Friday, June 2, 2023

Small Adjustments

I'm republishing this posting from 2012.

Not coincidentally, I do so with my favorite baseball card, 1970 Tom Seaver, beside me on my desk. I've had a rough six months, and having learned the consolatory power of silly talismans, I've been careful to keep it close. It helps to have your favorite baseball card nearby while things fall apart (it's all building back better, as things inevitably do if you've learned the magic trick of resilience, i.e. opting out of infinitely-looping self-story-telling). But I digress.

When I published this eleven years ago, I hadn't figured out that my go-to magic trick was perceptual reframing. I couldn't quite find the words. But that's what the following is. And a powerful example, at that.

A New York Mets pitcher (Ron Darling?) was in the midst of a horrendous slump, with no end in sight. Retired Mets pitching legend Tom Seaver traveled to Shea Stadium to offer him the following advice (I'm paraphrasing):
"You feel like you're a million miles away. But you're actually not. You're off just the tiniest little bit."
That image stuck with me, and I refer to it whenever strike zones start to seem unhittable.

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