Serena Williams got knocked around in her loss to Angelique Kerber in the final of the Australian Open today. A true champion who failed in her attempt to win her 22nd Major, Williams said post-match of Kerber, “She played so well today. She had an attitude that I think a lot of people can learn from, just to always stay positive and never give up.”
Could you be so gracious in defeat? Could you jump up off the mat and prepare to duke it out again with your next opponent?
What it Takes to be a Winner
There’s a lot of advice out there about setting goals, working harder than your competition, being determined, being bold, and so forth. All good and necessary.
But maybe we mistake other people’s goals for our own. Angelique Kerber had the goal of winning at least one major in her career. Doubtful she’ll set her next goal to matching her countryman Steffi Graf’s 22nd slam wins.
Did you ever think that maybe your goals don’t have to be so big and lofty? I have good friends that objectively are more successful than I am. They have more business and I know they make more money.
But I don’t want to be hopping on planes all the time and hustling for business 24/7. As I was building my career, I certainly set my sights high and did hop on planes and go after business. But goals aren’t fixed in place. They’re moving targets.
Know Thy Self
What do you really want out of your career and for your life? That’s the hard question. We constantly compare ourselves to others. Maybe your short-term goal is just to make it to the next day, the next challenge, the next step in getting to where you’d like to be. So what if you step out of the grind for a while?
Look at Serena. The Australian Open was her first match since her loss in the U.S. Open last September. She decided she needed to recharge for battle. She came up short in the Australian Open, but she’ll be back to fight another day.
It’s OK to lose once in a while. Getting to the finish line is more of a slog than a foot race. Celebrate your small victories along the way.
Your time will come. Maybe you’ll find it in yourself to deliver a knock-out punch for your business just like Angelique Kerber surprisingly defeated the person that some say is the greatest women’s tennis player in history.