I once had a boss named José Luis. A charismatic guy, a legendary publicist who blindly relies on the power of your own image and the magic of believing things to make them happen.
José Luis is also a great storyteller.
One afternoon in May, during a tense meeting with the business park, he learned that we were again going under budget. He had only recently taken over the running of the company and I think he was still having trouble keeping the processes in order and understanding how we were working.
“Why don’t we get there?” – The question showed a certain desperation and the following silence showed that we ourselves had no answer.
It was a colleague who finally strengthened herself to try to answer José Luis:
“The budget is insane, it is impossible to achieve.” In fact, I’m warning you that next month I won’t reach my quota either and I very much doubt anyone …
I suppose that although he did not show it, José Luis raised the answer. He stayed cool and told us a story instead of exploding (as it could have been).
He told us that he has enjoyed playing tennis since he was a child. He was good and sometimes he dreamed of becoming a professional. His father, another lover of the white sport, shared his son’s illusions and looked for tools to help him improve his technique. He sent him to tennis camp in the United States all summer.
It was the place of her dreams: you could play from dawn to the sun. There were group clinics, private training sessions with a coach, friendly matches and of course a big tournament to find out who was the best player in the whole camp.
Like the others, José Luis trained hard: he woke up early, took care of his diet and followed the advice of the coaches. I dreamed of going back to Mexico with the precious trophy, but I knew it would be very difficult to win …
The level of the participants in the camp was very good and they all believed that the only way to succeed was to train harder than others, supported by new rackets, modern tennis shoes and attractively designed shirts.
Everyone except John.
One of José Luis’ cabin attendants would calmly wake up when his body indicated it. He didn’t seem to exercise much and instead of stressing out, he was having a good time every day. He always played in worn denim shorts and his old bat seemed to have fought a thousand battles. While everyone talked about the clinics, their heroes in the field, and alleged achievements in their hometowns, John just watched.
One night before he went to sleep, José Luis asked him curiously about his behavior.
“John, why don’t you exercise? Shouldn’t you?”
The boy with the Chinese hair and the light eyes looked at him with a smile.
“I don’t train because I know I’ll win the tournament.” I am the best.
José Luis found the answer a little irritated. He was sure that when the tournament started, John would choke on his own words and regret not spending more time training.
The summer course reached the final stage and the tournament began. And then José Luis saw John play: his determination was that of a warrior. He played every point with the belief that he would win it.
And it did.
In the end, it turned out that John was the champion of the tournament.
The boy later became a professional tennis player, won seven Grand Slam titles (four-time US Open champion and three-time Wimbledon champion) and was number one in the Association of Professional Tennis Players (ATP) rankings for 170 weeks.
That was the best. And not just from the warehouse.
José Luis ended his anecdote with a sentence that still resonates in my head and that I rescue from my memories every time I lose confidence in myself and in the goal I want to achieve:
“That day John gave me a lesson to remember: The first step in achieving something is to be blindly convinced that you can do it.” That you are invincible. That you are the best That you will win.
Because if you really believe in what you want, you can become as great as John McEnroe.