September 2, 2010
Cricket Is A Metaphor For Life
When people say that sport builds character, this is what they really mean. In a sideways manner, games explain to us how to handle life.
A cricket player has to play his best every game, in life you have to get up each morning and do it all over again, you never get to coast. More importantly, cricket teaches us how to handle failure and the randomness that's inherent in life.
It's important not to let failure discourage you and make you think negative. Just like in cricket you shouldn't become negative after someone hits a six off you, the next ball might be a wicket, but only if you continue to bowl at your best.
Another point is that cricket seems to be a random walk. Batsmen have hot and cold streaks. Statisticians have looked at similar distributions (baseball batting averages) and discoverd that they look pretty much like random data. Randomness is a huge part of life and cricket will teach you to laugh it off. After all, if you keep tossing the die you'll win eventually. In life, you really only need that one win. It's rare for someone to become successful and then go down in flames (this is excepting high-risk occupations where each day is basically a huge risk).
Recently, I read cricket with balls' take on the pakistan match fixing thing. This is another good point. It's not always your fault when you fail at something. You might be the only one with real skill, or the only honest one, and your team could be dragging you down (in my case I'm the one doing the dragging - so I'm safe ;). The administracrats could be holding you back. This all teaches you to not be unduly harsh with yourself.
Cricket teaches humility, mental fortitude and the fact that life is not fair, and in fact, can be incredibly random.
In other words, we lost a game after a three game winning streak and it set me thinking. I hope someone finds this interesting.
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