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Life is a mix of ups and downs. For everybody, no matter whether rich or poor, life gives its fair share of problems. However, if we are always fearful of these problems, we will never be able to come out of the dilemma and will always be closed in a fixed circle. To get out of the circle and change our lives, we need to understand the fact that one should not give up, be fearful, or stay upset about the problems that are coming. To understand this concept even further, Babe Ruth’s quote goes “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game”.
Who Was Babe Ruth?
George Herman Ruth Junior commonly known as Babe Jr. was an American professional baseball player who lived between 1895 and 1948. His baseball career began in 1914 and went up to 1935. Throughout his career, he achieved several achievements for his outstanding performance in the game. He was also elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936 as one of the first five inaugural members. He played a total of 22 seasons but his peak time was when he played as an outfielder for the New York Yankees. Ruth has been known to uplift the game of baseball among many others.
During Ruth’s career, he has always been aggressive towards his game and always tried his best to make the match for his team. He believed the minute a player starts to experience fear, he is going to become a hurdle for the entire team. There have been several controversies associated with the baseball player as well such as being a womanizer when not on the field. Babe Ruth died in 1948 due to nasopharyngeal cancer. Most recently, in 2018, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Donald Trump.
Origin of this Quote
The actual origin in terms of date, time, and place of this quote is unknown. However, it is suggested that during one time in his season, his team was making several losses and many players were starting to feel demotivated. For this reason, Babe Ruth said that one should “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game”. He wanted to push up the morale of his team to eventually come out of a losing match and poor performance.
Meaning of this Quote
Babe Ruth said this quote to highlight several important aspects, as discussed below.
Give Your Best
Babe Ruth was a professional baseball player and this quote also focuses directly on his game. He was always motivating his team to fight harder and never be afraid of what was coming their way. The foremost meaning of this quote is also the adherence and acceptance of a loss or failure. Babe Ruth is highlighting the fact that even if you have a firm knowledge that you are going to fail, even then you should be giving your best every time. For example, if a baseball hitter feels that he won’t be able to match against a particular pitcher, he still should be playing the game with his full energy.
This quote specifically focuses on giving your best regardless of what situation you are facing. It highlights the importance of willpower over strategic power that a person can possess. Many people do not give their best because they can’t even perceive to be at a better-performing stage. They have major doubts about them because of the opposition that they are facing. Little do we know, it’s humans who always conquer those mountains which seem impossible. Therefore, one should always give his best attempt regardless of what their opposition is.
An example can be the famous novelist J. K. Rowling who struggled for a good load of time in her life during which she was homeless and had no money to live. She was struggling to meet ends while being a single parent. The novelist also got into a deep depression and various other problems came as constant hurdles in her life. However, she gave her best, regardless of the situation that she was facing. At a time when people used to call her out and she faced resistance from many publication companies, Rowling still managed to stand back up and try again, to give her best.
You Never Know the Outcome
An important element discussed in this quote is that a person never knows the outcome. The fear of striking out shouldn’t keep you out because things can always go the other direction. There are a lot of times when we go through unexpected situations. Why does this happen? It is because our mind is not able to perceive or comprehend a situation in a particular manner for a number of reasons.
Every day we go across something unprecedented or unknown that we never thought could have happened. However, it is how nature works. We are shown the most unexpected happenings which is when we realize that our mind limits what we think and do. For this reason, giving up or backing off even before trying shouldn’t be an option in any case. Many people are fearful of the things that haven’t even happened yet. This is what creates so many problems.
We can take the example of professional baseball over here. In 2019, the Astros had won 107 games in total while The Nationals had never reached a World Series. The Nationals had a very poor game-win ratio as well during this time and had to fight off three major teams including Big Leagues, Los Angeles Dodgers, and The Astros.
Surprisingly, The Washington Nationals won the 2019 championship by constantly defeating all three. For the Astros, the performance of The Washington Nationals was so good that they forced a game-seven result. A team that had not won for a long time and was facing a constant winner proved the fact that every outcome can be different and it can be beyond what is apparent to us.
Don’t Let Others Know Your Weakness
The hidden meaning of this quote by Babe Ruth is that you should never let others know your weakness. If you back off because you have the “fear of striking out”, you will be telling your opponent that you are weak. In such a case, the opponent will get even more aggressive with you and pull you down. In terms of everyday life, we can say that if we let others know our weaknesses, they will exploit, and manipulate us in various ways.
For example, if you are a really soft-natured person and you let others go over you at times, you should not be clearly showing this weakness to others. The minute you show a person that they can use you for their benefit is the time when you begin your own destruction. Let’s say you are bad at maths. Do not go and tell around that you are bad at Maths or get into situations where your Maths is going to be tested. Why? Because the moment you fail is the moment everyone will make fun of you.
A key quality in successful people is that they always highlight their strong areas while hiding their weak ones. They specifically present themselves as the ones with no apparent flaws and that is why the world starts to respect them too. Therefore, if you show fear, and don’t play the game, you are ultimately showing your weakness to the opponents.
Sometimes You Fail, Sometimes You Win
You cannot be successful 100% of the time. It is just an impossible thing. Even the most successful people in their life have failed many times and even the most failed people in life have succeeded many times. Colonel Sanders tried selling his fried chicken for several years and failed after which he succeeded. On the other hand, a person like Conor McGregor who won multiple UFC Championships lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov. These examples just show us that winning and failure are both a part of life.
Once you accept this fact, there is nothing that can scare you anymore. You wouldn’t have the “fear of striking out” because you know that you can’t always be in the position. There is going to be a time when you will eventually “strike out”. Upon accepting this statement, a person isn’t afraid to take on any challenge that comes their way. Instead, they respond to it with full aggression, and that often results in success.
This quote by Babe Ruth is one of the most interesting ones. Although he meant it for his professional baseball games, it is quite important to understand the meaning of this quote from a real-life perspective too. Above, we have discussed the different themes which can be identified from this quote. If you are interested, you can read quotes by Theodore Roosevelt as well as quotes by Martin Luther King Jr.