Active vs passive state of mind: Wanting the ball to come to you

Years ago, I remember reading from a baseball book – and I’ve also heard this said in cricket as well – the concept that to be a good fielder, you have to want the ball to come to you.
And that always stuck with me.
I mean, clearly, just literally speaking, wanting the ball to come to you does not make it any more likely to come to you, the way you might just be standing out in that field for a long time, and maybe the ball comes to you, maybe it doesn’t.
So why would wanting the ball to come to you make a difference? It seems like this is part of making an active mindset, a mindset that is ready to face challenges and new experiences, new opportunities, being ready.
The idea of wanting the ball to come to you sets up this mentality of I am ready to take whatever comes my way.
Versus the opposite, of not wanting the ball to come to you, is more like, oh, how can I hide and how can I just get through this day without anything happening? Which is a much more passive approach to life, where you just hope that nothing happens.
So, I am not- I don’t play much baseball, or certainly much cricket, but I like thinking of this- I like using this metaphor for life.
I’ve certainly spent a lot of my life with a more passive mindset of just trying to avoid challenges, trying to get by, just like a fielder hoping that the ball never comes to him, just hoping that he can stand there, get through the day, get through the experience, and just be done.
Which, you know, when I put it in those words, is kind of a terrible mindset.
But imagine the mindset of I am ready for some new challenge.
I am ready for something to hit me.
I am just on guard and prepared to meet whatever challenge comes my way.
That is the active approach to life.
And I think that what I find interesting is the idea that, you know, wanting something or not wanting it, that doesn’t change reality, but it changes the mindset with which we face whatever happens, so that I can accept happily every time there’s a new challenge.
It’s not like, oh, why did I have to take this challenge? Why do I need another problem, yet another problem in my way? When is it going to end? Versus, okay, here we go, here’s a challenge, now I will address this challenge.
I’m ready to address it.
That’s the difference.
So I’m going to work on cultivating this mindset where I am happy to take on challenges.
Of course, not creating trouble, never creating trouble where it’s not necessary, because there’s always enough challenge.
There’s never a need to create new trouble.
There’s always more than enough to go around.
But an attitude of whatever happens to come, I am ready, and I will happily embrace it.
When I start my day, I have a plan, a program for what I’m going to do with that day, but there can always be interruptions, surprises, unexpected problems and challenges to deal with, and I can go into my day accepting gladly the idea that this is going to be part of a day.
This is part of what it means to live, is to have these things popping up every day.
And again, of course, not encouraging problems, and if there are problems popping up, I can later analyze, you know, why are these interruptions happening, and perhaps make changes so that they don’t happen again, or don’t happen unnecessarily.
But each time that a challenge does happen, I think the ideal is to face it just like a fielder on the field ready for a ball to be hit to me at any moment, so that problems can pop up any moment.
New challenges, new surprises we have to deal with, can pop up every moment.
And rather than lamenting them, we can be happy that it’s now time to deal with the next challenge, and that’s the task of life.

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