On and off, I’ve been playing tennis for more than 15 years. And today was my second day back on the court after not playing for more than 6 months. For the tennis aficionados out there, you’ll know that the second day back after a long break feels much much better than the first one. It’s all about getting the timing right…
I can’t say that my timing is all back, but it’s close enough that now I can start to think strategically – and some times even deliver on those strategies. While thinking about where to place the ball, I remember what Billy Jean King once said – that winning at tennis is about making a lot of right decisions at a very fast rate. Talk about great training for the business world!
To succeed at that, there’s no other way but to be present – to be in the now. At the rate a tennis ball is returned by pros, even a quick blink can be painful. And how does one succeed at being present for an extended period of time?
The best way I know how is to approach each and every shot as if it were my last one. That is how I’m able to give each shot in a rally my absolute 100%. There’s no mind-wondering, no boredom, no second guessing. All there is, is pure energy and adrenaline running through my body helping me focus on hitting my best shot – ever. It’s besides the point if I hit a winning shot or not – the main objective is to play with my all. The rest will take care of itself. And today it did. I played better than I had at my peak – when I was training several hours a day.
(business) morale of the story?
Whenever you’re feeling bored, do the opposite of retracting – or slipping away in your chair. Work as if it were your last chance to make a difference, to win a deal, to develop a product, to solve an issue – and watch your energy carry you through.
And keep me posted.