Last month, I had the privilege of speaking to a group of young people who were preparing to move on to the next plateau in their lives after graduation. On my return trip home from the Florida panhandle, I had a layover in Atlanta. My plane was delayed due to local storms so I grabbed a bite to eat. Like most airport restaurants, they had several TV monitors mounted on every wall. Waiting for my meal, I checked my e-mail on my laptop while glancing at the news headlines on the TV monitor.
For some reason, I happened to catch a commercial from start to finish. I’m not what you would call a commercial-lover. In fact, whenever possible, I fast forward through the majority of them. I obviously didn’t have that option in the airport, and I’m actually thankful for that fact. I watched a one-minute commercial which left me with a tear in my eye, a smile in my heart, and a valuable lesson on my mind.
It was so captivating that I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. There was a young boy about 7 or 8 years old standing at home plate on a deserted baseball field. He had a big smile on his face and a baseball cap askew on his tiny head. He held a bat on his shoulder with one hand and a baseball in the other. With enthusiasm he yelled, “I’m the greatest hitter in the world,” as he tossed the ball into the air, swung the bat, missed the ball completely and fell to the ground. He jumped up, replaced his dusty hat, picked up the ball off the ground, repositioned his bat and said, “Strike one.”
Again, with enthusiasm, he yelled, “I’m the greatest hitter in the world,” as he tossed the ball into the air, swung the bat, missed the ball completely once again and fell to the ground. Again, he jumped up, replaced his hat, picked up the ball off the ground, repositioned his bat and said, “Strike two.”
Again, with a little less enthusiasm, he yelled, “I’m the greatest hitter in the world,” as he tossed the ball into the air a third time, swung the bat with all his might, and once again missed the ball by a country mile as he fell to the ground. This time he got up a little bit slower, replaced his dusty hat, left the bat in the dirt and sadly said, “Strike three!”
He stood there at home plate dusting himself off with a sad look of shame and disappointment on his face. Then, as the camera closed in on his face, you could see his frown change to deep thought as he raised his eyes to the clouds in the bright sunny sky.
His facial expression quickly changed from deep thought to total joy as he tossed his hat high into the air and screamed as loud as he could, “I’m the greatest pitcher in the world!”
Now there’s a young man who has obviously learned the true value of a simple “reframe.” I wonder how many times, we, as adults, could share that same joy if we’d just put forth an effort to look at things differently … a simple “reframe.”