It's only a point

The legendary tennis player Roger Federer recently delivered the commencement address at Dartmouth, an Ivy League school, in Hanover. During the speech, he shared a few lessons that he had relied upon with the Class of 2024. He titled the second lesson, ‘It’s only a point.’ Here is what he said: ‘When you lose every second point, on average, you learn not to dwell on every shot. You teach yourself to think, ‘It’s okay if I double-faulted. It’s only a point….’ When you are playing a point, it is the most important thing in the world. But when it’s behind you, it’s behind you. This mindset is not just crucial; it’s a game-changer because it frees you to fully commit to the next point… with intensity, clarity and focus.’

Just like tennis, in life, you must give your best shot at whatever you are trying to achieve. At Wimbledon, Federer’s single-handed backhand, which he used to perfection for dispatching the ball down the line, was one of the most potent tools he used to score a point. Sometimes, he would rush to the net to make short work of the challenge on the court. What it teaches us is that it is imperative to create effective strategies and tools that enable us to achieve our goals, be it achieving a sales target or meeting a tight production deadline. But don’t get disheartened if they fail. Failure does not define who you are. It teaches you important lessons that you need to succeed in life. It is no surprise that with such a positive mindset, Federer won a record eight men’s singles Wimbledon titles.


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