Friday, June 15, 2012

Perfection & Cain

On June 13, 2012 San Francisco Giant's Pitcher Matt Cain pitched a PERFECT GAME.

Image from

I'm a total baseball geek, so maybe this means more to me than the average gal or gent, but here's why Cain's accomplishment is mind blowing:

  • There have been roughly 200,000 baseball games played in the history of Major League Baseball. 

  • Cain's perfect game was only the 22nd perfect game ever pitched.  Yes, EVER.

  • In the entire long and rich history of the San Francisco Giants franchise, Cain's masterpiece was the Giant's very FIRST perfect game.  
Yes, this is a big deal.  As I watched the end of the game and the team's celebration of Cain's accomplishment, I couldn't help but wonder, what's next for Cain?  If the ultimate feat for a Major League pitcher is to throw a perfect game, where does he go from here?  Is the next milestone to try for another one?  How long will the rush from this monumental success really last?  If for some miraculous reason he is able to do it again, though not bloody likely, would the second time be as sweet?  Cain already has a World Series Championship (SF Giants 2010), how does one redefine success when you have done it all? 

That is my question for us all this week.  What happens when we reach what we have deemed as successful?

Psychologically speaking, it may surprise you to know that most people fear success.  There are many reasons for this, and most of them stem from each persons individual psychology, but to generalize, the question that scares us is,

What if we get what we want?  

What happens then? Failure for some, although consciously unaware, feels a lot safer.  Less risk, emothinally and every which way. If we track what has been publicised about the Giants team since the World Series win, or any team that wins the World Series for that matter, there is an abrupt and often unexpected period of depression.  NOW WHAT? Is asked over and over again.  How do teams, coaches, and players continue to experience success if they just reached the climax?  Players often report periods of anxiety and depression, inability to play as they once did, and the result is usually player trades and some players being sent down to the minors for a spell to get themselves together.  

Yankees Manager Joe Girardi has a World Series Championship under his belt as the Yankees manager and each year looks forward with the goal of winning another. His NOW WHAT is answered by the number he chooses to wear on his uniform.  Number 28 is the number of World Series wins he hopes to reach. That's how he does it.  How do we?  

If we are committed to failing, not being good at everything, hiring out our weaknesses, what do we do when we are successful? EEEEEK!


I'm not suggesting we move forward never being satisfied with what we have achieved.  That would be sad.  Celebration and gratitude are essential to doing what you love and loving what you do.  What I am putting out there is that we view our business as a process of growth.  Like all growing, living, breathing things there are periods of bloom and slumber.  Sometimes we move one step forward and two back.  Other times we sprint ahead without tiring.  For crazy overachievers like Sarah & me, part of the struggle is to take a breath when we reach the next milestone.  One of the things I love about running my own business is that I get to set as many milestones as I like.  However big or small.  The learning curve is a steep as I set it.  

Maybe this is what Cain will do.  Each start provides an opportunity for him to create some small milestone.  Surpass his strikeout record, which he also did Wednesday night, by the way.  Improve his ERA, strikeout a batter who can usually hit well against him.  There are numerous possibilities.  I hope he is able to find them, and quickly.  We need him to.

Happy Friday Lovelies!



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