“I Serve to Win” – Novak Djokovic

“I eat for my brain as well as my body”

This week I read a book written with an incredibly open mind, grounded on Chinese medicine and youth no one should ever have to experience. Without giving away too much, because I believe you do have to read it yourself to understand Djokovic’s stand of point, there are a few things I would like to share my top takeaways from this book.

To begin with, anyone coming from the country once called Yugoslavia, now “former Yugoslavia” is carrying baggage. Including me, who “luckily” wasn’t brought up in a torn-up country but still has a history connected to what happened. It puts a perspective on life, and that is how Djokovic starts his book.

Life is a work in progress

He starts by taking us through a horrific childhood where war and bombs were falling and flattening buildings with the ground, like in a movie. However, this wasn’t a movie; it was real life. Crazy enough, I kept thinking about what many of my friends and family had gone through the same, yet in this madness, love, unity, fight, fearlessness, and awful dark humor developed. My family, just like Djokovic’s, managed to provide a somewhat normal upbringing, and it never felt like something was missing, not on the dinner table or anywhere else.

With the bare minimum to survive, Djokovic still had a dream like any other child on this planet, but his dream was a little different. While some children might wish for a specific toy, game, phone, or even money, Djokovic was to become the best in the world in tennis. All he wanted was to become the #1 tennis player in the world, and my friends, we already know he did that. But how did he do it?

In his book, he shares how mindfulness, an open mind, and a champion’s plate got him where he dreamed of standing. So, let’s look at the inside of a simply incredible and powerful manual, “SERVE TO WIN” by the best tennis player in the world Novak Djokovic.

My top take aways

#1 Most people don’t decide what they want from life when they’re six years old, but I had.”

#2 I had the skills, the talent, the drive. I had the resources to try every kind of mental and physical training known to man, and access to the finest doctors in the world. What was really holding me back was something I’d never have suspected. I was training and practicing right. But I was eating all wrong.”

#3 “If you think you’re just going to exercise away your troubles, you’d better think again.”

#4 “But changing what you eat isn’t the end of it. You’ll also learn to change the way you eat. You’ll learn to sync your food with your body’s needs, giving it exactly what it wants, when it wants it.”

#5 To truly accept your own powerlessness is incredibly liberating.”

#6 One aspect of Chinese medicine that has helped guide me is the idea of the body clock – the notion that our bodies have a daily schedule, and that every organ in the body has a time when it is healing itself.” “Chinese medicine [also] says certain body parts prefer certain foods at certain times.”

#7 All you have to do is try. And to me, the worst kind of defeat is not failure per se. It’s the decision not to try”

#8 What you give is what you get. Eat slowly and consciously. Give your body clear instructions. Stay positive. Go for quality, not quantity.”

#9 “I eat for my brain as well as my body.”

#10 “Life is a work in progress, but progress only happens if you are open minded and open hearted.” “Open-minded people radiate positive energy. Close-minded people radiate negativity.” “But a lot of people, especially close-minded people, are led by fear [and] fear limits your ability to live your life.”

#11 “Mindfulness helps me process pain and emotion, [and it] has helped shape one of my driving philosophies in sport: If you can focus on this match, on this day, as the most important thing right now, then the result will be the best possible.”

After these takeaways, Djokovic talks about what his day looks like and the most important people in his life. How important it is with whom you surround yourself, and the reason behind his close relationships with his trainers and family. He shares his dietary plan and how finding what he was intolerant of changed his life.

My point is: sometimes we’re doing everything right, but what if it is the fuel we put into our body that isn’t the right one? I believe a diesel car wouldn’t work if we started to fuel it with petrol. So how do you figure out what you are intolerant to and what foods work best for you? I would give you the answer now but reading the book wouldn’t be any pleasure. So read the book, and you’ll be happy you did.

Until next week, like always, go and get this book and read it.

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