Tennis is one of my favourite sports simply for the individual brilliance, fearlessness, and electric atmosphere that is on display.
Plus, as a tennis player, you have to take the entire onus upon yourself whether you win or lose, which I kind of like.
I was once a huge fan of John McEnroe, then shifted camp to Pete Sampras, and then Roger Federer. These have been among the most fearless players in the history of the game (at least since I’ve been watching it).
My favourite now is ‘Djoker’ – Novak Djokovic.
I simply love watching Djokovic take his strides while serving or returning serves, which he does so gracefully and so well.
Every time he plays (winning or losing is a different matter), he displays a super-human level of strength, athleticism and endurance.
My liking for Djokovic started in 2008, and the thing I liked best about him was his momentary “wait” before returning a serve.
Ever since, I’ve always seen him with a typical, indifferent expression highlighted by focused, peaceful face and bright, unfazed eyes…
…seemingly trying to clear the mind of any thoughts that might take his eyes off the ball that usually comes towards him at a speed of 120+ miles per hour.
That wait, that pause before the split second decision is what has made me believe that Djokovic is one of the greatest tennis players I’ve had the privilege of watching…ever since I was able to differentiate tennis from badminton!
Anyways, while I’ve really loved Djokovic’s “waiting” game, my mind never went on to a simple yet profound lesson this “wait” had for investors.
It was an article I read in Financial Times a couple of weeks back that brought me to this lesson – what we as investors can learn from Djokovic’s “waiting” game, and how this can help us move a great notch above those who don’t appreciate the art of waiting, and are instead busy running a race against time.
Here is what the author of this article has to say about Djokovic…
His advantage over other professionals isn’t his agility or stamina or even his sense of humour. Instead, as scientists who study superfast athletes have found, the key to Djokovic’s success is his ability to wait just a few milliseconds longer than his opponents before hitting the ball. That tiny delay is why most players don’t have a chance against him. Djokovic wins because he can procrastinate – at the speed of light.
Procrastinating, delaying, or pausing before an investment decision usually results in a wise decision (I have experienced it personally), as this gives you a chance to reflect upon what your gut is telling you.
And your gut, in most cases, will give you a better indication than your brain on whether the decision will turn out great or dud.
Anyways, here is an amazing lesson you will get in this article, but I’m pasting it below because I think this contains the essence of what you will read over the next five minutes…
Life might be a race against time but it is enriched when we rise above our instincts and stop the clock to process and understand what we are doing and why. A wise decision requires reflection, and reflection requires a pause.
If we are limited to just one word of wisdom about decision-making for children born a hundred years from now, people who will have all our advantages and limitations as human beings but will need to navigate an unimaginably faster-paced world than the one we confront now, there is no doubt what that word should be.
Anyways, click on Djokovic’s image below to download the article. If you can’t see the image below, click here.
Here’s the link to the original article from FT.
Now let me know – Do you play a “waiting game” when it comes to your life and investing? If yes, what have been the lessons? If no, why not?