Thursday, March 19, 2009

What Do You Want Most?

You've heard it said that the best things in life aren't things. This truth is illustrated well by Andrea Jaeger.

At age 14 Andrea won her first professional tennis tournament. At 15, she was the youngest player ever to be seeded at Wimbledon, a record she held for 10 years. She won again and again until, at 18 years old, she reached the finals of Wimbledon. But at age 19, a shoulder injury brought her career to an end.

Her body was injured, but not her spirit. Andrea Jaeger no longer serves up aces on the court, but she is serving society. She has dedicated her time and money to bringing hope and joy to children who are suffering from cancer or other life-threatening illnesses. She runs her own organization full time, year-round, unpaid.

"You get very spoiled on the pro tour," she says. "The courtesy cars, the five-star hotels, all the people clapping because you hit a good shot. It's easy to forget what's important in life."

She forgets a lot less lately.

Her life is an example of what can happen when one concentrates on “what’s important in life.” It has been said that the main cause for failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want at the moment. And if the best things in life are not things, then what do you want most? What Andrea wants most in life is to help other people. And I'll wager she is fulfilled and happy because of her dedication to a purpose bigger than herself.

What if you traded what you want at the moment for what you want most -- if you remember what is important in life and try to do that? The life you build would be no less than incredible.

-- Steve Goodier

image: Hering

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