You Can’t Succeed If You Don’t Put Yourself In A Position To

This post uses some sports related analogy, but I promise, even you non-sports fans should continue reading as I think it’s a point that everybody should bring home.

In two days, my hometown Detroit Tigers will begin playing in the World Series.  The team was last in the World Series six years ago, in 2006, when they lost to the St. Louis Cardinals.  (Side note: I had tickets to a potential game seven in that series, but unfortunately, they lost in five). They haven’t won the World Series since 1984, and even though I was just ten at the time, I still remember them winning it as it was the first professional championship won by any of the Detroit teams since I’d been born.

This year, the Tigers have gotten here in somewhat dramatic fashion.  Go back to the pre-season, and they were predicted by just about everybody to win the American League Central division.  This was predicated on several ideas: The Tigers had Miguel Cabrera, arguably one of the best hitters in the game, had just signed Prince Fielder, had Justin Verlander, had lots of other great pitchers, and the general consensus was that most of the other teams in their division, well, kind of sucked.

So, it was pretty surprising when the Tigers struggled for most of the season.  They were only in first place in their division for sixteen days the entire season, at several points being so far back that their chances of making it to the playoffs were all but written off.  Thanks to some good play at the end of the season, combined with a complete collapse by the White Sox, and the Tigers found themselves in first on the most important day: the last day of the season.

With 88 wins (not many compared to other playoff teams) and a season that was nowhere near expectations, nobody was really sure what to make of them.  Two other teams got a lot more hype: The A’s, who had come out of nowhere, winning their division on the last day of the season, topping off a season that nobody saw coming.  And the Yankees, who are expected to make the playoffs, and did, winning a league leading 95 games.

Those happened to be the two teams that the Tigers faced.  The A’s took the series to the full five games, but the Tigers squeaked by, and were set to face off against the mighty Yankees.  Or so it seemed.

The Tigers made fools of the Yankees.  There is simply no other way to put it.  They held the Yankees to six runs…in the entire series, with four coming in the first game.  This led to a four game sweep.  Something that probably not even the most diehard Tigers fan saw coming.

So, even though they were below expectations throughout most of the regular season, they are now going to be playing to be champs.  And, they’re here simply because they put themselves into a position to succeed.

They didn’t do it the way that everybody wanted (or at least Tigers fans), which would have been exactly what was predicted: Take control from the beginning of the season and coast to the division win.  Instead, it was a nail biter and there were many, many headaches throughout the way.

But you know what? Nobody remembered those headaches as they watched the Tigers make that last out during the final game of the Yankees series.

None of it mattered, and it was all because they put themselves in a position to succeed.

So, what are you looking to do?  What is your ‘World Series’ that you want to win?

Is it getting out of debt?

Is it paying even one credit card?

Is it saving enough for a house?

Many times, people don’t have that ‘perfect plan’ in place to reach their own personal ‘World Series’, so instead they do nothing.

Here’s the thing, though.  You don’t need to have that perfect plan.  Not everything fell into place for the Tigers, but in the end, they’re where they are because no matter what, they never gave up and they still kept in play.

If you don’t put together some plan and start working toward paying that loan or that credit card, saving for that house, or whatever it is, you will never get there.

I repeat: If you don’t try, you will never get there.

The Tiger found themselves down many games in the standings.  Even with eight games left, they were three games out of first, which the odds say is a complete longshot.  If they would have mailed it in, it would have been understandable.  They didn’t.

Neither should you.

So, go ahead and give it a shot. I’m not going to lie.  You may not get there anyways.  But, just like the Tigers found out, you can do it and you can do it in dramatic fashion to boot.  You can succeed.

But only if you put yourself in position to do so.

So, what are you waiting for?

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