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How Did The 126th Ranked Player in the World Win Wimbledon? By Having an Effective Morning Routine

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goran ivanisevic

Wimbledon, England, 2001. The biggest tennis tournament and Grand Slam of the year. The finals. Fifth set. Championship point. On one side is Patrick Rafter, the third player in the world. On the other side, you would expect someone like Andre Agassi or Pete Sampras at that time. But that wasn’t the case here.

On the other side, serving for the Wimbledon championship point, was the 126th player in the world. A 30-year-old guy who in the last 10 months lost all but 3 matches and a week before Wimbledon, was defeated by a 195th player in the world in the first round.

He never won a Grand Slam in his life, was prone to mental breakdowns on the court and couldn’t even qualify for Wimbledon that year because of his terrible ranking! But the organizers gave him an invitation called the “Wild Card”. His name was Goran Ivanišević.

As he served that championship point, the crowd went crazy. Rafter returned the service to the net. Goran had finally won Wimbledon! He became the lowest ranking player who ever won a Grand Slam and the only player in the history of tennis who did it as the “Wild Card”.

“Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Ryun

The question people asked themselves after it happened is how? Goran was a player famous for throwing tantrums and not keeping it together. He is the only player who surrendered a match for not having the necessary equipment to play – because he broke all 3 rackets during a single match! Something was different about him on that tournament. But what?

The answer to that questions lies in his morning routine during Wimbledon that he called “The Ritual”:

Goran’s Morning Routine aka The Ritual

The routine was pretty simple and a bit controversial. He and his entire team would gather in his room to watch Teletubbies at 10 AM sharp. Then, he would wash his 2 shirts in which he played. He would eat the same food in the same restaurant every day. And he would have everyone from his team sit at the same place in the box at the court. He would always urinate in the same urinary at his locker room and the last thing was that he absolutely couldn’t step on the white line while entering the field.

That’s it! Sounds simple. But only on the surface. The reason why this worked for Goran was that it put him in peak state. A peak state is a continuous state of mind where we feel fully present, alive, have absolute focus and are using a 100% of our capacity. Some people describe peak state with the phrases like “the time slows down or just stops” or “everything seems so clear to me. I know what I have to do.”

Have you ever felt something like this? Then you know how amazing it is and how flawlessly you perform in peak state.That is what peak state is designed for. It gives us the ability to perform at our highest level. The problem is actually achieving peak state in a continuous manner.  But there is a way to do that.  And as we saw in Goran’s case, the secret lies in our morning routine.

“Quality is not an act, but a ritual” – Aristotle

Design Your Morning Routine

Our morning routines can put us in peak state and we shouldn’t consider our routines as time wasters but as time investors. They help us achieve a state where we are hyper-productive and where we do more in a shorter span of time. But for us to create a routine that puts us in peak state, we need to design it according to ourselves.

Something that works for me might not work for you. And you can only figure it out by testing, testing, and testing. I can tell you that meditation, journaling, self-reflection, and waking up at 5am will help you and can put you in peak state. But unless that works for you, it will be useless. The way you will figure it out is by testing it yourself.

Try for 21 days each and every single one of those mentioned. Do only one at a time, because otherwise, you won’t do any of them. They sound simple, but as Jim Rohn said “Simple things are easy to do. But they are also easy not to do.”

Test out your routine. It doesn’t matter if it’s silly, weird or controversial. It just has to work for one person. For you. Goran watched Teletubbies and urinated in the same urinary. And it helped him achieve Peak state and win Wimbledon. Just imagine what peak state could do for you.

After you imagine it, write down a commitment in the comment section stating “I will do (insert activity) for the next 21 days to see if it will help me achieve Peak state.”

Bruno Boksic is an expert habit builder who was covered in the biggest personal development publications like Lifehack, Addicted2Success, Goalcast, Pick The Brain. If you want to build life-long habits, Growthabits is the first place to visit.

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Success Advice

Mindful Productivity: How Top Achievers Combine Focus and Balance

By being aware of your emotions, thoughts, and surroundings, you can work with your internal and external environments

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Your big-dream goals matter … but not at the expense of your health. (more…)

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Change Your Mindset

The Art of Convincing: 10 Persuasion Techniques That Really Work

The knack for persuading others can act as a catalyst for change, open doors, forge alliances, and effect positive change

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Persuasion is not as complicated as it may sound. In fact, it is something that we have been practicing since childhood. Do you remember convincing your parents to let you skip school, asking your teacher not to assign homework, or persuading your boss to give you a day off? Well, these are just small examples of what persuasion looks like. (more…)

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5 Steps to Leveraging Industry Speaker Events for Career Advancement

Jumping into industry events is a smart move for your career, but there’s a knack to it

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How to advance your career by networking

Jumping into industry events is a smart move for your career, but there’s a knack to it. It’s not just about sitting in a room full of people. You’ve got to find the ones that fit your career puzzle, dive in while you’re there, and then make the most of what you’ve learned afterward. (more…)

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Overcoming Plateaus: 6 Powerful Strategies for Breakthrough Success

A plateau is not a full stop; it’s a comma that allows you to pause, reflect, and shift gears

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how to overcome obstacles for success

In the pursuit of personal and professional growth, plateaus are inevitable. They appear when progress seems to halt, despite your continuous efforts. But remember, a plateau is not a full stop; it’s a comma that allows you to pause, reflect, and shift gears. This article provides six powerful strategies to overcome plateaus and achieve breakthrough success.

1. Find Out the Root Cause

When facing a plateau, there is likely something causing you to sabotage your progress. Identify the root cause. What is sabotaging your progress? Examine your daily routine and how you spend your time. Are you wasting time on unnecessary activities? Or are you taking on too many tasks that you can’t handle?

Often, adding more tasks overloads your already tight routine and distracts you from focusing on the most important tasks. Therefore, often eliminating unnecessary activity will work to overcome plateaus. However, be cautious of not doing things right, such as tasks you have not yet undertaken or missing something. What actions do you need to take or improve to achieve your goal? Are you avoiding them, or have you not started yet?

2. Never Tolerate Problems

Once you’ve identified the root cause, never tolerate problems. If you tolerate them, you’ll end up staying stuck. You get what you tolerate. Once you recognize the problem you’re facing, never tolerate it. Instead, address and improve the situation.

3. Focus on a 100% Solution and 0% Problems

To overcome a challenge, it’s essential to plan how to get through it. Yet, people often find themselves asking, ‘Why is it bad?’ or ‘What is wrong with it?’ Questions of this nature limit our thinking, leading our brains to generate responses like ‘Because you’re not good enough’ or ‘Everything is wrong with you.’ These limited answers tend to resonate with the situation and drag you down further.

Instead, ask empowering questions without limits, such as ‘What is not perfect yet, and how can I turn things around while making a more positive impact?’ By asking unlimited empowering questions, you’ll shift your focus from the problem to the solution. Additionally, you will also notice that asking empowering questions can expand available options and allow you to see from an angle you couldn’t see before.

Focusing on problems rarely yields positive outcomes. The key to positive results lies in concentrating on the solution. The next time you face adversity and notice getting caught by unresourceful thoughts, snap out of it and direct your focus to a 100% solution and 0% problems.

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” – Henry Ford

4. Cultivate Success-Driven Traits

Identify the traits you need to have and get rid of to become the person you aspire to be. Consider your specific goals – for instance, attracting positive relationships. To achieve this, note down the traits you need to embrace, such as being open-minded, gentle, healthy, and treating others the way you want to be treated.

Cultivate a positive mindset. Simultaneously, get rid of traits like criticizing others, having a short temper, and engaging in unhealthy habits like taking drugs.

Learn from individuals who have achieved similar goals. Study their traits, both the ones they have and those they’ve consciously avoided. Implement these traits to align with the person you want to become.

Once you have your lists of traits to embrace and eliminate, diligently follow them. Place the list on your desk or the door of your room, ensuring you read it at least once a day to reinforce your commitment to these traits.

5. Track Your Habits

Carry a notepad to track your habits throughout the day, especially those contributing to plateaus, as well as your new habits or traits aligned with achieving your goals. For instance, if your root cause is excessive internet use, record instances of mindless scrolling on social media. Note when you engage, the emotional state prompting it, and the approximate duration.

Calculate the total minutes wasted at the end of the day. This habit tracking makes you aware of the emotions triggering these behaviors (stress, boredom, and frustration) and the time wasted.

Additionally, track positive new habits, like reading good books and exercising. Document what you’ve learned from the book and the time spent exercising. This practice helps you build new positive habits by enabling you to compare today’s results with those from yesterday or a week ago. 

Moreover, consistently sticking to new habits for around 18 months transforms them into lifelong habits. Even if you take breaks, you will find yourself naturally returning to those habits.

6. See Obstacles as Opportunities

Every obstacle can be an opportunity to turn things around. If the economy is in a downturn, it’s time to recognize it as an opportunity to thrive while everyone else is struggling and focused on the problem. If someone makes fun of you or causes you trouble, ask yourself, ‘What can I learn from this experience?’

Alternatively, consider that the person underrating you is setting low expectations, which are easier to exceed. If your business receives a bad review from a customer, see it as free feedback that guides you on how to improve and take your business to the next level.

Always try to see different angles that others may overlook. This perspective can reveal aspects you might be missing. When you view a problem as an opportunity, it has the potential to foster growth.

In the journey toward success, plateaus are just temporary pauses, not dead ends. So, keep moving, keep growing, and make your breakthrough.

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