You won’t have to wait 108 years to achieve your goals and dreams like the Chicago Cubs (we hope not!). You probably won’t have to break the curse of the Billy Goat, a curse placed on the Cubs by Billy Goat Tavern’s owner William Sianis. Sianis was the owner of the tavern and was visiting Wrigley Field when the Cubs were playing against the Detroit Tigers during Game 4 of the 1945 World Series. However, he was booted out of the stadium due to his billy goat’s (Murphy) foul odor. Legend said he cursed the team that day and declared that the franchise will never win another World Series. It apparently worked, and other mishaps followed over the years. A black stray cat mysteriously crossed the field at Shea Stadium when the Cubs played the New York Mets during the pennant race in 1969, and the team never could find post season glory. In 2003 the Cubs were only outs away from the World Series when a Florida Marlins foul ball was driven into the stands and a fan grabbed it out of Luis Castillo's glove. The Marlins went on to win it. The alleged cursed incidents have been passed down over the years, but most of us don’t need to deal with sports superstitions, like the Cubbies. Billy goats and black cats aside, you can reach your own World Series and you don’t need any hocus-pocus to get there. Here are inspiring ways to overcome life’s setbacks and to break the curse of the billy goat in your life.
The Cubs struggled with fielding mistakes in Game 2 and they needed to get their errors under control. There were 3 fielding errors alone in Game 2. Even though the mistakes did not hurt them, they refocused and used it to move forward. Struggles are experienced by most people in business and in life. It is what we do with them that separates us from the others. R.H. Macy started 7 businesses that failed before landing Macy’s in New York, which produced made-to-measure clothing, something unheard of at the time. Since his dry goods stores failed, R.H. Macy learned to try a different method by making clothing onsite. Be like the Cubs and Macy by always moving forward despite the odds.
Learn from your mistakes.
Chicago Cubs President Theo Epstein admitted that he struggled to rebuild the organization since he joined the team in 2011. During the rebuilding process, he signed pitcher Edwin Jackson to a four-year $52 million deal that backfired. Jackson posted one of the league’s worst records in 2015 and was then let go by the Cubs. The team still had to pay him after the release and Epstein was rattled. We all take a gamble when we make decisions to better ourselves and to follow our dreams. If Epstein gave up, the Cubs might not have moved ahead. Take what you can from your mistakes and use it to your advantage, even if it takes some digging around to find the good.
If you lack passion, you will not get far in your endeavors. Winning is great, but at the heart of it there needs to be an innate drive to carry you through tough times. "Don't ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure," Cubs Manager Joe Maddon told his players. There is always a bigger picture. If we allow the pressure to become a success to overtake our lives—joy will be amiss. Keep the passion because this ultimately fuels victory.
Don’t listen to your critics.
Don’t let what others say hurt you. If you were called a “loveable loser” it would hurt, right? The Cubs were joked and mocked for their 108-year drought. This did not stop the Cubs from finishing with a record of 103-58 record in the National League in 2016. You can’t stop someone from being critical, but you can use it to your advantage by remaining focused on a given goal. Change your reaction like the Cubs did and rise above the fray. It could always be worse. Imagine the pressure of being labeled a “lovable loser” by the media and even by fans? If the boys in red, white and blue can do it, so can you.
Find the positive.
Joe Maddon reminded his players that it is important to celebrate! He put a disco ball in the clubhouse and ordered his players to enjoy the small wins. "Every time we win, it’s like we won the World Series," rookie Kris Bryant told the Chicago Tribune. "We come in with disco balls and smoke," Bryant joked. Start taking those small wins to heart. Things like meeting financial goals, mastering a to-do list or pitching a project are all small, but worthy to be celebrated. Celebrating will help you feel refreshed and energized to tackle more. You might not have room for a disco ball, but hey, why not?
We all need to lick our wounds after a disappointment and we need to regroup. Instead of falling into a deep depression, let go of your expectations and practice acceptance. Look at it as there being a bigger and better plan for you. Look for ways you can better yourself because of the disappointments. Reshift your thoughts to achieve a better outcome by changing your perspective or sharpening skills. Coach Maddon did not put up with sulking players in his clubhouse. "That’s ridiculous, and that’s why teams get into long losing streaks," he said about players getting into funks. Don’t allow disappointment to own or rob your future.
Dealing with adversity.
The Cubs have a solid leader in Maddon, who was seemingly calm when his team was in a 21-scoring drought. The Cubs knew what was on the line and their manager remained steadfast after losing Game 2 and 3 against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS.When the Cleveland Indians took a 3-1 game lead in the World Series we all were on edge! You have to remember these guys have never been shut out all season, and not having an offense was a nightmare. They made fans nervous, but the team plowed through the adversity and showed remarkable resilience to overcome under Maddon's leadership to end the series deficit. When you go through tough times, you will be amazed at what you are capable of. The Cubs could have checked out, but like them, you can reframe the situation and overcome adverse circumstances.
You might not have to deal with a curse or have to deal with black cats, but you can rewrite your story with resilience, passion and with a never-give-up attitude. Be inspired so you reach your World Series today.