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A Short Special: Tommy The Tennis Racket Fable (2 min read)

A short story about an ego that grew too big and some questions for you to reflect on.

Tommy the tennis racket was too important for his colleagues, until he needed some support…

Tommy the tennis racket bubbled with excitement when he realized he was finally leaving his corner of the sporting goods store and heading home with Jennifer, his new owner.

Tommy had always yearned to be chosen, instead of being overlooked by the never-ending stream of window shoppers. Now that Jennifer had selected him, he promised to cherish her and play to the best of his ability.

Jennifer played with Tommy every day after school. At first, Tommy was happy and grateful to be so important to someone.

"Dad, this is the best tennis racket I've ever owned," remarked Jennifer to her father. "I've won every game since I started playing with it!"

Tommy felt proud, but that soon turned into haughtiness and he began feeling indispensable. Because he felt like Jennifer needed only him, Tommy started to belittle the other rackets in her tennis bag.

"You guys are useless! Jennifer will never use you again! I'll always be her racket of choice. You're all unworthy of sharing this bag with me."

Then, one day when Jennifer was playing, she crushed a powerful forearm shot. Tommy flew right out of her hand and crashed into the ground. When she picked him up, Jennifer realized his frame was bent beyond repair.

She was upset, but quickly grabbed one of her spare rackets. She continued the game and won.

Back in the tennis bag, Tommy cried and sought comfort from the other rackets. However, one of them said, "So much for being Jennifer's only choice. You've been replaced and have no allies."

Before reading further, what did you learn from this story?

The Tennis Racket Self-Reflection

Tommy understood what it felt like to be overlooked. When someone finally recognized his ability and gave him a chance, he was happier than he had ever been. But he soon became arrogant after being in the spotlight as Jennifer's pride and joy. When Tommy realized that his arrogance had cost him valuable connections and potential friendships, it was too late.

You may have been in a situation before where you achieved success and then basked in it. Did you end up forgetting the simple courtesies and kindnesses of those who were around, who cheered you up and offer invaluable insights when you were down, lost and confused?

Remember that success is one of the most difficult things to handle in life.

If you’re not careful, success can blind your better judgment and cause you to overlook the simple things.

Try to keep thoughts of where you started fresh in your mind. This will help you stay grounded so your successes don’t change the person you truly are. It's important that you focus on maintaining your strong integrity in your character.

By displaying positive virtues and treating others with respect, you are guaranteed to have all the support you need if your life happens to change course.

Try to take business successes in stride. Ask those around you to point out when you're becoming a little arrogant so you can become humble again. Remember that things can change in the blink of an eye, so be sure not to alienate those in your support system.

Coaching Questions for Self-Reflection:

  1. Do I feel superior to others when I have achieved a new success?

  2. How do I or do I ever share the rewards of my successes with others?

  3. Am I able to accept criticism from those who support me?

Can you think of any other helpful questions in this context? I’d love to hear them so leave your comments below or email me nikitta@centricquest.com

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