Staying Above the Mendoza Line of Life

The Mendoza line is a baseball term referring to a .200 batting average, which was just below the lifetime average of a player named Mario Mendoza (.215). It is referenced as the lowest acceptable batting average for professional baseball players – they have to hit above .200. How can this apply to life?

I look at the Mendoza line of life as whether or not we’re keeping our head above water, as an accumulation of all areas or within any particular part. The truth is we all struggle at all times at even getting our heads above water, let alone keeping it there. However, we don’t have to keep flailing away trying to grasp at anything that will save us, nor do we have to just hold our breath and hope we can float back to the top. Sometimes all we have to do is learn to tread water for a bit, kicking our feet and slowly gliding to shore, or at least to water that is shallow enough to easily stand in. These gentle, more gradual movements reduce struggle and panic.

In baseball, there is a huge difference between batting .200 and .300, but it’s just one more hit out of ten tries. Oftentimes we catch ourselves swinging for the fences, but in reality a bloop single is all we need to go from struggling to confident again. This is something I’m very guilty of, beating myself up for lack of home runs and discounting how far I can get with a series of solid base hits.

Here are some of the most common areas that we all have difficulty in at some point:

– Work/Career
– Spouse/Significant Other
– Children/Family
– Health/Wellness
– Income/Finances
– Spiritual/Faith
– Other

If you’re having trouble in any of these areas right now, where can you make small improvements to help the situation become more stable? Remember, you don’t have to swim the English Channel or become the home run king.

Where can you eliminate unnecessary things or actions that are weighing you down or holding you back?

Sometimes it is hard for us to identify ways we can make these adjustments while we’re stuck in the problems, and an outside perspective may be helpful, or possibly even required. This is why it is always a good idea to seek or consider assistance or advice from a trusted source in the area you need help. This may be a friend, a family member, a boss or co-worker, a coach or consultant, a pastor, therapist, doctor, your spouse, etc. The point is you don’t have handle it completely alone.

Once you are able to isolate some issues that you can tend to and make the necessary improvements, you’ll start to get into the habit of doing this more often, and the likelihood of approaching the Mendoza line again in that area will diminish.