Happiness is…in how you define success

Happiness is…in how you define success

I recently saw an amazing statistic in which I was made aware that the best goal kicker in my local football competition (the NRL) kicked approximately 80% of the goals he attempted. Now 80% is clearly not bad but this guy is a professional athlete, who does virtually nothing except for practising his skills, and even he achieved a best record of well below 100%.

Now this isn’t about sport but it got me thinking; and so I did some research and discovered that…

  • the best hitting average by a batter in American baseball is about 0.36 which means the best of the best hit only one in three pitches thrown at them
  • the highest free-throw percentage in the NBA (arguably the best basketball competition in the world) is just over 80% (similar to the aforementioned NRL goal kicker)
  • the best team in the English Premier League last season (Chelsea Football Club) won 27 out of their 38 games (a winning percentage of just over 70%)

Now I could go on but I guess I should make my point…which is that no one, not even the best of the best full-time professionals, achieves a 100% success rate.

But how do you feel sometimes when you get something wrong? How do you feel when you fail to achieve success in what ever it is you’re attempting? Do you ever feel hopeless and/or like a failure and/or feel like giving up?

Because if you do, and in my experience many of us do, then you’re almost certainly being too hard on yourself; especially if you reflect on the statistics listed above and realise that even the best “fail” or “lose” up to 30% of the time. And again, these are the best of the best who devote pretty much ALL OF THEIR WAKING TIME to mastering their chosen sports.

This leads me to believe that for most of us mere mortals, who among other things have to cook and clean and work and live life without the support team many of these elite athletes have at their disposal, if we can “succeed” or “kick goals” somewhere close to 30 or 40% of the time then we’re doing pretty well! Any more than that and we’re doing exceptionally well!

Chelsea Football Club “failed to win” 1 in 3 of their games; the best baseball hitter missed 2 out of every 3 pitches…but they were still winners.

Bringing this back to our context here in this eNewsletter, would you experience more happiness if you adjusted your expectations? Would you experience more happiness if you embraced failure and loss and saw them as parts of winning and success? Let us know what you think…