I recently had the pleasure of watching my first tennis match. A friend and her team played in the national championships for their division. I watched her play doubles. Although she and her partner won the first set, their opponents played stronger as the set progressed. The opponents had the momentum going into the second set.
The opponents won the first two games of the second set. I then noticed a shift in their energy. It appeared they shifted from focusing on “playing well” to “playing to win.” I sensed my friend’s team would win.
I noticed small things that made a difference. One of the opponents served the ball twice into the net. Another time, she called the ball out when it looked in to me.
The other opponent kept tossing the ball up, not serving, “oops, sorry.” It was as if she was trying to psych her opponents out. I admit, I don’t know proper tennis etiquette. Perhaps, this behavior is status quo. In baseball, they would call it a balk.
All while the opponent’s energy had changed, I noticed my friend and partner looked the same on the court. They looked calm, focused and were playing their best.
The momentum shifted. My friend’s team quickly came from behind and won the match.
Afterwards, I shared my observation with my friend. She confirmed she and her partner stayed focused on what they could do, not what the other team was doing.
By focusing on what they could do, playing well, playing their best, is, in my opinion, why they won the match.
My AHHA moment was realizing how much I let things I can’t control affect me. When I’m in this mode, nothing is easy. Most everything is a challenge. I often feel I am swimming upstream fighting off sharks.
What I want is to flow with the stream and for things to be easy.
When I focus on what I can do, what is working, take inspired action, things flow easily.
How often do you let things you can’t control take over? Then feel like you are in a downward spiral?
What can you let go of today that will help you flow with the stream?