Successful people often advise reading biographies and watching documentaries to learn and garner perspective. And a recent documentary about the 1980’s rivalry between two tennis players, Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe, did not disappoint.
The long hair, short shorts, and horrible fashion were entertainment enough. But there were great lessons too.
Mr. Borg was one of the greatest tennis players of all time, having won Wimbledon five times in a row. He, however, became far too attached to his image, far too rigid, and far too caught up in his ego, and he ended up losing everything.
Lessons From Mr. Borg
Rigidity: Borg practiced the same way forever, refusing to change with the times. He used the same training, same rackets, same venue, etc., convinced that his way was the only way. The younger tennis players coming up, however, took advantage of better rackets and training that pushed them far past Borg’s level of tennis.
Attachment: Borg was so attached to his image of the “cool superstar” that when he finally lost to McEnroe he virtually disappeared and collapsed, throwing away enormous endorsements and the final years of what could have been one of the best tennis careers in history.
Ego: Because Borg was good at tennis, he thought he was good at everything. After tennis, he made the mistake of plunging into the fashion industry and went completely broke, wiping out the earnings of an amazing career.
We highly recommend the documentary.
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