With his victory in the French Open finals on June 11, 2023, Novak Djokovic has achieved what no man has previously accomplished. He won 23 Grand Slam titles, surpassing Rafael Nadal’s 22. While Djokovic has the talent and the physical fitness, what sets him apart from his peers is his unprecedented levels of mental strength, which has helped him to fight the biggest challenges whether in a match or in his life.
We take a look at five mental strength lessons you can learn from Djokovic.
The Power Of Visualisation: Djokovic believes in the power of visualisation, which means being able to visualise something that you want to happen. If you can do that, you can reduce anxiety, have mental clarity, and make progress towards your goals. When he was only seven years old, Djokovic made Wimbledon trophies from pieces of cloth and visualised that he had won the title and believed that one day, he would be the world number one.
When it comes to your finances, visualisation can be a very powerful tool as well. Let us say you visualise being able to stay in a beautiful apartment or going on a foreign trip. This will help you focus on these goals and make you work harder for them.
Mindfulness Is Key: Mindfulness is the capacity to be completely present in the current moment. When it comes to managing money with a mindful approach, you will make improved financial choices because you are fully aware of your current financial circumstances, objectives, and the way you are utilising your funds. This awareness will help shield you from making hasty or impulsive decisions that can have detrimental effects on your personal finances.
According to Djokovic, practicing mindfulness has been instrumental in overcoming feelings of fear, anger, worry, and self-doubt. He believes that by cultivating mindfulness, he has been able to concentrate entirely on the present moment, observe negative thoughts and emotions as they arise, and let them naturally dissipate without clinging to them. This approach has been beneficial in managing and overcoming these challenging mental states for Djokovic.
When The Going Gets Tough: Djokovic’s exceptional mental resilience can be attributed, in part, to the challenging experiences he endured during his upbringing. Coming of age in 1990s Serbia, a time marked by war, crisis, and sanctions, he and his family faced numerous hardships. These adversities instilled within Djokovic a tenacious mindset and an unwavering spirit of perseverance, qualities that are evident in his present-day demeanour both on and off the tennis court.
Similarly, there will be lots of ups and downs in your financial journey and this will make you stronger. The recession of 2008, and other market crashes, are good lessons for investors to learn from how to stay focussed in the face of adversity.
Cutting Out The Noise: As a tennis player, there is a lot of distraction both on and off the court. What is being spoken about you in the media or how the crowd is treating you can affect your game. The power of Djokovic is that he can, using his own word, ‘transmute’ the noise and focus on the job at hand. In the Wimbledon 2019 finals when Roger Federer had two match points against him, and the whole stadium was chanting his name, Djokovic kept his cool and won the match and the title. Later, he said that when the crowd chanted ‘Roger’, he heard ‘Novak’. He was basically cutting out the noise and focusing on the job at hand.
In investing too, often there are a lot of distractions. The markets may be volatile, and you may hear a lot of advice from people around you. But you need to cut out the noise, stick to a plan, and stay calm to ride out the storm.
Setting Clear Goals: Whether it is in life, handling one’s finances, or playing a tennis match, setting goals gives one clarity. And goals have to be set for the long term and not always keep the present in mind. A 5-setter is a marathon, and as the game progresses, a lot of things change – whether it is the situation of the game, the energy levels, the performance of the opponent, and other factors.
The same is the case for your finances. The situation will change, but you have to stick to your goals, even as you make small changes according to the situation. Djokovic knows when to save energy when to make his opponent move around the court, when to make the points short, and so on. But always, he has the finishing line in mind and is focussing on how to get there. In finances too, setting clear goals can help, but it is also important to review them periodically and make changes when necessary.