Do you REALLY want it? Consistency, Existentialism, And Little League

The “best” Little League coaching wisdom to say to a team who just lost,

“You just didn’t want it bad enough.”

Or the variation,

They wanted it more than we did.

DIDN’T YOU WANT IT CHILDREN? DON’T YOU STILL WANT IT? HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT?!

Well OF COURSE we want it, coach.

But did they want it more? Or, were they just… better? And how much do you want us to reflect on this and how deeply? Is this about today or the months of practice leading up to this single point in time?

Did you have existential crises in 5th grade too?*

While I don’t get my life advice from Little League coaches anymore, I have been thinking about their wisdom when it comes to the basic idea of consistency.

If you feel like you’re supposed to be doing something, but failing at it, DO YOU WANT IT BAD ENOUGH?!

If the answer is no, much like my failed-to-blossom baseball career, quit. Or be happy being mediocre – which is harder than it sounds – but these are really your only other two options. You, no we (!), all should be aware of them.

If you want it badly enough, as the Little League coaches sort of promised, you’ll do it. You won’t be able to help yourself. You’ll want to focus on re-aligning all of your life around “the thing.”

And if you don’t want it badly enough, figure out how just how bad you want what, and reset those expectations.

But don’t feel bad about not winning, having lower expectations, or just quitting something you don’t want to align your entire life and identity around.

Annie Duke yous guys. Annie f***ing Duke.

h/t Dulma and her “The Secret to Consistency” podcast episode that’s had me thinking about this all week.

Shoutout also to Justin Castelli on A. making a similar point for himself in “An Example of Synchronicity at Work,” and B. his newly curated book, More Than Money: Real-Life Stories of Financial Planning (which I am loving).

*Bonus shoutout to Luke Burgis’ book, Wanting, which I wouldn’t have understood in 5th grade but has really helped me in whatever grade I’m in now. If you need a refresher on his ideas, here are some posts I wrote about it.