What makes you happy? Like really happy that you’re thinking about it — right now and that your cheeks are starting to hurt courtesy of the smirk that has taken over your face?
Like, real genuine happiness it’s akin to music to your ears and you’re incredibly content with staying in this ‘place’ with no rush to leave and simply enjoy this moment…of happiness? Are you there…or almost there? It may take a minute or two if you don’t do this often enough to really take the time to think about what makes you happy. Whether a ‘who’ or a ‘where’ there’s always a bonus etched in ‘what’ that’s under your full control and readily available/accessible as you’re the one in charge. If it’s a ‘who’ then you might have to wait until that ‘who’ shows up (if not always next to you). Same goes for ‘where’ in case it isn’t a place/destination within walking distance. The kind of happiness you can easily control is an added bonus.
Of course, whether it is a ‘what’ or ‘who’ or ‘where’ to something in between, the primary topic here is about your happiness and how to set it off like fireworks on New Years Eve and the best part is you don’t have to wait until the 31st of December to make it happen!
People are easy. Pets are, too — maybe even easier! The right kind of person and/or pet can set your smile alight with a simple hug. Where can be pretty easy, too. From a sunset or sunrise with the sand between your toes — you choose the destination, to a theme park or movie theatre and time there just stops as you immerse yourself in the experience. But what about the what? If you’re thinking what I’m thinking there’s a good chance it involves a yellow ball that sometimes gets pretty fuzzy but there’s nothing like a fresh can and hitting the courts.
I’m incredibly hopeful that tennis is a part of ‘what’ makes you happy and brings you happiness with sheer joy each and every time you pick your racket up.
It just feels right. It feels like home. It feels like a moment in time that can stop when it’s you and that yellow ball and that feeling — the sensation that ever so slightly rattles through you with each and every impact. Rather, that moment in time when your strings make contact with that yellow ball and it’s a clean and smooth impact timed perfectly — if that isn’t happiness than perhaps we’re on different pages.
Nevertheless, this isn’t about tennis. Well it is, but it isn’t. It’s about finding what makes you happy other than tennis. Finding that other reason that brings you happiness. Why? Because although tennis may be a constant, it’s just as important to enjoy yourself away from the court. By discovering other areas of life that bring you happiness not only can foster a deeper appreciation and joy for the sport, but it also serves as a balancing act to ‘diversify’ your happiness so as to ensure it’s always within reach. This is incredibly important for when things don’t go your way. Whether a handful of back-to-back performances that were less than desired and/or results that weren’t in your favour. Either way, taking time away from tennis to reflect is incredibly important and in doing so, it is even more powerful to enjoy yourself away from the court — to thrive in another happiness.
This other approach provides an underlying purpose. Not simply by having ‘more than’ one happiness drawcard, but by having an alternative away from tennis affords a renewed perspective in times of need. And by times of need this may vary from an injury layoff to becoming unwell or something completely random that means your off-season starts sooner than anticipated. By balancing the what that makes you happy and feeds your happiness affords you greater control of your emotions. This control empowers the player/athlete to practice mindfulness away from the court and when necessary they’re equipped with the tools to call upon this during play i.e. on change of ends. Even better, is by developing a greater appreciation for the smaller things that make you happy you’re not only adding balance to the what behind your happiness but you’re fuelling your mental and emotional wellbeing with joyful moments. And with a satisfied and harmonious wellbeing this can only centre your attention even further on your physical performance with an added benefit of finding further happiness, in play and in life — as shared in The 7 Keys to Optimise Your Life.
To learn more about The Small Things: Happiness Away from Sport, head on over to Beyond Top 10 Tennis and head to Episode 43. More? Catch up on our Tips over on TikTok, Twitter, Threads or Instagram for quick snippets to apply in your game, today.