Lin Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton is an incredible musical – especially so if you have even a passing interest in American history. It is a masterpiece that combines fantastic storytelling, captivating actors, and riveting lyrics. One of my favorite pieces in the musical is “My Shot.”
“My Shot” is the song that best captures the spirit of Alexander Hamilton – his seeming unlimited reserves of drive, confidence, and belief.
“I’m just like my country, I’m young scrappy and hungry. I am not throwin’ away my shot.”
There are many reasons this song resonates deeply with me. But two reasons stand out more than every other.
First, it is a song that has immigrant spirit written all over it. The hunger, drive, and almost desperate desire to prove himself and “make it” comes through beautifully.
And second, notice how the lyrics don’t say “I’m going to take my shot.” Instead, they say “I am not throwin’ away my shot.” That bit of framing with a focus on not losing (vs. winning) speaks to how powerful a motivator it is.
There’s something very powerful about that framing in our lives too. We all are given shots at making an impact over the course of our lives and careers. Maybe we’re staring at one of those shots right now.
It is on us to pay attention to these opportunities when they come our way and do our very best to not throw away those shots.
They won’t all result in home runs. But, every once a while, one of them will. And that’ll make all prior effort worth it.