Last Friday, I had the opportunity meet and hear Andre Agassi as the keynote speaker at the Dykema DSO Conference. Andre's keynote was a moderated discussion with the event host.
Growing up a golf nut, I was vaguely aware of Agassi's greatness on the Tennis Court. However, I did not know his story in the same way I could speak about Tiger Woods.
Right off the bat, Agassi shared with the crowd that the hated tennis. He admits this in the first page of his memior. Agassi explained that his parents were immigrants to the US and they viewed tennis as the path to the "American Dream". As the youngest of four children with who showed the most potential, his destiny in tennis was thrust upon him. This force lead him to #1 in the world, before eventually falling back to lower than #150 in rankings.
The moderated asked Agassi if he came to peace with Tennis. Agassi's response was amazing. He shared that he matured to realize that in life, most of our circumstances are out of our control - where we are born, who are parents are, events that shape us, etc. He had to learn - through coaching and experience - that he could not rebel against those circumstances. Rather, he had to first accept them, then own them, to take control of his life from that point forward. This is what allowed Agassi to regain his #1 ranking and come to enjoy Tennis in the 2nd half of his career.
Agassi's story is incredibly applicable to our lives. We are all dealt circumstances in this life. Some we love, others we do not. Some have horrible circumstanes and situtations. And yet, we all have a choice... What will you chose?