In this post, we reflect on talent, performance, happiness and professional career, don't miss it!

I was recently lucky enough to see the documentary about former tennis player John McEnroe, “McEnroe – the price of perfection”. I must tell you that I loved it. It seems to me a wonderful story, perfectly explained mixing current and archive images, intertwining a truly impressive story. In addition to having fun, it has allowed me to reflect on talent, performance, happiness, and professional career. After having seen the documentary, I highlight the FOLLOWING REFLECTIONS:

  1. TALENT IS KEY TO GREAT PERFORMANCE: talent is essential. McEnroe shows signs of having a tremendous talent for playing tennis. Talent alone is not enough; it must be accompanied by hard work. But, working hard on something you don’t have a talent for will help you improve, but it won’t allow you to achieve extraordinary results. In this sense, maybe my post 5+1 ways to discover your talent can help you discover your talents.
  2. STAYING AT THE TOP IS MORE DIFFICULT THAN GETTING THERE: if many of the people who have reached very high in their professional activity agree on something, it is that it is much more difficult to stay at the top than get there. They work hard for many years with the dream of reaching the top and many times when they are at it, they don’t know how to manage it. The rules of the game change and they must adapt, although many people do not know how to do it.
  3. KEEPING YOUR HEAD IN PLACE IS ESSENTIAL: it’s not always easy for successful people to keep their heads in place. Live a balanced life and manage success well. McEnroe is a clear example of this. Although some people are indeed more prone to losing their heads than others, living great success makes maintaining balance much more difficult. Having a suitable environment can be of great help.
  4. SUCCESS DOES NOT ALWAYS BRING HAPPINESS: for me, one of the great reflections. If you study in detail the careers of successful people, you realize that many of them have not been happy. Moreover, in many cases, success has brought them much unhappiness. It’s the case of McEnroe. When he was at the peak of his career as the best tennis player in the world he felt like a failure and unhappy. Success, contrary to what many people tend to believe, does not always bring happiness. Recent studies show that it is precisely the opposite, that is, that situations of happiness (being comfortable with your work, with your studies, with your environment, with yourself…) greatly facilitate success. As McEnroe himself often says, “people love success, but they tend to hate successful people”.
  5. HIGH LEVELS OF SELF-DEMAND HELP YOU IMPROVE BUT CAN MAKE YOU HIGHLY UNHAPPY: Very demanding people (like John McEnroe), who always think they can do better, tend to improve. They have a high determination to correct things, to improve their performance. And this determination usually leads to great results if such a high level of self-demand does not end up taking its toll. Some people are not able to bear it, they give up, they self-destruct, or they are not able to be happy with the successes they are achieving. Tennis player Bjorn Borg, who also appears in the documentary, is a good example of this.
  6. WITHOUT BALANCE, NOTHING IS SUSTAINABLE OVER TIME: as Aristotle said, “balance in life is the key”. Most people who live so obsessed with achieving great achievements in fields such as sports, medicine, business, etc. If they are not able to live a balanced life, spend time with their family, take care of themselves, and have leisure, they end up paying the consequences. I have seen people whom I have advised or trained, who have not experienced this balance and have paid for it in the medium and long term. If you want to achieve great results in your professional field, work hard, and sacrifice yourself, but don’t forget to live a balanced life. Otherwise, you will surely pay dearly.

I simply wanted to share with you 6 thoughts on this magnificent documentary on the life and career of John McEnroe. And I end with a quote from McEnroe that sums up his life philosophy “The important thing is to learn a lesson every time you lose.”

Xavi Roca

I am Talentist, I help organizations, managers and professionals to achieve high performance through enhancing their leadership and personal brand. I am passionate about leadership, high performance team management and Personal Branding, and I have dedicated my professional career to helping companies and professionals develop and enhance their talents and strengths to achieve their maximum development and performance.

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