For my birthday I had requested that Tee make me a carrot layer cake which she agreed to do. It’s my favorite. And though she’s done it many times before this time as luck would have it the cakes stuck to the pans and came out all crumbled and broken up. I could hear the groans and oh-no’s from the other room. Uh-oh, I thought, I had better not go in there. Sometime later, though, she called for me and when I entered the kitchen there she stood grinning from ear to ear holding up what may have been the most beautiful birthday cake I’ve ever had.
Have you ever watched Tiger Wood play golf? What’s fascinating is that as great a golfer as he is even Tiger Wood winds up in sand-traps, behind trees and buried in the rough like any common duffer on the course would do. The difference is in his ability to recover, to make the most amazing shots you’ve ever seen out of the most difficult of circumstances. That is the main difference more than any other factor, so they say, that sets a professional golfer apart from an amateur. The same probably holds true for any sport.
Excellence seldom occurs from everything coming out right, rather it is the result of one’s ability to recover from mishaps and mistakes. That’s not only true in sports but in every worthwhile endeavor you can name. Successful businesses, enduring marriages, happy families, master works of art, and even birthday cakes, look closely and you’ll see that each one is a patchwork of failures, mistakes and mishaps that have somehow been miraculously transformed into something successful, enduring, happy or beautiful.
Most people would have given up on those stuck, crumbled, broken up cakes and simply thrown them away, but not Tee. Instead she turned a mess into a masterpiece – and that’s the sign of a real pro.