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10 Life Lessons To Learn From Andre Agassi’s Book “Open”

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As Andre Agassi walks onto the stage, I see a man that looks as though he has fought many battles. His spirit is unwavering. As he begins to talk, he comes across as one of the few sages of sport. He’s learned the lessons of success and failure the hard way.

Andre’s intelligence doesn’t appear to be of an intellectual kind but more of an emotional kind. Having read his book, it’s clear that Andre has had his fair share of adversity. What I loved though was that Andre said, “Adversity builds character.”

This sentence became clear because as Andre spoke, his exceptional character shone through brightly. The scoreboard of Andre’s life seems to have gone in his favor the more he has chosen to live the right way. When he was making poor choices, the scoreboard in tennis went against him.

The deeper the conversation became with Andre on stage, the more apparent it became that he believed that success was about how you went about life. The part of Andre’s interview that most resonated with the audience was when he said that, “we all live different experiences but our lives are the same.”

Andre’s life could easily be perceived as the ultimate experience. As it turns out, he suffered the same challenges as normal people do. In fact, it could be argued that his problems were even worse than the average person’s.

The final mantra that Andre described, which hit me in the face like a cold shower, was that “Instead of surviving, we should learn to thrive.” Why settle for mediocre? Everything we go through in life is our choice, and we can achieve whatever we want as long as we make fabulous choices.

Seeing Andre live seemed like a strange coincidence because I had only just finished reading his book “Open” a few weeks prior. Everything happens for a reason I guess.

Here are the 10 lessons I learned from Andre’s book that will forever change you:

1. You are playing yourself not your opponent

Life is not about winning against other people; it’s about winning against yourself. How do you do that? By trying to be just 1% better than you were the day before. The small steps are where the seemingly big steps of growth come from.

Your mind plays a big part in your life, and it can often be your invisible opponent until you see its importance. Use your minds weaknesses to leverage your strengths.

2. What you feel is not important, it’s what you do

We all feel a vast variety of emotions each day. The people that act on the negative one’s too often become the criminals and the people that can control the negative one’s become the champions like Andre. Feeling and thinking mean nothing.

It’s what you do with your thoughts and feelings that determine your success. The best way to live life at the highest level is to take more action in the direction you want to go. If your dream is to be phenomenal at sport, then take action towards achieving this goal.

While everyone else is out drinking, you need to be working towards your goal. When feelings arise, and they will, use them to your advantage and manipulate them towards your advantage. The worlds counting on you to do something courageous, extraordinary, and brave. That’s how champions like Andre are born.

3. We can learn to love the things we hate

Throughout Andre’s book, he describes many times his hate for the sport of tennis. It’s clear by the end that he is able to deal with his hatred of tennis because he has learned to love it for the meaning it gives him, the income he earns which helps him do more good, and the sport’s ability for him to help others with their own struggles and injustices.

While I don’t think doing something you hate is to be advised, I do see through Andre’s eyes that any struggle can help construct your mindset. Without adversity, you won’t have the building blocks for success. You need a varied experience, with plenty of challenges, to have any chance of achieving the extraordinary.

Sitting at home thinking about what you want to do and talking about it will never make your dream come true. Go out there and pursue it despite what others tell you!

4. Bad feelings last longer than good one’s

In the book, Andre describes what it’s like to win and lose a major tennis game. While I would have thought that winning is something that he would focus on, Andre describes winning as very anti-climatic.

He explains that losing is the hardest part because it lasts ten times longer than the winning feeling. We’ve all experienced this in our lives where we reach a significant milestone and then think to ourselves, “Is this all there is?”

We expect the good feeling of winning and achieving to last a long time, but it never does. This fact always seems to surprise us every time like we didn’t already know it to be true. Remember that everything we do in life is typically to chase some positive feeling.

5. Perfectionism will kill you

One of Andre’s career challenges was that he was trying to hit a winning ball every time. Towards the end of his career, he learned that not winning every ball, and remaining steady and consistent was far more crucial to him winning.

In life, being perfect at everything you do is the same. Rather than win at every task you do, try to remain consistent and concentrate on getting just that little bit better with a solid routine of habits.

“Trying to be perfect is stacking the odds against yourself”

6. Winning is short-term

The odd lesson we get from Andre’s book is just how little becoming number one in the world at something changes your reality. When Andre describes becoming number one, he says that he feels nothing. Even when he wins some important games, he describes the feeling as only lasting a short time.

You can’t rely on winning to be your day-to-day motivation. You have to be able to live a fantastic day every day even if you haven’t won or achieved anything significant. If you become addicted to feeling that winning feeling, then you are certain to fail and fall off a cliff at some point.

“No matter how much you win, if you’re not the last one to win, you’re a loser” – Andre Agassi

7. Fighting our pain and relieving other people’s pain is why we’re here

Andre’s trainer Gil in the book becomes very sick, and he learns a life-changing lesson. The lesson he learns is that fighting our pain and relieving other people’s pain is why we’re here. We’re put on this planet to help people with their struggles rather than just focusing on our own.

When we help people through their struggles, it helps us with our own. Fighting through the pain is the only thing we can do. If we surrender to it, then our progress goes backwards, and we run the risk of terminating our existence.

Once you discover how to end people’s pain you, unlock the infinite wisdom that Andre himself has tapped into. It’s not about you; it’s about others.

8. Fear is your fire

Fear never goes way, and it’s part of our genetic makeup. Without fear, we would lose the fire to succeed at our dream. When we become fearless, we become unmotivated and on the brink of failure. Let fear motivate you rather than stop you from getting where you want to go.

9. We see ourselves in other’s comebacks

There’s nothing interesting about constant success. We all get excited when we see someone struggle and then get to experience their comeback. We’ve all fallen from grace at some stage in our life, and the journey back to the top is where all the growth and positive feelings lie.

We can all identify with struggle and it’s what glues us all together as one. We can all see a part of ourself in Andre’s comeback and struggles.

10. Don’t think, feel

As usual, the book finishes with some wise words from a woman (Andre’s wife, Stefanie). She explains that when we think too much, we block ourselves from achieving our goal. We have to learn to use our intuition and feel our way through challenges.

Over-thinking is the symptom for most of the time’s I’ve failed at something, and I’m sure you can relate. There’s a time for thinking, and there is a time for feeling.

“In the heat of the match of your life, you have to trust your thoughts and feel your way towards the outcome you so badly desire”

What did you take away from Andre’s teachings? Let me know on my website timdenning.net or my Facebook.

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship.You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Shrawan

    Feb 12, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    Liked it!!!

  2. Jerry V

    Feb 12, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    A very good post…!!! Incredible!!!

  3. johnmijo

    Oct 23, 2016 at 7:03 am

    good post

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Life

3 Simple Tips to Strengthen Your Emotional Intelligence for Better Relationships

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Relationships are challenging. They make you examine yourself from all angles, and that can be triggering. For example, have you ever had a friend or significant other say something that sparked an argument instantly—only to find out you misheard what they said in the first place? (more…)

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If You Want to Avoid Failure Once and for All, Ask Yourself These 4 Questions

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how to avoid failure
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You just invested in yourself and in your business. You are taking massive action but the results are just not clicking yet. While everyone is making 10X, 20X, and even 100X ROI on their initial investment, you have made $0 return. Failure is starting to overcast your bright shining positive attitude and you are feeling the pain and shame of it. (more…)

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3 Simple Hacks That Can Recharge Your Willpower and Help You Perform Better at Work

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willpower
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How many times did you wake up feeling like you could conquer the world? You set ambitious goals for the day, you put on your best attire and walked out the door with a big smile on your face but eventually, life took over. Traffic, emails, work, family, and everything else you have around slowly but steadily started to drain your energy and made you feel exhausted.

You run out of battery, and the only solution that seemed viable was to rely on more caffeine. When that stopped working, all the temptations around you started to look much more appealing, and that sense of drive and commitment you had before slowly faded away. This is you running out of willpower.

Willpower: what is it? Why is it limited?

The American Psychology Association describes willpower as “the ability to resist short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals.” In the book “The Willpower Instinct”, Dr. Kelly McGonigal, explains how every person’s willpower is limited, and slowly depletes throughout the day. The more “willpower challenges” you face, the quicker your reserve drains. Dr. McGonigal divided the different types of willpower challenges you might encounter in three categories:

  • I will: We face this type of challenge whenever we should do something, but we simply don’t feel like getting it done right now.
  • I won’t: We face this challenge when we try to resist temptation, or we try to keep cool in stressful situations.
  • I want: This is a particular type of challenge where we keep track of our long term goals, dreams, and desires. In this instance, we feel like we should take action right now to come one step closer to the goal. 

It’s easy to recognize it when you face a willpower challenge because you literally “feel it in your body.” Imagine being really hungry and walking in front of a bakery. The sight and the smell of pastries quickly triggers an “I won’t” type of challenge, and it takes a severe amount of effort and energy to walk away.

Every time you manage to win one of those challenges, a little bit of your willpower reserve gets used. The more challenges you face daily, the harder it will be to stay true to your goals.

Can you train or recharge your willpower?

A growing body of research suggests that willpower should be considered a muscle. To strengthen it, you should exercise it regularly, but you should not overwork it. Therefore, we shouldn’t try to “be good” at all times. Instead, we should learn how to relax and recharge our willpower.

The general advice on how to improve willpower involves sleep, proper nutrition, and regular exercise. This broad and general recommendation is often not downright applicable by most, because it consists of changing various daily habits. Luckily, three very effective hacks have been discovered, that have an immediate effect on our willpower and take just a few minutes to apply.

Here are the 3 ways to refill your willpower reserves:

1. Focused breathing

Breathing, when done correctly, can stimulate the release of calming hormones while reducing the release of stress hormones like cortisol and catecholamines. To make this effective, you should deeply and slowly inhale through the nose for at least five seconds. Fill your belly with air first, then your chest, and when there’s no more space for air, still try to do tiny inhalations through the nose.

You should feel a pulling sensation around your neck and trapezius muscles. Once your lungs are full, try to hold the breath for five seconds, then slowly exhale through the mouth for at least five seconds. If you repeat this process ten to twenty times, you should feel dramatically more relaxed. Use this method several times a day, especially when you’re experiencing high levels of stress or anxiety.

2. Reward yourself when you accomplish a micro goal

According to a recent study, frequent instant rewards can boost motivation, and therefore, willpower. Creating your own reward system can help you to accomplish your to-do list, and also resist temptations. Since every individual has different tastes, you should come up with creative ideas about the small and frequent rewards you will give yourself upon winning any willpower challenge.

You can see this hack in practice in Apps like the popular Duolinguo, where after completing each lesson you get presented with a chance to open a treasure chest. This rewarding system seems to keep the users much more likely to keep learning new lessons.

3. Taking cold showers

Your body has an autonomic response to cold water. Getting into a cold shower is a difficult (but minor) willpower challenge on its own. As I previously mentioned, winning a willpower challenge strengthens your willpower muscle. Having a morning cold shower, on top of having multiple health benefits, will set you up for a positive winning streak of further challenges.

High performance is the sum of many small habits. Successful people don’t have an unlimited reserve of willpower, but they do have a set of daily rituals that made them succeed. These three hacks are some of the most effective techniques to develop willpower, but some of them may not fit every individual. You should try to find the perfect mix of daily practices that best fits your lifestyle and likes, so that you can strengthen your willpower muscle and perform better at work.

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3 Inspiring Lessons We Can Learn From Jim Carrey About the Law of Attraction

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You’ve more than likely heard of Jim Carrey before. Over the years, he has starred in many popular films including The Truman Show, The Mask, and Bruce Almighty (just to name a few.)

But his personality goes a lot deeper than just his comedic persona and movie star charisma. In fact, Jim Carrey is probably one of the most philosophical individuals on the planet

Although he isn’t in the spotlight as much anymore, throughout the years, he has credited his success and fortunes by applying the Law of attraction into his life. What’s even more inspiring is that Jim Carrey, like you and I, came from humble beginnings. No silver spoon or easy ticket. In fact, his family was very poor throughout his childhood. So what made him so successful in attracting such an extravagant and self-fulfilling life?

Here are 3 lessons you can learn from Jim Carrey when it comes to manifesting your dreams into a reality:

1. You Have To Take Action

You can’t just visualize then go eat a sandwich”, Jim Carrey says. It goes without saying that the law of attraction does require action. You cannot simply rely on visualizing and expect to see results, especially when it comes to manifesting desires that other people would like to achieve also. E.g. Careers, scholarships, competitions, anything that involves another individual.

Visualization and positive thinking are crucial when it comes to using the law of attraction, but you have to meet the universe halfway with the steps you take as well. We are physical beings that require physical steps to get physical results. The real key is to make daily plans/goals in order to get you closer towards achieving your desires. So after that sandwich, make sure start taking action toward your dreams!

This could be working on your hobbies or passion, applying for that dream job or studying to get better grades. As long as you are moving toward your goals then there’s no reason why it can’t happen. So get out there and kick some butt.

2. Double Down On What You Love

My father could have been a great comedian but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him, and so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant and when I was 12 years old he was let go from that safe job, and our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father. Not the least of which was that: You can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

If this story of Jim Carrey’s father doesn’t pull on your heartstrings and inspire you at the same time, nothing else will! This is such an undeniable life lesson that everyone needs to learn. A lesson to take risks, push comfort zones and go all-in on what you love doing. So if your dreams, hobbies or goals seem far fetched to the majority, then you are already beating the other 99%.

Be that 1% that’s willing to dream big and rise above the norm. Unfortunately, in today’s society, our ancestral instincts still rule our everyday life. Fear is one of them and controls the majority of our population. It’s scary to push comfort zones and try something new, the thought of failure is often paralyzing to many. But my question to you is, will you look back one day and regret the chances you didn’t take?

3. Keep Your Eye On The Prize

As far as I can tell, it’s just about letting the universe know what you want and working toward it, while letting go of how it comes to pass.” Holding onto every little detail when it comes to manifesting, can conjure up more harm than good. The reason is that the universe will deliver in ways you might not expect.

If you are too busy wondering when your desires will manifest, comparing yourself to others, or ignoring every sign that doesn’t look like your detailed plan you’ve written down, then you may be missing out on opportunities that are right in front of you! Your visualizations don’t have to be perfect, in fact, it’s better to just let go altogether and focus on the result itself rather than dwelling on every little detail. This doesn’t mean to simply forget about what you want but instead having the confidence it will happen in time. 

An example of this is when Jim Carrey wrote himself a check for 30 million dollars. The only detail he knew was that he would earn it through his acting career, and he did indeed achieve this goal! So make sure to tell the universe what you want, but try not to hold onto every little detail!

Jim Carrey is just another person like you and me, with his own personal ups and downs in his road to success. He is someone to look up to when applying the law of attraction in your life too. It doesn’t matter if your goals or desires are different because the core foundation will always stay the same. You can and will do this if you think, feel and act as if it will happen!

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