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Roger Federer proves that wisdom aces youth

About DJC

The older I get, the less I know and the more inquisitive I get.

Unfortunately, despite a lifelong search, most of the answers elude me. That said, I love to ask the questions and fuel the debates that will ultimately lead us all to a better understanding of the big issues in life, the universe and everything.

They say that we spend 98% of our lives in our head. I for one would like to use that time as effectively as possible.

Age takes much away, but it also gives much back.

Being a fan of Roger Federer is not at all unusual. I'm in good company, I'm sure, but I am a fan nonetheless.

Roger Federer - a gentleman and a thinker.

Roger Federer - a gentleman and a thinker. Picture: YouTube

That said, I am not fan of tennis or sport and am certainly no fan of watching it on television. While I can appreciate the talent and often watch the highlights on the news, watching sport on television makes me feel like it is time to get up and do something constructive. Hence, I tend to skip the viewing and just get on and do something.

So, why am I a Roger Federer fan?

There are two very good reasons. The first is the fact that in an environment full of egotistical prats like Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic, Roger Federer seems like a gentleman and a very decent one at that. He seems like one of the good guys.

The second is that he appears to have mastered the tale of two trends. Indeed, he has mastered it so well that he may regain the world’s No.1 ranking, this time at 37 years of age. This is simply amazing!

The tale of two trends is just a small part of what it is to understand that age, while taking away, also gives.

In the movie On Any Sunday, the character played by Al Pacino laments all that age takes away from a person and in this case, all that it had taken away from him. In addition to his youth, it had taken away much of his physical prowess.

The same is true of Roger Federer. While he is clearly fitter that 99% of the world’s population and 100% of the couch potatoes that watch him on television, at 37, he cannot be the same physical specimen that walked onto the court when he was 27. It explains the run of injuries he has experienced over recent years. His body simply cannot take the punishment it once did.

This fact caused him to lose a lot of sets of tennis and fall dramatically in the rankings, so much so that he decided to take nearly a year off to allow all of his injuries to heal 100 percent. Then he made the decision to play more selectively, focusing on the big tournaments, the ones that matter most, thus conserving his energy and strength for the big occasions. This has proven to be a very smart move and a reflection of Federer’s growing wisdom.

And this is what ageing gives in return for what it takes. While physical prowess diminishes, wisdom very often increases with age. Rather than trying vainly to hold on to his youth, as so many of us do, he has decided that while staying as fit as he can, he will shift his attention to wisdom. It's all about applying, albeit more selectively, all that he has learned in 20 years of professional tennis, to out-think and out-strategise his opponents.

As Federer has lost physical prowess, he has gained intellectual prowess. Else>>>portantly, he has recognised and leveraged this to his absolute advantage - and will likely regain the world No.1 tennis ranking.

We are not all Roger Federer and in the scheme of things, at 37 he is still relatively young, but the point here is clear. As we lose things with age, so we gain things with age, and the real winners are those who recognise this and play to their new-found strengths.

While we may have once worked hard to build our physical capabilities, as we grow older it is even more important to work on our intellectual capabilities, and a deeper consideration of what our years of experience have taught us. Most of us have learned a lot in our years of roaming this world. As we age, we should work to fully leverage these opportunities.

Age is not a period of loss. It's more of a period of transition, from being a physical being to a thinking being, able to leverage years of experience and accumulated wisdom.

The message is that no matter how old you are, you have strengths. To achieve your potential, you must fully understand and leverage these strengths.

These days, I try to stay fit, but I also consume as much information as possible and stay as aware and informed as possible, making me a formidable opponent for anyone of any age.

Am I right?

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I am great
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