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Episode 137: Actor Wisdom from Billie Jean King

core work Jul 28, 2021

From the book: Wisdom by Andrew Zuckerman

“Tennis taught me so many lessons in life. One of the things it taught me is that every ball that comes to me, I have to make a decision. I have to accept responsibility for the consequences every time I hit a ball. 

It also taught me about delayed gratification. No matter how you look or how much money you have, you still have to learn your craft. You have to hit a lot of balls. You have to train.

There are disciplines of life that you learn from tennis or other sports. Another thing is that you learn to adapt. I have two sayings, champions adjust and pressure is a privilege.

When you’re playing a tennis match you can’t say stop I want to do another take or can I play that over. That’s the way sports are. They’re very real that way. They teach you lessons in life but the most important one is accepting responsibility. You have to make a decision, and live with the consequence, that’s what tennis does with every ball that comes to me. And I just use my experience in tennis in everyday life now and it’s fabulous. It's been a great journey to learn those lessons."

Wanting vs deciding:

Decide that you're going to get something done today,

Catabolic vs Anabolic energy

The energy of responsibility is how you get out of anxiety.

Ask yourself: What am I not taking responsibility for now, which is freaking me out?

You have to train.

"You can’t buy self-esteem you need to earn it and you need to earn it from the toughest person on the planet, yourself."

Champions adjust.

It's not the strongest who will survive, but who can best adapt to change.

Pressure is a privilege.



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