It goes without saying that I'm very happy for Andy Murray today. It also goes without saying that there will STILL be a lot of very bitter haters. Just as I felt satisfied that my progress this year has shoved a few words back down people's throats, I'm sure the new US Open Champion will allow himself a wry smile in memory of all those fools who claimed he'd never win a slam. What I don't understand about those who said this, is how you can possibly be so certain that someone will never achieve something? He was amongst the best 4 players in the world, had beaten the other 3 on many occasions, was still in his early 20's and had already reached Grand Slam finals before. It was hardly a huge leap to go from that, to winning a final. I've always maintained he at least COULD win one, because I understood that he only needed to make a few improvements to get over the finish line. To say he would NEVER win one, so comprehensively, is like saying no one can ever improve at anything.
I like to think that the Muzzard and me have many similarities. Brush aside the fact that he is a multi-millionaire, Grand Slam winning, gold medal owning, national hero with a rather hot girlfriend and we have a fair bit in common. You see, when I was around Murray's age, in my early 20's, I was very much a negative individual. I was one of those people who would find cynicism in most things. I would be the one with the sarcastic jibe and the glass half-empty mentality. I'm not saying that Murray is necessarily the same (he must have some positivity to get where he has as a tennis player) but I do believe that he has a natural tendency to err on the negative and the cautious side of life. You can see it not only in his style of play (which is to counter-punch and draw mistakes from opponents, rather than dictate play and go for winners) but also in his emotional reactions. He berates himself, focuses on the bad things he does, holds various body parts when things aren't going well. A naturally positive person doesn't do those things to that extent. But that doesn't mean a person cannot change.
It took someone new who came into my life to tell me to my face (in a friendly way) that I was often quite negative; talking too much about the bad stuff that had happened to me and over-doing the sarcasm. I had no idea I was that bad, so it wasn't until she said this that I sat up and started analysing myself, wondering if I could be a better person and have a better life. She was my Ivan Lendl (though she looked rather prettier than an Easter Island head)! I'm pretty sure that his input has been the decisive factor in Murray's turn-around with his on-court demeanour. This year, he's been far more positive with body language and mentally, he is now on a par with Djokovic, Nadal and Federer. It hasn't happened over-night because it's not an easy thing to do, to change the way your mind works. It's a gradual process that you have to work hard on every day but it's finally sunk in for him. And that positivity has seeped into his game too - now much more able to attack on the front-foot when required.
I not only became more positive in my outlook on life (which completely turned my life around in a few short years) but also did the same thing with my trading. It is a year to the very day, when I started to overhaul my tennis trading strategy (which had failed for so long). It was this post that signified my first day of trying out the techniques that I use today:
Reading back on all my September 2011 posts feels great because it was a time of real excitement for me. I was working so hard back then but I could see light at the end of a very long tunnel - trading was starting to make sense. Like Murray, I was changing from a cautious style to a more aggressive one, taking on more risks. I also had to work on my mind because I used to berate myself even more than he did! But I knew, probably like he did, that I had to change. I think a lot of traders bomb out of the game because they are not willing to change what is failing; either through fear, stubbornness or a lack of work-ethic. They would do well to take a look at Andy Murray as a prime example of what can be achieved just through a shift in attitude and good old fashioned blood, sweat and tears. Congratulations, you miserable ol' Muzzard!