THE BLOG
07/15/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Learning From Rafael Nadal's Wimbledon Win

"No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit." --Helen Keller

So, yesterday's Wimbledon tennis final between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer was arguably the best tennis match the world has ever seen -- it may have been one of the greatest sporting events in history. Whether you are a tennis fan, or have never seen a game or set foot on a court, here are the extraordinary highlights:

Federer, the reigning Wimbledon champ (who has won five times in a row) was beaten by Nadal in the first two sets. Federer took the following two sets at tie breaks. The match was called for rain twice. Nadal finally won 9-7 in the fifth set, falling to the ground in sheer exhaustion and elation as the new Wimbledon Champion. This was the longest men's final at Wimbledon, clocking in at 4 hours and 48 minutes.

Now I'm sure you're thinking "Yes, yes, very exciting, but what does this have to do with change?" It's about attitude. During change we tend to:

* think negatively and imagine the worst
* give up hope and faith
* give up on ourselves or someone else
* live in the past, focusing on what we did wrong
* get mad at ourselves
* feel regret
* call things "unfair"
* doubt and doubt some more

These are all what I affectionately call change demons in my book -- they are those destructive emotions that get in the way of your success in changing your life.

Change often throws us curveballs; things we cannot possibly control (just as these players could not control the rain that fell on their match.) As Nadal struggled through the final set, I told myself "Well, if Nadal wins, I promise to have just a bit more hope in some things I am struggling with in my life." Remember, just like this Wimbledon final shows us, something can change at any moment ... don't be so convinced that you know how something in your life is going to work out!! Anything, anything can happen. There are great lessons to be learned from Federer as well. Staying graceful and calm under immense pressure and showing true valiant effort in a rally from 2 full sets down is highly commendable. Here is a man who knows who he is, and can reconnect to that change muscle at anytime....especially when it matters most. And in honor of Nadal, here is to remaining radically optimistic, staying in the present moment and not getting caught up in the emotions or stress that come with pursuing our dreams, and never ever ever giving up hope.