My in-laws are big into baseball. Born and raised in Northern California, their team has always been the San Francisco Giants.

A few weeks ago we were visiting my wife’s parents when I came across a memento in their guest room. It’s something I’ve undoubtedly walked by dozens of times, but this time it caught my eye:

(“Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” – Babe Ruth)

What Babe Ruth knew (that many of us forget) is that, in life, we will often encounter many failures, obstacles, and set-backs.

We look at failure as roadblocks when maybe, what we should look at failure as is a lily pad. Like frogs hopping across the pond, one lily pad at a time, our failures become another stop along the way to our desired destination.

In today’s culture it’s easy for us to give up. Some much of what previous generations took for granted (fast internet, mobile phones, laptops, indoor plumbing, etc.) comes easy to us. There is a lot less struggle to get what we want. And when there is a struggle we often times give up too soon because we’ve become unaccustomed to failure and disappointment.

I’ve said before that simplifying our lives is not easy. It requires discipline and hard work to remove the things that are distracting us from the most important things. Sometimes we’ll mess up.

Sometimes we’ll say yes to things that we should have said no to and find ourselves overextended in our schedules. Sometimes we’ll allow possessions to pile up in our homes or buy things unnecessarily until our homes become cluttered. Or we’ll eat too much or spend too much.

When these setbacks happen (and they will from time to time because we are human) we need to remember that these strikes in the larger game are bringing us closer to the next home run. Like the frog hopping from one lily pad to the next is how we can move forward when we learn from our mistakes and move forward.

Your failure isn’t final. Learn from it, pick yourself up, and keep moving forward. Don’t let your set-backs hold you back.

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