Tennis practice

The brilliant Michelle Florendo recently pointed out that the opportunities presented to us through work and life are a bit like tennis practice.

On one side of the net sits a ball machine, firing ball after ball to the other side of the net. These balls represent opportunities.

Some we capitalise on perfectly having enough time and composure to hit a satisfying forehand back across the net. Others might come a little too fast or a little too slow, causing us to mishit, shank off the frame or swing and miss entirely.

Then there are the balls that hit us square in the face when we’re not ready. The ones that cause our eyes to water and an emotional outburst to occur where we throw the racket, look up to the sky and scream “I don’t even like tennis, especially when used as a metaphor!”.

The thing about a ball machine, though, is that there’s always another ball coming. The machine doesn’t care whether you hit the ball or the ball hit you. It certainly doesn’t care how you feel about it.

In life too, there is a constant stream of opportunities. We can view this stream as overwhelming and frustrating or we can view it as an opportunity to practice, improve and get better… Especially when we get hit in the face.