In case you are totally out of the tennis loop, Roger Federer holds a record 17 Grand Slam titles and has reached 36 Grand Slam quarterfinals. He is, virtually undisputed, the top tennis player of all time.
So… What do YOU and Federer have in common?
Well, to put it bluntly…
You both have an expiration date. Your days on earth are numbered, and time is running out.
Now, before you click away looking for “real pickleball advice” I HIGHLY recommend you read this article.
In fact, if you only read one article this year, I’d say it should be that one and then, perhaps, the earlier article he references, this one.
It will move you.
Here’s one diagram from the above article, laying out every single week of a 90-year life:
At first glance, it looks like a lot, until you look at how far you’ve come and how much you have left. Not to mention the fact that every single week (in fact, every single day) of your life, can be put down onto a single sheet of paper…
Now, you know me, I don’t like to be a downer. I am not going to remind you of the inevitable and just leave you hanging.
There’s a reason I am mentioning this now…
Many of you may know me only as “The Pickleball Guru,” this fortunate guy who gets to make a living from your favorite hobby. I’m supporting my family and helping thousands of people improve their games.
Must have been born lucky, right?
Not so much.
Making the Most of Those Little Squares is Not Luck, It’s Guts…
Well, if you’ve read my book, you may have read about the days when my wife, Wendy, and I traveled around from tournament to tournament in our Volkswagon Van. You may NOT have heard that there were plenty of days when we were digging out the change in the van seats to pay for gas to get us back to the pickleball courts…
You definitely didn’t hear about the days back when I lived in Paris, tossing baggage for Air France, being paid by the ton, and putting warm towels on my belly to ward off the hunger pangs at home. Those were the days when I was a smoker and sometimes I even picked up cigarette butts from the street to finish off because I couldn’t afford to buy my own pack.
(It’s not easy to talk about, in fact, until now, I’ve really only ever told Wendy about that period in my life. I’m not sure my parents even know…)
So my life has NOT always been wonderful.
I’ve always had a love for sports and a love for children. But I had no idea, back in those days, that by 2016 I’d be supporting my wife and two kids by coaching a crazy little sport called pickleball…
It certainly would have seemed far fetched.
I’ve always worked hard in order to take time off to play hard and travel the world, but I never would have guessed that playing and traveling could BE my work…
Even once I got through the REALLY tough parts of life, I was still working 60 hours a week managing hotels in Paris.
It took guts to give up the paycheck, to give up the predictable, to give up the road more traveled…
To be honest, I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Wendy’s passion for figuring out how to make a living doing what we love.
But now that I am here, I can say for sure that I wouldn’t have it any other way.
And I know that I will never regret the road not traveled.
Every minute I invest with my family or on the courts teaching you is a minute that I will never get back, and there isn’t any other way I’d rather be spending it.
Today, my invitation is for you to take stock of how YOU spend your time. Do the hours you log reflect what’s true in your heart?
Sure, pickleball is probably a large and growing chunk of it, and if you’re like the other “nuts” I teach, it might be all you even want to do…
If you’re retired, take a look at how you are making use of the 24 hours you have every day to spend?
If you’re not retired, work is probably a huge portion of your life. Do you like what you do every day? Do the people you interact with drain you or energize you?
How much time are you spending watching TV…?
Or the latest Netflix series…?
Browsing the web…? Cleaning the house or… [fill in the blank]?
Your days on earth are finite, so spend them wisely.
Play pickleball if you love it.
Stop taking pickleball so seriously if you aren’t having fun when you play.
Carve wood if it makes your heart sing.
Stop putting up with a belittling boss (or even spouse).
Have aspirations to become a pickleball coach? Find you first student and start today. You don’t have to quit your job. Just add to it.
Got an old love for photography and a new love for pickleball? Start approaching tournament directors, coaches and ambassadors about becoming the official photographer.
Have some other, crazy pie-in-the-sky dream?
What small action can you say “Yes” to today that will get you started in that direction?
Maybe it’s just a quick internet search to find out more.
Maybe it’s sending off a quick email to that person who has connections.
Maybe it’s submitting a request for more information.
Whatever it is, do SOMETHING today to go in the direction of what you really want.
Not sure WHAT you are passionate about? Start with exploring what you’re curious about, then, and go from there.
Nothing could have seemed more unlikely 5 years ago than to be where I am now.
It can be scary to say “No” to the known, but by saying “Yes” to the unknown, you WILL find something else, and eventually, you will find something better.
It probably won’t happen right away. In fact, it most likely won’t happen in the time frame you are hoping.
But at least you’ll be on your way.
At least when you look at those boxes on that diagram above, you can check off the one for this week and feel satisfied with how you spent your time.
Now, it’s side-out. Over to you:
Assuming playing pickleball for fun is on your list, what ELSE would you like to make a top priority in your life? Where are you currently investing your time that you are NOT satisfied with? What would you like to be doing instead? What would you like to do in the realm of pickleball that you aren’t yet doing?
Take a minute to scroll on down and comment below, send me an email, or do both.
Want even more motivation to make the most of the time you’ve got left? Click here to listen to The Tao of Seneca, letters on life written over 2,000 years ago.
Here’s a choice quote:
“The good in life does not depend on life’s length, but upon the use we make of it. It is possible, or rather usual, for a man who has lived long, to have lived too little.” – Seneca the Younger
Jayne Dimick says
Thanks for sharing Prem. Well worded and very inspiring. An opportunity came up yesterday and I approached the director showing interest. I didn’t bite on the venture though. Now after reading your article I think I need to go back and reconsider – it would involve a hiatus from pickleball for a while — but with more and more playtime opportunities in my region I may just have to re-do my schedule to accommodate both my new endeavor AND playing recreationally! Thank you again!
Craig Rudow says
This article is only one of the reasons why …….
I address You as ….. ” Guru. “
Janice' Esposito says
I did not think for one minute that you got where you are today by luck , good fortune or sitting in front of the tv. Thank you for sharing your story and the inspiration it is for those of us who believe the same way. I am so happy that you decided to take the plunge and follow your passion. You are great at what you do. Keep up the great work and thank you.
jerry totty says
lover ur articles been very helpful I am 80 play pickle ball 4 times a week wish I was 15 years younger knowing what I know now about pickle ball thanks so much
Kathy Kerst says
What an excellent article! Inspiring and motivating, and definitely an affirmation for all ages, Kudos to you. You have captured the magic of what you love.
When I was 55, I gave up my $28/hr. government job to do what I loved – working at my granddaughters’ daycare….for $8/hr. Somehow, my husband and I made it work. I treasure those 7 years with my first love – children.
And now, retired – my new love – pickleball!
Thanks for sharing your zesty exuberance. ?