"Keep your head up. Keep your head strong," - Ben Howard, English songwriter
"Coach, my serve sucks! I'm trying to go incorporate what we did on Friday, but I'm still hitting it to the net! Yeah, sure I'm playing high quality tennis and I'm actually improving on that part, but my serve is still the worst part of my game," I told Coach Springer, Assistant OCC Tennis Coach.
"Yeah Khalid, you gotta keep working on it. Go home and work on what you're trying to implement. Repetition, repetition, repetition. But hey, you gotta always look at the positive still. Those were some good returns you just had. Keep your head up," He advised me during the end of practice.
To say I was frustrated after practice is an understatement. I was pissed off and internally miserable. I let my shortcomings in one aspect of my tennis game dictate my mentality.
Quite honestly, my serve isn't that bad when I get it going, but I still want to have a better serve. Today was just a disaster though. I let that one negative thing consume everything else, which made me end up making errors I usually don't make.
I'm a tennis player (duh), so life for me is like a tennis match. One thing goes wrong, and if you let it get to you, it can throw everything off and make you lose the match, even if everything else was going smoothly.
I remember walking to my car and telling myself "Hey, it's ok. Just chill and relax. Keep working on your serve. The day isn't over yet. There's still other stuff you can do."
And what did I do? I listened to some advice I got today (usually when we're in a state of frustration, we tend not to listen to advise we know is good for us). Although it was tough in the moment, I found myself searching on YouTube "How to stop serving in the net", and I was watching videos on how to improve my serve right after I messed up on it. Then, when I went home, I looked at myself in the mirror and began working on my serve mechanics (it's a tennis thing).
And that got me thinking.
Every day of your life can still be a good and fruitful day. All you've got to do is keep your head high and push through that mental wall you've placed in front of you. Not everything will go our way, as there are more things that happen outside of our control than inside our control. Therefore, it is dire and essential for someone who wants to improve themselves to constantly bring their heads back up, so to speak.
And after I worked on my serve mechanics and did some calisthenics, I felt so much better.
There have been countless instances where 'bad' things happen to me and I let them dictate how the rest of my day goes. I'm pretty sure every else reading this knows what I mean by that. It's not pretty.
Alchemy is the process of self-improvement and cultivation of your good qualities. So, magnify it little by little every day. It's the little things that make the biggest difference, after all.
Therefore, keep it simple. Head up and keep moving forward. The day is still not over, and you still have a chance at making it better.