Few days ago, I was reading this article about Andy Murray. In it, the great Wilander talks about how Murray never plays a good or a bad game, he always plays a right or a wrong game. That is to say, Murray is so technically sound that he never plays bad shots but it is his game plan that determines the outcome of his matches. This makes a lot of sense, in my experience as a tennis viewer, I have never seen Andy Murray play 'bad'. He is amazingly consistent.
But it was the phrase that Wilander used that caught my attention. It can provide a very useful primer for analyzing our course of action in life, be it professional or personal. For a simple e.g. one could be trying a complicated experiment without results. No result could be due to variety of reasons :
- Careless handling of samples (bad way).
- Logical inconsisteny in design of the experiment (wrong way).
Another example, one could be trying a career path without much success. No success could be due to variety of reasons
- Choice of career path not in tune with your skills (wrong way).
- Not paying attention to the critical components of the profession (bad way).
There are four possibilities of doing anything:
- Good thing in a right way.
- Good thing in a wrong way.
- Bad thing in a right way.
- Bad thing in a wrong way.
Ofcourse, #1 is the most ideal. But I think it is #3 which can be the most dangerous, because bad (or 'not so useful ') things done in the right way will produce favourable early results and can create an illusion of success. This illusion can mask you from pursuing important and useful things. #4 is likely to be so unpleasant that you would quickly make changes/improve your techniques and plans.