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The 2015 edition of the U.S. Open was superbly gripping, whether it was Serena Williams shock loss, the Mirza-Hingis victory, the Paes-Hingis win or Djokovic reigning supreme with his 10th grand slam title. But what stole all the attention this year, was the Ball-Boy who caught the 120 MPH red-hot serve by the world no.1, non- chalantly with one hand. The official tweet by the US Open: No matter the result of tonight's match we can all agree this ball boy is a #winner. #usopen — US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 7, 2015
Ball-boys undergo military style training at mental and physical levels. They are trained to respond with precision and to reduce the amount of inactive time during a game which means Sharp focus, Constant Alertness and Extremely Swift Action. Eyes are only and only on the ball - no matter what else happens on the court and no matter who is playing. This ensures that when legends like Williams, Nadal, McEnroe and others are playing, they know the ball is in the safe hands.
What is the Big Deal, in being Pro-Active?
- Because in the game of life some shots just cannot be missed, as the same opportunity never comes twice.
- Once an opportunity is identified, you cannot take advantage of it if you are unavailable - mentally or physically
- If you have an advantage, you cannot convert it in your favour if you are not open to new possibilities.
- Because you can save a lot of energy spent on futile activities, and instead direct them to productive tasks
- Because you need not interfere with other productive tasks/ people that may otherwise benefit you
How to Be Pro-Active?
One cannot gain or achieve the trait the Pro-activeness. It becomes your natural state when you Pay attention and Avoid Distraction, which are complimentary traits.
Pay 'ONE HUNDRED PERCENT' Attention.
Build focus and concentration in the moment when doing real work, do not allow the mind to wander to the next meeting, next call, next meal, next holiday etc. In the age of distraction and shiny toys (cellphones, social media, etc) paying attention is a luxury and rare.
If you need time for planning for other things, then create time for actually planning then, but do give these mind-wandering thoughts the No-Entry Signboard when spending Crucial Time doing Real Work. Fully understanding that a poor job done will have to be re-done, pay 100% attention to get it done right, the first time, every time.
The more you train the mind to re-focus each time it wanders, the easier it is to pay attention. When one understands and gauges the value of the situation and task, give it the significance it deserves by ceasing the noise within.
Just as a single drop of lime can sour all milk, even the smallest of distraction has potential to derail thoughts, translating into misaligned actions and resulting in unproductive or delayed projects over sustained periods. Each time you are distracted, it takes 30 minutes to get back to full focus, so for the sake of saving yourself precious time, avoid distractions.
Aim to be the most Pro-active Ball Boy at the major tournaments in your game of tennis.