When I was kid and I received any kind of card in the mail, my Mom would basically ground me until I wrote a hand-written thank you note to whomever I had received the card from.  As you can imagine that’s the last thing any kid wants to do.  Fast-forward 30 years later, I’m working as a financial advisor at Chase.  This client comes in; he had just inherited $1 Million and wanted advice on how to invest it.  I had a complete array of JP Morgan mutual funds at my disposal to show him and more stats about historical summary than anyone should probably ever need to know.  He left seemingly unconvinced of the financial power I had access to.

 

When I look at Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal I see a lifetime of follow-through.  And I’m not speaking about Federer’s one-handed backhand that paints the corners, or Nadal uncoiling his whiplike forehand.  I’m referring to the follow-through they both have to have in order to be in the finals of the 2017 Australian Open.  Commentators started to write Federer off when he turned 30.  Federer’s list of career achievements is unparalleled. There are web sites devoted to chronicling all he has done in the tennis world so I won’t even begin here.  If you don’t know about him, he has won 17 career Grand Slam Titles, more than anyone else in the history of Tennis.  One of the core elements of Federer has always been his high level of fitness and that he has been able to play mostly injury free. Entering 2016 he was hampered by injuries which knocked him out for over 6 months.  He could have easily called it a career.  He had nothing left to prove, but he fought back, rehabbed and trained hard; slipped in the world rankings and now sits on the cusp of his 18th Grand Slam victory.

 

Rafael Nadal, for only being 30, has had a laundry list of injuries over the last 12 years which are chronicled by Tennis World.   Nadal plays a very physical game; whereas Federer seems to float Nadal seems to charge, and that charging has taken it’s toll.  He too could retire at any point as the best clay court player ever, as well as one of the best tennis players ever.  He has fourteen career grand slams, tied with Pete Sampras and 2nd only to Roger Federer.  Like Federer, he could’ve just phoned it in or have called it a career, but he hasn’t. He has fought through every injury and set back with a tremendous attitude and great follow-through.  And as result he sits on the verge of his 15th Grand Slam Title.

 

Andy Murray is at the top of his game #1 in the world.  Novak Djokovic is always a force to be reckoned with. The list of young up and comers goes on and on.  The fact that both Federer and Nadal could have called it quits long ago is testament to their fortitude and follow-through.  One could argue they only made the Australian Open finals because Murray and Djokovic bombed out.  Isn’t that what follow-through is though, being there at the end of the day and still pushing and competing even when it looks on paper like others already have the victory sewn up?  Whoever wins the match tomorrow, in my book Federer and Nadal are always great examples of class and persistence.

 

Back to my client with the $1 Million to invest.  After he left I wrote him a hand-written thank you note, thanking him for his time and letting him know if I could ever do anything for him to please let me know.  He called a week later, set another appointment and ended up investing the $1 Million with me.  Thanks to my Mom for teaching me the value of follow-through.  We might not all play on the world stage like Federer and Nadal, but it seems we can achieve any goals if we just follow through.

 

Thanks to Flickr for the photos

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