How You Define Success - Matthew Boyd

This season was very successful for me — but I recognize that how I define success isn’t necessarily how the world might. On the field, I got off to a start that wasn’t very good at all if you’re looking at the numbers. My first four starts were a struggle, but in that I realized who I am as a pitcher and what the strengths of my game are. Because of this, I have become a better and more well-rounded pitcher. The biggest battle I’ve faced is talking to people who don’t see it that way. 

Every season prepares you for the next. If you go out with one specific goal in mind, looking only to accomplish that one thing, you set yourself up to be close-minded and discontent with the results. You limit yourself because none of us know how we might grow within a season. It’s been exciting to know that I don’t know what each day will hold, I only know I’m going to get better from it. There aren’t necessarily good or bad results, it’s just the reality of my results. Whatever I do, and with whatever happens, I can learn from the experience and the feedback I receive. 

When I understand what I do and how I want to go forward, only then can I get better in each pitch I make. I can then understand what happened and if that’s something I want to continue or change. This season has been really fulfilling in that sense. And it could only be fulfilling if I choose to define success in a different way than our culture does (by only looking at numbers). Instead, I define success by paying attention, by knowing what I expect from each pitch, and then carrying out my mission. If this is my goal, I can be successful every time. But if I look at success the way the world does, the results may be very up and down, because a lot of that is outside of my control.

God is going to call us each in a different manner. For me, I feel called to live life fully, whether we are in the middle of a pandemic or not. No outside circumstance is going to change how God is calling me to live today or going forward. Today, He’s calling me to be the best husband, father and baseball player I can be. That calling might change tomorrow, but for now, I have to give it my all. 

Being aware and in tune to God’s calling must be our first priority. And to do this, we need to pay attention at all times. God’s will is black and white. When something comes our way that threatens to cause us to fear, it’s not of God. Fear is not a fruit of the Spirit. I’m not immune to fear or worry, none of us are. But when these temptations come, and they will come, we need to be able to see them for what they are and recognize that God calls us to live in joy instead. We are called to persevere through these situations, we are not supposed to attempt to avoid them. 

Being a follower of Christ takes courage and intentionality. We don’t have to be afraid of what’s in front of us. Instead, we are to go forward, knowing that where God is calling us to, He will direct and provide strength for us every step of the way. 

— Matthew Boyd, Detroit Tigers pitcher

Matthew Boyd is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing articles and opinions. Check out Matthew’s Increase profile here.

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