pitchers in the country and had not wavered a single step along the way. This allowed him to reach his physical potential, and it very nearly worked out for him the way he had dreamed it. It also created an enormous amount of self-confidence because he knew he had the character to give something everything he was.
It was a great conversation and it left me feeling really uplifted. His passion and intensity had been focused on one extraordinary goal – as opposed to one extraordinary goal and one less noteworthy goal – and it had taken him as far as he was going to go. He knew that by creating a second lesser goal he’d actually be making that his primary goal. No plan B meant full engagement in plan A.