In January of 1998, Lleyton Hewitt, an Australian high-school tennis player, became the lowest-ranked player (550) ever to win an ATP Tour event.
Question: What are the odds that No. 550 would beat players who were ranked, virtually all of them, in the top 50 in the world, and many of them in the top 20? I wonder if Lleyton honestly thought he had a chance, or was he playing for the thrill of competing against some of the best? Did he figure he had nothing to lose? I find it difficult to believe he entered the tournament with any degree of confidence that he was going to win.
He won. I'm certain after he won the first match he felt good, and when he won the second one I believe his confidence grew dramatically.
Major point: Those who won't take a chance haven't got a chance. He obviously took a chance, entered the event and came out the winner. One difference between those who do great things and those who do only average or mediocre things is that big winners are willing to take a chance — but they're not gamblers. The farmer is a risk-taker when he plants his crop. He's at the complete mercy of the weather and the marketplace itself, and yet it would certainly be a gamble not to plant those crops at all. That would make him a sure loser. He takes the risks — and the benefits, over the long haul, come his way.
Procedure: When you're confronted with the choice of taking a risk or not, ask yourself: What do I have to gain by winning and what do I have to lose if I lose? If you can handle the worst that could happen, I encourage you to take the calculated risk. Chances are good you'll ultimately have something to smile about!
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