It’s Major League Baseball’s All Star Break, and the Milwaukee Brewers are in First Place in the National League Central Division. The pressure is now on. (If you’re not a baseball fan I encourage you read on. I promise this will apply to your life.) We fans of the Milwaukee Brewers have had a great many lean years. The Chicago Cubs finally won their championship last year. Now it’s the Brewers’ turn, right? The closest they came was in 1982 when they lost the World Series in seven games to the (ahem!) St. Louis Cardinals. (I still can’t stand the Cardinals…sorry St. Louis friends)
The longer the Brewers are in first place the more pressure there is. It’s much more difficult being a fan when expectations are higher. When expectations are low there isn’t much pressure and it’s simply fun to be surprised when your team wins. A few years back when the Brewers were in the playoffs, and I was able to go to a couple of games, it was pure torture.
The good thing is that, at least so far, the team itself doesn’t seem to be feeling the pressure. They seem loose, relaxed, and ready to take on their opponents. There are a few lessons we can learn from them when we’re feeling the pressure in our lives:
- Have fun. The Brewers are near the top of the league in home runs. Every time they hit one they’ve got a celebration called “The Gauntlet.” The guy who hits the home run comes into the dugout and the players line up, bump elbows, and do a little dance. They’re having fun with their success. When you have a success in your life, large or small, be sure to have fun with it and celebrate it. It’ll ease some of the other pressure you may feel.
- Stick to the fundamentals. One of the reasons the Brewers are winning is that they are playing fundamentally sound baseball. They are hitting well, pitching well, committing very few errors, and turning in some stellar defensive play. When you’re feeling the pressure in your life, remember to stick with the things that you do best. Simply keep doing them well. The results will speak for themselves.
- Keep winning. Though the Brewers are in first place, they only have one player going to the All Star Game. That’s OK. Even though they’re not getting respect from the rest of the league the respect will come from their win total. People will begin to take notice. Focus on the small wins you can make in your daily life. Whatever those wins may look like in your line of work, the more you “win” the more respect you will get, and the more people will take notice. It will ease the pressure.
We’ll see how the season turns out. There’s a long way to go. But this is fun while it lasts. I’m hoping the Brewers will withstand the pressure and maintain a lead in the division.
How do you respond to pressure in your life?