"That was just practice"

Zig Ziglar said  “Be hard on yourself and life will be easy; but be easy on yourself and life will be hard” If you’re disciplined, you’ll reap rewards regardless if you ever succeed with what you were trying to do.

Remember that diet you actually finished? Or when you spent the week focused and productive at work because of a deadline? Maybe you didn’t see the results you were hoping for. Maybe you didn’t make your deadline, maybe you didn’t lose that last ten pounds. But don’t despair! The sheer mental work it took to control and train yourself to do the right thing will stick with you long after the project failed. You recognized what you were capable of, and your mind “muscles” got stronger.

That mindset turns those seemingly failed attempts into a success of sorts. It became no longer all about the results, but about practicing and building the character qualities you need to be successful.

Think of it like a little kid playing table tennis. He swats the ball and it hits the net and rolls backwards. He looks up cheerfully, and says "Okay, now we're playing for real." That just now? Yeah, that was just practice.

Serena Williams and the Olympics

I was watching Serena Williams play her final round of tennis as she was fighting for the gold medal. It was inspiring to watch the determination, and focus during the match. You could see on her face the energy and passion that it took to get her to that moment. We can only imagine what she has sacrificed, struggled and done to be on that court in those final moments of the match. We see the exciting part. The acclaim and honor showered on her. We see everything she gained from getting there, but i wonder what she lost. How many fun times, relationships, activities, family time, how many of those things did she choose to give up for her dream? She had just as many hours in a day as we do. She had the same pressures of family, finance, education, friends, entertainment. She just chose to allocate her time to something that was important to her. Was it worth it? Did she win or lose by getting to this place? We will never know. But we do know, that her dream was realized, and for the effort and sacrifice she put into it, she deserves to be recognized. We must applaud the complete devotion and commitment that she chose to give. She was focused, disciplined, tenacious, passionate, and diligent. That’s what turned a tennis match into a lesson for us about character qualities, and the cost of cultivating them.