Life is like the game of squash. You aren’t even as good as the last point you scored. Because there’s no guarantee that the next point will be yours. You may find it too good for you or you just might win it too, but then again you might lose the next point and the next and the game eventually.
Life is also your opponent in that game. An indefatigable, strong, skilful and energetic opponent who plays a better game than you. Which means that if you slacken even a tiny bit in your game you’re done for. So you have to be twice as quick, sharp, cunning and strong to win a point. Most importantly you will need to have mental toughness to recover quickly from the loss of a point or even a game or a match.
There are days when you will lose continually. Your opponent would seem to have outclassed you, both physically and mentally. Your body could be suffering from pain or a fever. These are the days when you are tested both in body and in spirit. During these times, don’t be hard on yourself, don’t believe you have to win everything, everyday. Such occasions are meant to teach you about an important aspect of life; there’s nothing called defeat or failure, these have to be treated as setbacks that need mental resilience to help overcome. They are important for they test your essence and your will to survive.
You have to keep on ticking, even on such days. Reset your objectives. Don’t be impractical and aim too high. You’re simply setting yourself up for a debilitating failure if you’re trying to attain implausible goals. Instead on such days focus on the small victories. One point. Two points. A hard-fought rally. Aim to win one game out of the set of 5. Push it to two. Reduce the margin of defeat. You may lose the game, yet your mental state is that of being victorious, then look at your opponent and you’ll realize that even though he’s won, he’s not looking happy. Because he knows that he couldn’t upset you.
That’s the next point. Never get upset during the game and life. Keep your cool. Don’t smash your racket. It’s only a dumb tool and isn’t responsible for your loss. Just like how in life, nobody or nothing but you are responsible for your own failures. Learn to smile at your loss. You will see the gaps in your approach more clearly and can then work on overcoming them. It’ll infuriate your opposition because they’ll know that you’re still in the game and you have something special coming.
Your body like you will bounce back. Slowly at times, fast other times. Because the human body and mind is honed to survive and win, let it take over and believe in it. You’ll rebound and win.
Now the point of caution. When you know you’re on the upswing of life, don’t get cocky and overconfident because you won a point. Your cockiness may cost you the game. So stay calm and keep collecting points, games, sets and matches. Return to do this again and again. Remember every point has to be won like as though it is the first and the last.
You aren’t fated or destined to win or lose anything. If you think so, the end result will definitely be loss. The outcome of life, be it a day or a year or a lifetime, is entirely decided only on how you play each point. Wait, each shot, and make that each day, each moment. Win each shot, win that moment. Keep your focus tight and unwavering and you’ll keep winning in the game and in life. You will win, believe in that and work on it. Keep on working at it.
Because life, like squash is an open court with a tough opponent waiting inside. And you are only as good as the shot you will play.
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