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Swing for the fences

Melinda Gates tells the story that when Warren Buffett donated the bulk of his fortune to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation he urged them to “swing for the fences.”

Swinging for the fences is a baseball expression that means hitting the ball as hard as you can to take it as far as possible. It’s risky because you might miss the ball completely, but if you hit it, well, the impact is huge.

So their approach is putting all the bets at full force. With this approach you don’t go for incremental effort: you go for everything in one hit.

To swing for the fences you need to be really confident about what you do, you need to really believe that it’s possible, and you need to really want it to happen. It is a good question to ask yourself when you’re divided between different projects. If you had to choose right now which option is going to take you further – and I mean crazy far – what would you do? How are you going to swing for the fences?



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