Message # 86 Motivation Goes Both Ways

Below is from an email I received today.

Hey Ed, How are you? Long time no talk. I hope all is going well with Tennis Solutions and all. I have finally finished polishing my college essay. It is attached and I hope you enjoy it. After all, it is about you.

Take care,


The Perks of Ambition

Teaching at The Tseng Summer Tennis Camp this past summer changed my entire life. As my senior year in high school drew closer, I began to visualize the long road ahead of me. I questioned my ability to succeed in college and later in life because I worried my frequent lack of focus and determination would withhold me from success. As his long time tennis student, Ed asked me to teach at his newly established summer camp. I agreed at once, thinking that it would grant me a good opportunity to make some extra cash. I never would have known that I would receive much more than just money. Before the start of my job, I participated in many social gatherings such as graduation parties, movies with friends, sports, and subsequently set my school work aside for the last few days of summer. Little did I know my life was about to make a dramatic change from teaching tennis at Ed’s camp.

Ed Tseng, an inspirational speaker and professional tennis player, taught me a lifelong lesson that I will never forget. Ed is not only a role model for his students, but also a motivator for his peers. Ever since he started teaching some thirteen years ago, he never doubted the potential of any one of his students. He wanted to make an impact with his work and decided to form his own company. Ed’s leap from an instructor to an entrepreneur impressed me tremendously, so I asked him about it. His reply was, “Chris, never doubt your abilities. If you aim for the moon and miss, at least you’ll become one of the stars.” The more I thought about his words, the more I began to realize the world of opportunities that await me. I wanted to be just like Ed. He advised me to “take risks, and always remain optimistic even when things don’t go the way you want them to.” Immediately, I became encouraged to take on all challenges.

This past summer I learned that tennis affects many aspects of my life. I would drive to work every morning at nine, and he would always be on the courts giving private lessons as early as seven. I asked him how he was able to generate so much energy. With a smile, he replied, “Motivation, my friend.” I pondered his words and came to the conclusion that enthusiasm drives people to achieve their goals. Every morning, he gave the campers a speech about life. One day he remarked, “Negative thoughts equate to negative actions. Positive thoughts equate to positive actions.” Because of his guidance, I learned to remain hopeful on and off the court.
Ed is a huge inspiration to me. This past summer, I reached an epiphany. No longer will I let time pass me by, for now I know what I want to accomplish for the rest of my life. I eradicated procrastination from my vocabulary and replaced it with determination. I gained the will power to accomplish my goals with vitality, including my school work. Mother Teresa once said, “We can’t always do great things; just little things with great love.” I interpret this as we ought to give our best effort even for the most trivial tasks.

My goals are set and I look forward to working on them every day until I finally reach the stars, if not the moon. No boundaries will keep me from what I commit to do. I have gained a completely new perspective on the world and will never look at obstacles the same way. Nowadays, I look forward to achieving the most with my classes and assignments. Ed epitomizes success and I want to emulate him. From working with Ed this summer, I learned a truly valuable lesson about life: Ambition drives people to success.

Wow, that was really powerful. I have to admit, that make me pretty emotional. I knew that I helped people, but changing people’s lives? That means a lot to me.

Was my goal to change Chris’ life? No, but when you’re motivated, you get others motivated. My goal was to motivate Chris, but as a by-product, it changed his life. The best way to motivate yourself is to motivate others, it’s a cycle. By reading this essay, I am have even more energy now to make a difference in more people’s lives and leave a legacy.

Thanks for the inspiration, Chris. I know you will be a great success.

Homework: Motivate someone today and watch how it motivates you.

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