Monday, January 5, 2015

Day 5 - Hard Work and Tennis

I definitely need to get that image generator up as soon as I can.
Lately I've been down with a cold, and only recently have I gotten a bit better. So today, I decided to venture off on a short hike. Just to give some context, about a week ago I decided to see how far I could hike and challenged myself to a 50km hike. It was intense, took more than 12 hours, and it made me walk with a limp for about a week afterwards but it was worth it. Mostly because of the following quote:
"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."
- T.S. Eliot
This is the most inspiring quote I have found to date, and I really hope it'll lead me to do more this year. It's not even about the hike, it was more about the kind of person you become while going through such a tough (at least for me, it was very tough) challenge. In any case, while I was hiking today, I was thinking about all the people who say hard work is not enough. And I think I want to reframe that perspective with an analogy that I came up with.

If you are trying to learn how to play tennis, and you find that you keep hitting the ball out of the court, the way to improve is not in trying to hit harder. What you need to do is to try harder to hit more accurately. And the only way to do that is by adjusting your angle of contact, your stance, the position of your arm, your stroke, etc. These are all variables that require adjustment and experimentation.

The point I'm getting at, is that trying harder at doing something that hasn't really been working out for you isn't going to work. What is really important is to try harder in being able to look at a problem from different perspectives. And that requires stepping out of your comfort zone.

In the tennis analogy, maybe you've had the same stance with your feet since forever and you've been able to hit the ball. And you fear that if you changed your stance, you might not even make contact with the ball, let alone hit it out of the court. However, we must be willing to take these risks if we want to find out how to truly improve in a meaningful way.

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