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  • Writer's pictureNeal Hagberg

“Oh, For —-‘s Sake!”

When I am upset, sometimes I say something like, “Oh, for Pete’s sake!” When I am really upset, I may say something like, “Oh, for (a different four-letter word than “Pete”’s) sake!”

But what would happen if I spent more time focusing on another word? This is gleaned from a February 15 ESPN article.

Last week, a full-time real estate professional beat Jack Sock, the #8 men’s tennis player in the world, at the Del Ray Beach Open.

Matija Pecotic. He had to ask for a day off work to play in the tournament, the first ATP tour main draw he ever qualified for. He had to get permission to leave work early to play Sock.

After beating Sock 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, he said “You’ve got to be realistic. It would be arrogant to think I’m going to come out and win.” But he figured if he prepared, he might have a chance.

And how did he prepare as a 33-year-old full time real estate professional? By training early every morning, sometimes with his boss, who is 70 years old; and “with a guy who is probably in his late 50s. You find creative ways to work around it.”

He didn’t expect to win. Which meant, he said, “I’m going to have to ask for another day off tomorrow.”

Then he said what most caught my eye in the article. “I absolutely love this game, and I know it’s not forever and I’m 33. I try to maximize each day.”

Why does he do it? Not for Pete’s sake. Not for #@$*!’s sake. For love’s sake.

Why do you play?

For winning’s sake? For validation’s sake? For your spouse’s sake? For your parent’s sake?

Your teammate’s sake?

None of these satisfy in the end.

What if I began playing only for love’s sake?

Then I can enjoy it even if I lose.

I can place focus on being kind to my opponent.

I won’t pressure my child into doing something they don’t love just because I love it.

I will find fulfillment in the process, not just the result.

I will find joy even when I’m training with my 70-year-old boss or late-50s-something neighbor, not just in beating Jack Sock.

Matija Pecotic doesn’t play to beat Jack Sock. He plays for love’s sake. The game he loves and knows is fleeting, just like everything else.

“Oh, for love’s sake!”

Therein lies the key to a happier life.

But, just in case, I think I’ll get a real estate license.


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