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Book 319 - A Year of Magical Learning

Reflection Title: If you are in the business of change, you must play the long game!

Book – All In: An Autobiography by Billie Jean King (Part 2/2)

Book Description:

In this spirited account, Billie Jean King details her life's journey to find her true self. She recounts her groundbreaking tennis career—six years as the top-ranked woman in the world, twenty Wimbledon championships, thirty-nine grand-slam titles, and her watershed defeat of Bobby Riggs in the famous "Battle of the Sexes." She poignantly recalls the cultural backdrop of those years and the profound impact on her worldview from the women's movement, the assassinations and anti-war protests of the 1960s, the civil rights movement, and, eventually, the LGBTQ+ rights movement.


Billie Jean King is a change agent.

In my opinion, being an agent of change is her true lifelong profession and not that of a tennis player, business owner, philanthropist, or whatever other title she has held at one point in her life. Everything that she has ever done in her life has been dedicated to breaking down barriers and bringing change to the world around her.

Change is the operating system of the universe. Billie Jean King intuitively understands that the only constant in life is change and she embraces that head on with how she walks through life.

Billie also understands that change isn’t easy for anyone involved. To combat this, Billie often mentions in her book, “If you are in the business of change, you must play the long game!”

Human beings are naturally anti-change, and who can blame us? Change sucks!

Change is like that mischievous little 2-year-old that is roaming around your house and is now finally tall enough to catch a glimpse of that antique glass vase that has been in your family for 5 generations and has been untouched on your decorative table in the living room for the past 15 years. You didn’t notice how tall they had gotten over the past few months as you are still seeing them as that tiny tot that couldn’t possibly touch that vase for years to come. However, you realize that isn’t the case anymore when you see the child’s eyes lock in on the vase for the first time and think to yourself, “Oh shit, they can reach it! Crap, I forgot to move it too somewhere secure.” You start sprinting from across the room to rectify the situation and grab the vase in a desperate attempt to secure its safety. The child sees you sprinting for the vase from across the room, but they are determined to get to it first. They swipe at it and get one of their tiny little mitts on it and the vase starts to wobble. You both watch as the antique vase falls in seemingly slow motion until it hits the floor and shatters into a million pieces.

You look at the kid and all he says is, “Uh-Oh!”

We hate it when things break. We hate it when something we have worked so hard to protect and ensure its safety shatters into a million pieces. We want that vase to exist for forever, and we delusionally think we can actually make that happen if we take the “right” steps and perform the “right” actions. We want to know what we sacrificed for, and value today, will still exist for generations to come. We want security, reliability, consistency, and predictability.

Unfortunately, that isn’t how the universe works.

People like Billie Jean King inherently get this dichotomy that exists between how humans deal with change in our world vs. the universal operating code that is really at play. She understands that a different approach must be taken if you are going to push humans forward to embrace the inevitable change that is to come.

To drive change in humans, one must think and act like the universe thinks. The universe is playing an infinite game that will never stop evolving!

Change is constant, but it isn’t rapid. Change is subtle and happens over a long period of time. Just like the little 2-year-old that only a few months ago seemed like would take years before they could reach the vase; small and imperceptible changes slowly start to add up quickly over time. Before you know it, you look up and the whole world looks completely different, but you never saw it coming and the vase is shattered on the floor.

At some level, we are all in the business of change, or at least we should be if we aren’t.

Stop spending your time protecting the way the world is and start opening your eyes and embracing the ever-evolving world around you. Go with the universe and not against it. That is what playing the long game means to me. My best advice is to change course if you aren’t heading in this direction currently in your life.

Question: Are you open to change or desperately trying to protect what you’ve acquired in the present?



What is The Year of Magical Learning? An Introduction

YOML Podcast Discussion - Coming Soon

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