Blog | June 30, 2024

Bridging The Gap Between Ordinary And Extraordinary


By Perry Rearick, Chief Editor, Follow Your Buyer

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It’s Wimbledon season, a time when even those of us who aren’t tennis fans will take a peek at how the world’s best racket wielders are doing at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

If you’re all-in on the Wimbledon experience and reside in the US, you can tune-in live on Saturday morning and have a bowl of strawberries and cream for breakfast while watching the fun. Does anyone know if there is a croquet equivalent to the Wimbledon tournament?

My old friend Steve Warnstadt recently shared something with me that was extraordinary.

A little background first. Steve and I served together in the Army over three decades ago. He is one of those guys who can offer philosophical-level logic under the most chaotic circumstances, like combat. His observations often had a calming effect when things were anything but.

Steve shared something on LinkedIn about advice that Roger Federer (ah, there’s the Wimbledon tie-in) gave the graduating class at Dartmouth. If anyone else had commented about a tennis champion speaking at a college commencement, I wouldn’t have given it a second, but this came from Steve.

Federer won twenty Grand Slams and eight Wimbledon men’s singles titles during his career. He achieved the remarkable feat of winning nearly 80% of his career matches.

However, my friend Steve pointed out that he only won 54% of his points. In Federer’s case, the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is slightly better than a coin toss. Steve concluded that “some combination of fortune and persistence” made all the difference for Federer and it does the same for us. 

Federer savored the wins only long enough to return his attention to the next task. And as Steve and Mr. Federer point out, the same goes for the failures: learn from them and move on. Even one of the greatest players in tennis lost 46% of his points.     

As you encounter setbacks, learn and lean forward into the next task. When you have wins, celebrate, but don’t linger too long.

I hope you have a great week!