Its not often that I read a biography and its even less often that I feel compelled to share my thoughts on that book with the world. Upon finishing OPEN, the autobiography of Andre Agassi my only reaction is to do just that.
Let me start by saying that I was never an Agassi fan. I didn’t grow up following him or even tennis. But reading this book, not only made me wish I had, it took me through the entire journey as though I was there. How could a man who “hates Tennis” go on to be such a force in the sport, helping to define it into the “show” that I know and love today.
Here are some of my “favourite” excerpts/quotes.
“How beautiful to dream. But dreams are so damn tiring…I can’t promise you that you won’t be tired, he says. But please know this. There is a lot of good waiting for you on the other side of tired. Get yourself tired. That’s where you’re going to know yourself. On the other side of tired.”
I’ve been there. We all have.
“I find peace in his claim that perfectionism is voluntary. Perfectionism is something I chose, and it’s ruining me, and I can choose something else. I must choose something else. No one has ever said this to me”
“I play and I keep playing because I choose to play. Even if it’s not your ideal life, you can always choose it. No matter what your life is, choosing it changes everything”
Taken from different parts of the book, together these are magic. I think that far too often we lose track of our purpose as we strive for perfection. Sometimes a simple reminder not to be consumed by the quest for perfection and just to stop and actually see what is happening around us is all that’s needed to bring us back to reality. I wish you could learn this lesson.
And finally, this last line comes from near the end of his career and story. I think it speaks for itself. I’m still figuring it all out.
“Also, several sportswriters muse about my transformation, and that word rankles. I think it misses the mark. Transformation is change from one thing to another, but I started as nothing. I didn’t transform, I formed. ….I didn’t alter my image, I discovered it. I didn’t change my mind. I opened it. He says people have been fooled by my changing looks, my clothes and hair, into thinking that I know who I am. People see my self exploration as self expression”