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May 20, 2008

Work/Life Balance

Whether or not we are professional athletes, many of us can take a page out of Justine Henin's book. She has retired at the peak of her tennis career at just 25 years of age. I don't follow tennis, but the story struck me because her motives are so universal.

All she wants, after all, is a life. "I want to rediscover the small pleasures, not look at my watch all the time because I have to get to training the next day.” We live in a world where our jobs can easily take over, and I give big respect to a woman who let's go of 'success' for more simple pleasures. Many people are shocked by her retirement, the thought that she has worked so hard for something that she is now giving up. But just because she is good at something, doesn't mean she has to do it for the rest of her life.

Interestingly, after a difficult divorce, and reuniting with her family, she has just found she doesn't actually have the motivation to play anymore. "She used tennis as an outlet for her emotions and finally with her life now reconciled, she no longer has the fire that drove her to success," said her coach.

Read more here.


Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you here, I find it very inspiring to see a person in that position and at her age take a decision like this.

I think there are two things to read into this, first of course the courage shown by her, but also the negative reaction among most people. This really shows who far we have gone as a society loosing the all so important balance that makes us human. Many of us are fortunate enough to be able to make decisions from within ourself and not because of external pressure, and I personally belive that it is our responsibility towards less fortunate people to do just that.

Raaga said...

I totally agree... I had a long chat with a colleague about just this... that it is OK to be mediocre when we are doing a lot of things... when we want to be the best at everything, we may run through life before we know what happened... I know that I'll accept a lower paying job as long as it allows me time to do the things I want to... life is about the choices we make!