In baseball, the vast majority of damage a hitter does is by smashing a bad pitch.
The pitcher is trying to throw a ball past the batter. The batter is trying to hit it.
The worst pitch for a pitcher to make is sometimes called a "fat pitch" -- that's a very straight, relatively slow pitch in the middle of the plate and the middle of the hitter's power zone.
In Major League Baseball, almost every full-time player is going to hit the fat pitch hard. The majority of those hard-struck balls with turn into doubles and home runs.
But the majority of people in the world aren't able to hit the fat pitch in baseball, they'd probably have a hard time hitting a baseball at all.
Opportunities in life are something like that. The majority of even really-big opportunities will be missed and you'll face setbacks.
A few people through the ages seem to seize most of their opportunities -- Napoleon Bonaparte hit almost all of his fat pitches, which respectively made him Captain, General, First Consul, and Emperor.
John D. Rockefeller hit almost of all his fat pitches, going into oil in The Flats in in 1863, recruiting Samuel Andrews as chemist, buying out his partners the Clark Brothers for $72.5k at auction when they wanted out, starting Standard Oil and then buying 22 out of 26 Cleveland oil refineries in 1872, and even profiting from the breakup of Standard Oil in anti-trust litigation: many people don't realize his net worth rose 500% after the breakup of Standard Oil, with greater competition among his former companies leading to innovation and with him owning a piece of all of it.
You see this rare pattern in a few sorts of characters: Julius Caesar and his nephew Octavian, Genghis Khan and Subutai, Charlemagne .
But despite the utter rarity of this type of situation, something sets into the consciousness of people who read their stories. While this sort of leader often has reverses, he seems to seize and make the most of big opportunities.
Yet... it seems like the vast majority of people simply cannot do that for whatever reason, and moreover -- it's probably less necessary these days, because there's a greater proportion of pitches to hit.
In olden times, both time and geography worked against the majority of those who would do much in the world. Communications were bad, erratic, and unreliable -- and that was only within a hundred or two miles nearest you, past that there was nothing! Things developed slowly, but events came to a head just as quickly. In olden times, people had less experience needing to make rapid world-changing decisions, were less prepared for them, and the moment when a grand opportunity could be seized came once a decade -- at best.
Nowadays, if you're exposing yourself to lots of good information and interesting circles to run in, you might get a fat pitch to hit twice a year, or more. It's both aggravating and agonizing to miss one, but it's non-fatal. It's a signal that you need to build greater preparation, get your house in order more, and emphasize rapid effective decision-making.
There's no sense crying over spilt milk. If you keep immersing and exposing yourself to the winds of change, you'll find them blowing faster and harder than ever. Doing immense things might have once required catching the once-a-decade fair wind that gusted. Now, when you miss one, it's a reminder to get your house in order because the next will come at you shortly after.
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