Better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.

-Chinese proverb

As a coach, I see many players “cursing the darkness.”

“The referee made a terrible call!”

“It was so windy!”

“Why can’t I make a shot today?!?”

The losers in life curse the darkness, or focus on the negatives.

The winners, on the other hand, light a candle (even if it is a small one), and focus on the positives, and the lesson learned.

“I can’t serve!” —Bad

“I am not a good test-taker!” —Bad

“I don’t have any money!” —Bad

“I missed that shot, so what? It’s in the past and I can’t change that, so let’s focus on this point—you’re still in control.” —Good

“Tests are difficult for me, but I am going to relax and trust all the hard work I put into it.” —Good

“Money may be tight, but this is a great excuse for me to think outside the box and creatively make more money—there are many options.” —Good

What you say to yourself affects what type of results you get. You don’t have to win the US Open to think like a winner.

Stop whining, start winning. And the next time adversity hits, don’t curse the darkness, light a candle instead.

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