The words “expect the unexpected” should be a familiar phrase to most of us.  It illustrates what life is all about.  Just when we think things are routine or even boring… BAM!  Something unexpected comes along.

Most who know me, know that I’m a big fan of tennis. No, I don’t play much anymore, but I love watching, especially the grand slams.  If you look back at my blog posts, there will be at least one tennis related post during the summer months.

Currently, I’m watching the French Open. And as tends to happen in the tournaments, today is looking to be “upset day.”  Already, the #1 seed on the women’s side, Serena Williams is out.  Her sister, Venus, followed shortly thereafter.  The #2 seed on the women’s side, Li Na, lost yesterday.  And the #3 seed on the men’s side, and current Australian Open champion, Stan Wawrinka (what a great inspiration from the Australian Open!) lost in his opening round match.

Some say tennis might be boring, with Nadal, Federer and Djokovich dominating the top of the game.  However, along comes Andy Murray, David Ferrer and Wawrinka and the hold at the top isn’t quite so tight.  (Watch out for Del Potro if we can get him healthy!).  Today, we saw that the Williams sisters can have their off days and are no longer invincible.  The women’s game is quite wide open these days.

I remember when Sampras and Agassi were the top players.  Heck, I go back to the days of Borg (one of my favorites) and McEnroe, who had such epic battles…with Lendl and Edberg always close.  Remember Evert and Navratilova? Steffi Graf?

As great as these top tennis players are, they all have dealt with the unexpected. Despite the routine of training and working hard at their craft, they’ll have an off day.  Is it the end of their career? No.

Serena Williams lost in the first round of the French Open a couple of years ago.  Shocking at the time. But was it the end of her time at the French Open? No way.  She came back last year and won the entire tournament!

So, she lost in the second round today.  She’ll use this loss as motivation. Watch out for the rest of this year and for the French Open next year!

On the unexpected days, we need to roll with the punches. Learn from the loss and move on to be better next time.

Sometimes the unexpected days are for good (Stan Warwrinka breaking the stranglehold of the top four winning all the grand slams or Andy Murray winning Wimbledon last year), and that should inspire confidence to move forward, striving with more confidence to your goals.

While we can get comfortable in our routines, we need to know the unexpected is coming. It can make us stronger, teach us and help us grow.

So, in life, learn to expect the unexpected.  Even if it seems to be negative, it’s something that can be turned into a positive.  It’s up to us and our attitude to make it good.

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