From the Tao Te Ching (written around 500 B.C.)…

A great misfortune comes about
With the feeling, ‘I have an enemy’
For when ‘I’ and ‘enemy’ exist together
There is no room left for my treasure

Thus, when two opponents meet
The one who does not see an enemy
Will surely triumph (69)


“Though he acts as a teacher, within himself, he should be a learner.”
-B.K.S. Iyengar

Today’s message is especially dedicated to the great B.K.S. Iyengar in Prune, India.

I’m a tennis teacher. I’m also a tennis learner.

Yes, I teach tennis – the strokes, strategy, preparation, character, fitness, nutrition and mental training.

But it goes deeper than that.

My students learn from me, but I also learn from my students. On a daily basis.

I believe that part of teaching is learning and re-learning.

The last thing I want to do is be on automatic. I don’t want to be a parrot. Every student has different needs and challenges, therefore, I learn from them – I learn new ways to teach. This also helps me customize the lesson for my student. It’s like playing a match – sometimes you have to make adjustments. Conditions will never be exactly the same, so why do we act like they are?

“There are many unknown things to be known.”

I even look at my opponent as a teacher. They are attacking my weaknesses in order to win a point, so they are teaching me how to improve. I, on the other hand, am doing the same to them.

In the past, I used to think of my opponent as the enemy. Someone I wanted to beat. But once I realized that there was another way to look at it, my game changed. I thought of my opponent as a teacher and student. I started to relax. I started to play to my potential. And I started to really have fun. The result was no longer an issue. It was all about the present moment.

This may be strange or a paradigm shift for you, but try to think about this for the rest of your day. Think about how you are a teacher and how you are a student. In the end, we are really all the same.

Thanks for reading.