Monday, December 21, 2009


Success is the surest predictor of impending failure.

Think about this. A tennis player is receiving serve. As the blistering first service point booms into vision they volley the ball back crosscourt like a tracer bullet past the bewildered, sprawling rival—all to the spontaneous, raucous applause of the crowd.

Love – fifteen, and one set up, is the score.

Still replaying the sweetly struck, well-directed shot from the very middle of the racquet—whilst the next service point is now in play—a clanger is made. Fifteen – all. It’s surely a case of mental over-confidence and a failure to adequately reload.

There are oodles of sporting and business success and failure stories punctuating this fact.

We need to learn how to reload; how to succeed consistently—performance in, performance out—through poised equilibrium and an attention to mental acumen foreign to most of those other than champions.

We are loath to stand by, watch and savour our successes meanwhile the impending doom of imminent failure awaits.

Reload by:

  1. Setting up again. From scratch, removing and erasing the proximal memory—it’s nice, but it won’t help you right now. Savour it later.
  2. Make it a passion to learn your own individual style to reloading. Confidence is a key. And it’s not simply about an abundance of confidence. It’s more important to tap into a situationally-balanced form of confidence. A confidence cued to the moment.
  3. Understand yourself. It’s not so bad being beaten in the game of choice by a better opponent, but mental lapses are so avoidable. They really disappoint. Troubleshoot not only your physical game but also your mental game.
  4. Get into the habit of asking, ‘What next?’ What’s the next challenge, the next opportunity, the next thing?

Like a loaded gun we realise our best performances in whatever environment we choose simply by being ready.

© 2009 S. J. Wickham.

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