The past few months I’ve really amped up my commitment to my tennis game. I play 4 or 5 times a week, take lessons and participate in cardio drills.
The results have been GREAT. I’ve lost 5 pounds and buffed up quite a bit. And I’ve had a surprising number of wins when I was really behind. I’m talking down by two sets, against a 26 year old or in a deep hole with scores like 5,0 and 5,1 and I’ve come back.
I’ve been thinking about this phenomenon, how it happens and how it applies to life and business too.
For me it’s about a few big emotions: frustration, annoyance, disappointment and how to manage them.
I know feeling frustrated is a big fat waste of energy. It keeps you in a spin, not moving anywhere. While I work on eliminating this emotion from my life, I’d be lying if I said I never feel it. I do, and many times it’s on the court, especially when I keep on losing the same points in the same way.
Lesson here. Do things differently. If you do things the way you’ve been doing them, you will likely get the same results.
Annoyance is another evil emotion. In my view it’s a weakness and it translates into letting the other person get to me over and over again. I often feel defeated even before the game is over. I get very annoyed when my opponent in tennis does something pesty, like continuous short drop shots, and return shots with an extreme spin that makes the ball go in totally weird places after it bounces.
Lesson here. Instead of using your energy to beat up yourself more, re-frame the emotion from annoyance to excitement, replace those annoying things your opponent is doing with actions to stop them and deliberate moves that activate excitement.
Some contend that disappointment is a legitimate feeling especially when expectations are set. I’m often torn with this concept, because I try very hard to practice an “in the moment” way of living. But I’m also very goal-focused and I believe one must have standards set to bench-mark stuff and know when to activate the delete button; when things just don’t meet your needs.
Lesson here. I acknowledge the state of disappointment like I do failure. Both are temporary events. Feel them in proportion to the big scheme of things, not for one second more.
Such as: minor disappointments like losing a non professional tennis match, or when some random person not even in your close world is being rude or mean or like when you buy a piece of fruit and it ends up bad and tart when you were craving a sweet plum. For me, I ask myself, does it really matter? Then I shake it off right away or in a few minutes.
Or a bigger disappointment like when a professional setback occurs that impacts many things, or a person I value who is not acting the way I want them to or when I make a bad investment that shows up as a big number on my balance sheet. For me- I try to find some good in the bad event, then I shake it off in a few hours or at the most a few days.
Hanging on to disappointments is no better than torching all your clothes, your car and yourself. Not only will it prevent future joy, it produces other negative effects like toxic pollution which touches others too.
The real key to this story is not the emotion, but the turning point. This is the point when the discomfort from frustration, annoyance and disappointment become unbearable. It’s the point that one must choose to change things because they’ve had enough. And when they are done right, theses changes result in a magical force called momentum.
Momentum is how I came back to win those games. Momentum can change your game too, in sports, business and in life. Whether you are vacillating in a bad relationship, in a stagnate career or struggling to hit a home run with start-up.
Momentum has the power of a big wind storm. Momentum can set you free and produce many amazing rewards.
Finding your momentum is about choice.
You’ve got to want it.
And then you’ve got to create it.
Here’s how it happens – How to create your momentum.
Tony Robbins first taught me these ways to make momentum when I attended his “Unleash the Power within Workshop” a few years ago. Since then I practice it often and added some steps to make the process work for me. And it has. When I make momentum big stuff happens, stuff that seemed impossible manifests.
1) Get in a peak state. It creates momentum.
This means get your head, your heart and the physiology body in extreme focused, high-performance state. It helps me to remember another event when I was in a peak state. Like for me in tennis, I imagine a past comeback victory. I visualize that place and how it made me feel higher than high, an adrenaline rush, total bliss!! I go there again. Or in business, I remember a big new business score, a standing ovation or a time a client raved about my work.
2) Find your passion. It creates momentum.
This means reminding yourself of your values. What do you love? I love to compete!! What do you really want? For me, in tennis, it’s adding another win to my scorecard.
3) Decide, commit and resolve. It creates momentum.
This means no waffling, no tentativeness and no doubts. When I’m on the court I recite positive mantras too, OK some are sprinkled with a little snarkiness too.
Go after everything.
Nadal, Federer, Post
Ms. Opponent, you think you like steak, try chewing on this tennis ball.
Finish the shot.
Yes, I can!!!
4) Take urgent, immediate, consistent and massive action. It creates momentum.
It means as Nike says: Just do it!! And I say: Do it now!!
A sense of urgency has to kick in. A “take no prisoners” mindset has to be center stage.
5) Be flexible and honest with yourself.
Ask yourself: Are the changes working? Do I need to modify some more? Maybe take on a new action?
Feel the emotion of your achievement, the big and small ones count. Remind yourself who led the movement, YOU! And remind yourself of the formula that was needed, so you can do it again.
In closing, the super cool thing about momentum is it’s a very present, powerful force, like a huge gust of wind. Your competitors will fear it, your team and peers will embrace it and it can serve as fuel in your tank for the next battle, on the courts, in the boardroom or in a life environment.
Go make some momentum!!