Finding Your Tennis Ball

The more you’re pushing, the less you’re doing what you love.

Love pulls.

“It’s not just about pushing yourself. It’s about finding your tennis ball.” Drew Houston, Co-founder and CEO of Dropbox.

energy and love

Obsession:

Dogs knock over children and plow under bushes to capture tennis balls. All you need to do is pretend to throw one and they’re off.

Everything disappears when dogs see tennis balls.

Terry’s tennis ball is baseball.

I met Terry after a presentation I gave. He talks, eats, drinks, and dreams baseball. At 63, you’d think he would have outgrown his obsession. But, baseball memorabilia still fills his home. His basement has tiered stadium seats.

Terry’s “selfish” obsession with baseball is his channel of service. Every month he donates baseball memorabilia to nonprofits, who turn around and sell it. Last month he gave away nearly $3,000 dollars worth.

4 ways to find your tennis ball:

  1. Tennis balls connect to strengths. Work isn’t work when you’re chasing your tennis ball.
  2. Tennis balls hide behind anger or frustration. Listen to anger. It tells you what matters.
  3. Tennis balls appear when you eliminate distractions.
  4. Tennis balls emerge when you start doing things.

3 benefits of finding your tennis ball:

  1. Freedom. No one has to force you to do what you love. If I commanded Terry to go to a baseball card shop, do you think he’d feel pressured?
  2. Energy. The more you do what you love the more energy you have.
  3. Persistence. You don’t have to discipline yourself to chase your tennis ball. Discipline only applies when you ignore what you love.

Shift:

Selfish enjoyment becomes meaningful fulfillment when it serve others.

How would you help someone find their tennis ball?

What keeps people from finding their tennis ball?