As a tennis fanatic, it would be remiss of me not to mention the greatest match in tennis history when American John Isner beat Frenchman Nicolas Mahut 70 to 68 in the 5th set last week. That’s right 70 games to 68 games in the fifth set because one must win by two in the fifth set at Wimbledon. The 11 hour, 5 minute match spanned over 3 days and finished when John Isner hit a solid down the line two-handed backhand to seal the deal.
The previous record for longest match was at the 2004 French open, lasting now just a paltry 6 hours and 33 minutes. It is completely unfathomable that a match could last so long, simply because it is unconscionable how Nicolas Mahut could hold serve over 60 games in a row to survive! The physical endurance is one thing, but what’s most impressive is the mental fortitude both players had to never give up.
1) Anything is Possible. If someone were to say that a match would go 30 all in a 5th set, I would say “NO WAY” and probably confidently bet my life savings and my lucky underwear! Even if someone asked for 20-to-1 odds ($10 to win $200) to bet that it could happen, I’d still call them crazy and happily take the other side. I’d probably bet up to $1,000 and then proceed to lose $20,000! Now I’ll think carefully when I hear impossible sounding feats. Anything is possible!
2) Standards Always Go Higher. When Roger Federer defeated Andy Roddick 5-7, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5), 3-6, 16-14 in the 2009 Wimbledon final, we all thought that was one of the greatest finals in history and that a 16-14 score would never be breached. Fast forward to 2010, and Roger and Andy’s match sounds downright mediocre. The same goes for anything we do, be it creating a product, or being a solid employee. Standards don’t go backwards, they go forward. We’ve got to continuously innovate and try harder.
3) Everything is Mental. At some point, you know that the bodies of John and Nicolas were screaming to stop and give up. But, with the crowd of thousands cheering them on, they started to zone and battled away cramps and fatigue to last a marathon. Personal finance, physical fitness, blogging, work performance and everything is all mental. If you have the right mindset, you will likely succeed in anything you try. If for a second your mental fortitude breaks down, it’s game over. You’ve got to want it like no other.
4) Consistency is Key. John won because he hit one more ball in than Nicolas. If you workout three times a week for 52 weeks in a row, it’s pretty much a sure thing you’re going to be much more toned than if you maintained an erratic schedule. If you post 2-4 times a week on your site and get to know one new person online a week, there’s no doubt your blog will grow. If you get into the office first, and leave last every single work day, you will move ahead in your career. The list is endless. Stay consistent, and watch everything start going your way!
5) Pace Yourself For Long Term Success. A day after John’s match, he lost in just 72 minutes 0-6, 3-6, 2-6 to unknown Thiemo de Bakker. John’s serve was 20 mph slower than average, and he just didn’t have any energy left understandably. You don’t want to go from playing the longest match to the shortest match. Volatility is generally not good for your career or any venture you take. The biggest risk we can take is taking no risk at all. If we burn out before reaching our potential (See “The Dark Side Of Early Retirement“), it’ll be just one darn shame. Balance out your work and your life, but at the same time stay consistent as well.
Chances are high that we’ll never be world class athletes or CEOs of mega-cap companies. That said, we should always learn from people at the top of their game to boost our own. In “The Mental To Physical Connection For A Healthier Lifestyle“, the article recommends we use sports or general physical activity to balance out work and our creative sides. It’s important to be tethered to a counter force so that we don’t burn out. If we can stay consistent with whatever it is we are hoping to achieve, there’s no doubt progress will be made!
Sam @ Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”