Business, Meet Basketball. Life, Meet Baseball.

21 Mar

Business transactions play out much more like the NCAA March Madness tournament than the MLB World Series.

But life,  thank goodness, is much more like the World Series.

In the World Series, you can play shoddily for a game (or three) and still win. But because it’s the best out of seven, it’s easy to argue that the best team won.

In the NCAA tournament, it’s single-game elimination. One mistake and you’re out. So many factors can affect a single game. And you only have the single game. It’s easy to argue that the best team did not win. That flukes and upsets affected the outcome. That games won by 1 point in the last second of a match don’t prove superiority.

Why does that matter?

Business is typically single-game elimination. One chance to clinch the deal. One chance to pitch the project. One chance to sell yourself.

The bad news is that, if you win, you can’t assume it’s because you’re the best in your field. You can’t relax after one win. It’s single-game elimination all the way. One win does not make the next win more likely.

The good news is that, if you didn’t win, it’s not necessarily because you’re the worst in your field. Flukes and upsets happen. Identify them. Learn from them. Change the game plan. One loss does not inevitably lead to a second loss.

Business plays out much more like the NCAA March Madness tournament than the MLB World Series.

But life, thank goodness, is much more like the World Series.

We have many chances to redeem ourselves in life. To treat people well. To spend quality time with our families. To pick ourselves up after a bad moment and resolve to make good memories. If life was a single chance elimination, we’d all be out. But it isn’t. We can always bounce back.

At the same time, life is also nothing like sports. We are not competing against each other, not all seeking a single trophy. We are competing against ourselves – striving to be more loving, wiser, humbler, more compassionate and considerate. Those who help others do better. Those who think “only one can win” lose out on the joy and mystery of community.

Life may be madness and mayhem. But it’s also incredibly exhilarating and enjoyable.

Business.  Basketball.  Baseball.  Madness.  Mayhem.  Exhilaration.  Enjoyment.  Let’s love every bit that life throws our way.

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