Thursday, June 2, 2016
Improve Your Life by Reducing Unforced Errors
Is it possible your greatest opponent in life – the one who stands in the way of all your hopes and dreams – is yourself? In my personal experience, I'm finding most of my defeats can be traced to one area of my life that needs improvement, the unforced errors. Let's use tennis as an example. 50% of the time, you're in a position of advantage. I'm talking about the serve. I can count thousands of times when I let my opponent have a free point just because I failed to get two serves in a row into a very large area with only one tiny obstacle in front of it. Sure, there's all kinds of excuses – the sun was in my eyes, the wind was excessive, I was thinking about the idiot who cut me off on the way to the courts. It's sad but it's true – too many times in my life I've given away great opportunities to declare victory because I was my own greatest opponent.
Take inventory of all the assets you're carrying around in your tennis bag and remember your most important tool located on top of your shoulders – your mind. How many times are you going to allow your thoughts to dictate the important outcomes in your life? Are broken relationships the result of your own unforced errors?
Here's a reasonable method for reducing the unforced errors causing destruction in your life. Consider charting your errors for the next 24 hours. How many times in a day do you open your mouth when it's not your turn (fault)? Or try to win an argument without understanding what your opponent is trying to say (double fault)? Or fail to acknowledge something or someone good in your life (game, set, match – the love of your life)? Chart these errors. Not sure if an error is forced or unforced? When in doubt, call yourself out. Your goal is to increase awareness of all the times you're making mistakes when there's really no reason to be goofing up. I'm going to dedicate the next thirty days of my life to charting my errors, on and off the courts. I'm looking for patterns of behavior that need changing. Life is all about the percentages and your odds of winning increase when you can handle your greatest opponent in life without having a meltdown. Have a great day.