A most happy loss

Yesterday I gave another Future Self Now workshop at Hawkwood College in Stroud. It was a great day – the participants were wonderful and really threw themselves into it. I got home and Guy had made toad-in-the-hole with roast potatoes, veggies and gravy. We then all watched ‘Big’ together on our big screen. That’s what I call a great day!

Bit knackered this morning after the push of getting ready for the workshop so it felt good to see other people experiencing a push – in a spectacular way. It was the fantastic Australian Open tennis match – Djokovic vs. Nadal. It went on for nearly 6 hours!  Those two played their guts out. Its been a long time since I’ve seen anything like it. It felt like we were specatators at a Roman gladitorial fight.

Here’s a clip of the moment when Djokovic won. Two days ago he fought an intense battle with Andy Murray which took another mammoth 5 hours. How he lasted today, I have no idea. You can see his guttural, primaeval response to his victory here – a reflection of what it took him to get to this place:

(apologies that the commentary is in another language, but you get the gist!)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTQROq2Ndic?rel=0&w=420&h=315]

This is the kind of happiness that comes from a hard battle fought and won – the experience of pushing oneself to the limit and coming out on top. Nadal played the same game, fought as hard and strong but won’t have been happy in the least. Not at all. This is the 7th time he’s lost a final against Djokovic. This is not a place, it seems, where “it’s all about the journey” – in this moment it’s all about the winning.

When happiness is this black and white – winning and losing – I wonder how you cope? For the answer I only need look as far as the transcipt of Nadal’s interview post todays’ match.

“I played more aggresive. I played with more winners than ever. My serve worked well. The mentality and the passion was there – better probably than any other time.

So that’s very positive aspects on the whole game that I am very happy. No? So, I just lost the final of a Grand Slam. I am not happy to lose the final, yes, but that’s one fo the loses that I am more happy about in my career.”

I love Nadal!

Here’s an extract from a lovely poem by one of Nadal’s compatriot’s – Antonio Machado. The Spanish, it seems, have this losing / happiness thing really sussed out.

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.

1 Comment
  1. I love Nadal too. What a great way to see things. And great poem too. Nice that losses can be productive xxx

    ps glad the FSN workshop went well

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