I have always been fascinated by studying what drives success in individuals. In 35 years of career this question has remained unanswered but I found lots of clues along the way.
Most of them I found by observing celebrities that achieved massive success, reading their interviews, their books. I am not especially attracted to celebrities but they are far easier to study than a chairman of an obscure high tech company.
I watched Djokovic versus Federer the other day in Wimbledon men’s final. I always had sympathy towards Nole (sorry to call you by your nick name). Very likely because of how he became a tennis player in the middle of an awful war in Serbia. But this is another story. I also like Roger Federer very much. Probably the very best tennis player in the past decade.
I was watching the game on TV. It’s not the same as being there, especially as far as the atmosphere and the ambience are concerned. However, I could clearly hear the massive support Roger was receiving from the public as much as the “non support” towards Novak.
I was in pain. How can he go through all this and still be focused on the game? How stressful is it to play against the best player in the world with everyone wanting you to be defeated?
Sometimes I could sense Novak was near to a nervous collapse. Especially when he was asking to check whether the ball was really off the field. That’s something the public doesn’t like. Roger didn’t question any. In those moments I was internally supporting him: “Novak let it go! Novak keep the focus! Novak don’t let them have you!”.
No matter what, Novak resisted any attempt from the public to provoke him. He kept his focus and no stress built up on him. How do I know this? Watch the last winning point. He wins and calmly goes towards Roger to shake hands. No liberating reaction. No screaming pointing to the sky. None of this. There was no stress to be liberated. He had won. Period.
Afterwards, in an interview, a journalist asked that very question: “How did you manage to bear the public?”. His answer is as naïve as you can imagine: “I was pretending the public was shouting my name, not Roger. I heard No-Vak, No-Vak, No-Vak. The public was supporting me to achieve this goal”. I can sense that this is what made him the champion he is. When he was learning tennis in Serbia, there was no public. There was a war. And probably he was imagining himself somewhere else. He had set a vision for himself and he was able to pursue his vision no matter what. The war was indeed a good stressor. But not enough of a good excuse in front of his vision of becoming a great tennis man.
Thank you, Novak. May you be blessed for teaching me that when you have a WHY to live for, you can bear almost any HOW.
I will try to keep this alive in me when pursuing my entrepreneurial dream. I created OOOM, the first Instant Super Nutriment designed for people who want to Thrive in life. For people like you Novak. Thank you.