Wimbledon, England, 2001. The biggest tennis tournament and Grand Slam of the year. The finals. Fifth set. Championship point. On one side is Patrick Rafter, the third player in the world. On the other side, you would expect someone like Andre Agassi or Pete Sampras at that time. But that wasn’t the case here.
On the other side, serving for the Wimbledon championship point, was the 126th player in the world. A 30-year-old guy who in the last 10 months lost all but 3 matches and a week before Wimbledon, was defeated by a 195th player in the world in the first round.
He never won a Grand Slam in his life, was prone to mental breakdowns on the court and couldn’t even qualify for Wimbledon that year because of his terrible ranking! But the organizers gave him an invitation called the “Wild Card”. His name was Goran Ivanišević.
As he served that championship point, the crowd went crazy. Rafter returned the service to the net. Goran had finally won Wimbledon! He became the lowest ranking player who ever won a Grand Slam and the only player in the history of tennis who did it as the “Wild Card”.
“Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Ryun
The question people asked themselves after it happened is how? Goran was a player famous for throwing tantrums and not keeping it together. He is the only player who surrendered a match for not having the necessary equipment to play – because he broke all 3 rackets during a single match! Something was different about him on that tournament. But what?
The answer to that questions lies in his morning routine during Wimbledon that he called “The Ritual”:
Goran’s Morning Routine aka The Ritual
The routine was pretty simple and a bit controversial. He and his entire team would gather in his room to watch Teletubbies at 10 AM sharp. Then, he would wash his 2 shirts in which he played. He would eat the same food in the same restaurant every day. And he would have everyone from his team sit at the same place in the box at the court. He would always urinate in the same urinary at his locker room and the last thing was that he absolutely couldn’t step on the white line while entering the field.
That’s it! Sounds simple. But only on the surface. The reason why this worked for Goran was that it put him in peak state. A peak state is a continuous state of mind where we feel fully present, alive, have absolute focus and are using a 100% of our capacity. Some people describe peak state with the phrases like “the time slows down or just stops” or “everything seems so clear to me. I know what I have to do.”
Have you ever felt something like this? Then you know how amazing it is and how flawlessly you perform in peak state.That is what peak state is designed for. It gives us the ability to perform at our highest level. The problem is actually achieving peak state in a continuous manner. But there is a way to do that. And as we saw in Goran’s case, the secret lies in our morning routine.
“Quality is not an act, but a ritual” – Aristotle
Design Your Morning Routine
Our morning routines can put us in peak state and we shouldn’t consider our routines as time wasters but as time investors. They help us achieve a state where we are hyper-productive and where we do more in a shorter span of time. But for us to create a routine that puts us in peak state, we need to design it according to ourselves.
Something that works for me might not work for you. And you can only figure it out by testing, testing, and testing. I can tell you that meditation, journaling, self-reflection, and waking up at 5am will help you and can put you in peak state. But unless that works for you, it will be useless. The way you will figure it out is by testing it yourself.
Try for 21 days each and every single one of those mentioned. Do only one at a time, because otherwise, you won’t do any of them. They sound simple, but as Jim Rohn said “Simple things are easy to do. But they are also easy not to do.”
Test out your routine. It doesn’t matter if it’s silly, weird or controversial. It just has to work for one person. For you. Goran watched Teletubbies and urinated in the same urinary. And it helped him achieve Peak state and win Wimbledon. Just imagine what peak state could do for you.
After you imagine it, write down a commitment in the comment section stating “I will do (insert activity) for the next 21 days to see if it will help me achieve Peak state.”