Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, along with Roger Federer, are the GOATs of tennis. They’ve each won 20 Grand Slams, with them missing out on the trophy only 11 times since they started playing.
What makes them so successful at hitting a yellow fuzzy ball across the net?
Here’s what Novak has to say about this:
“I can carry on playing at this level because I like hitting the tennis ball.” The interviewer replied in surprised: “Are there really players who don’t like hitting the ball?” Djokovic answered, “Oh yes. There are people out there who don’t have the right motivation. You don’t need to talk to them. I can see it.”
In his memoir, Nadal says something similar:
But I haven’t sold my soul to tennis. The effort I invest is great, but I don’t consider it a sacrifice. It’s true that I’ve trained every day practically since the age of six and that I make big demands of myself. And meanwhile my friends are out partying or sleeping late. But I haven’t felt this to be a sacrifice or a loss because I’ve always enjoyed it.
They both enjoy hitting the ball every day. To them, training is not working. It’s a
Even if you don’t want to become a tennis GOAT, you need to enjoy your journey. Think journey before destination.
Most champions enjoy what they do. Their pleasure does not come from winning; it comes from the process.
Whenever I dread studying or writing, I remind myself that the journey is more important than the destination. There’s no point in working towards something if you don’t enjoy doing it.
Here’s a reminder to reflect on whether we’re enjoying the journey we’re on. If we’re not, can we make the process fun? We should also ask ourselves if the goal is worth our time and energy. Miley Cyrus was right. It’s not about what is waiting on the other side. It’s all about the climb.
So what looks like play to you but work to others?