confidence of a lab rat in training

I’m ill this week and cannot play tennis so let me ramble a bit. I am beginning to understand the difference between confidence and my general state of mind. Remember here that I have decided that I need to be a winner in order to win so whenever I get frustrated or discouraged, I remind myself that I am the winner; that I can rise to any challenge thrown my way whether it’s beating the junkball hitting, slice and dice artist across the tennis net from me or saying no to the very demanding guilt-tripping friend who wants to borrow money.

I play tennis because I love to hit things and I like nothing better than running around the court for three or four hours doing just that but I don’t need to spend hours practicing and, probably, more hours blogging to do that, I only need a racket, a few balls and a willing opponent. I do all these things because I’m fascinated by the competitive process and I use tennis to work out self image issues – I’m a lab rat on the tennis court.

I have a problem. If I want to make a film, I get obssessed by the techniques of editing and shooting, I find filmmaker’s groups to join, I subscribe to magazines, I go to large film expos but I don’t complete films. If I want to learn how to win at tennis, I practice my strokes endlessly, take lessons, study books, write a blog about everything I do but I don’t win that many tennis games.

My friend B. describes it this way: there is a goal and a path to get there. Your job is to get to the goal and deal with anything that gets in your way. Your job is not to get sidetracked or distracted by anything you encounter along the way. To that end, if I want to win tennis matches, my obsession should be winning, not the latest blogging software or blogging search engines or sports blog websites.

So back to the focus here: if I remind myself that I am the winner when I encounter frustration, my state of mind changes from frustration (ever notice how blaming often seems to accompany frustration?) to engagement with the situation at hand. A necessary first step to completing a goal.

You know how an opera singer can sing a note that will break a crystal glass? Do you think a turntable could play a note that would shatter the turntable? Should I be writing a blog that says that you should spend all your time focusing on your goal instead of writing a blog?