Olympic motivational speaker Ruben Gonzalez

No whining allowed in the racquetball court.

I’m a firm believer in personal development. I believe that the better I get, the better my life will get. Ever since I can remember, I’ve read books instead of watching TV, and I’ve listened to tapes instead of listening to the radio in the car.

My closets are filled with boxes of books and tapes. Hundreds of books and easily a thousand tapes. Some of the books I’ve read ten times and some of the tapes I’ve listened to fifty times. It’s just something that I’ve always liked to do.

One of my old success tapes says, “Success is about change – not challenge.” I was never sure about what that meant until about a couple of weeks ago when I was playing racquetball with my good friend Todd Guest.

Todd is Chief Accounting Officer of an energy company based here in Houston. Todd was killing me on the racquetball court. Todd has this powerful slam serve that I just could not get to. He was scoring all these easy points and beat me the first three games.

I started to feel frustrated, then sorry for myself, and finally mad. So mad that I changed my game completely. I transformed my style from a finesse game to a speed and power game. I won the fourth game handily and Todd said “Looks like you made an adjustment and it worked.”

We took a short break to get some water and started talking about success, change, and how it is so important to make an adjustment when you are not getting the desired result.

Todd’s oldest son Kyle is a very good baseball player here in West Houston. Kyle is 17 and he’s played on All Star teams for as long as I can remember. Recently Kyle was selected to be part of an All Star International squad that played in the Dominican Republic. Kyle is not just a jock. He is a tremendous student and has been a top selection to sing in regional and national choirs. He’s just an outstanding young man.

Todd pointed out to me how successful hitters constantly adjust to different pitchers and different circumstances. The same is true in any sport. Watch any tennis match and notice how one player wins the first set, then the other player adjusts and takes the second and so on.

Same is true in luge. You need to be ready to adjust to changing weather conditions and to changes in track conditions. The quicker you adjust, the better off you are.

Conditions change constantly. At work, in the marketplace, at home, etc. And when they do, you have two choices. You can get bitter or you can suck it up, make an adjustment, and get better.

Success is about change, not challenge. Those who adjust first usually overcome the obstacle and are bound to win.

I’d like to tell you that I went on to win the fifth game, but Todd adjusted to my power game and won the last game.

Todd, I’ll get you next time!


Olympic Motivational Speaker Ruben Gonzalez