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Sam Davidson's blog

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When It Matters Most

I love playoff baseball. I love nearly all kinds of baseball, but there's nothing like playoff baseball. For me, college bowl games, March Madness, and even the Super Bowl don't hold a candle to baseball in October. During this month, every game matters. Every pitch counts. And you shouldn't turn off the TV, no matter how far ahead one team is in the ninth. (Do I sound like Dane Cook yet?)

I think some of the payoff of October has to do with the fact that April, May, June and July seem so terribly boring in baseball. The season is the longest of any professional sport, and so it seems to drag on with lots of games that don't mean much. This has been made clear this year by the improbable run of the Colorado Rockies, who have continued to win at a remarkable clip, after being all but out a month ago.

But that's why you play every single game.

Because in life, you never really know when it's going to count the most. We never know when one unlikely lead could develop into the biggest sales commission of our career. We never know when a random conversation leads to the love of our life. We never know when an epiphany will strike us so deeply, forcing us to make a choice that will alter the trajectory of where we thought we were heading.

This makes it all the more pressing to soak up every minute of this thing we call life. This means that we've got to keep reading, keep dreaming big, keep being remarkable, and keep trying. Because we never know when we'll be at the point when it all really does matter like never before. The skills we honed in our April are the only thing that will see us through October.

I believe the social change revolution is like this. We've gained a lot of appeal because our ideas are practical, doable, and have an impact. We ask people to do things like clean out their cars, call a friend, and skip a latte.

We ask these things because for now, this is what the revolution asks of us. If we're to impact our planet, change our community, and better the lives of others, we've got to start small and get good at the small stuff. Because soon enough, the revolution will ask more of us.

There's no way the Rockies win 20 out of 21 games if they can't catch a fly ball, lay down a bunt, or hit the cutoff man. There's no way people are going to install solar panels, buy a hybrid or donate to a conservancy if they don't recycle their newspaper.

Soon, the revolution will demand that we all change. We can be prepared to act and change by making sure we're taking the daily steps that are so integral to long-term success.

Because eventually, it all changes.

Newspapers, air travel and coffee have all dramatically changed in the last 40 years. To succeed in those worlds, you've got to be consistent. If you can't write well, get me there on time, or taste good, it doesn't matter what tricks are up your sleeve. Southwest Airlines consistently makes money and retains customers because they get people to where they want to go, just like they did between Dallas and San Antonio back in 1971.

October counts, but so does April. Only because unlike the baseball season, we never really know when it's the postseason.

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