A talented tennis player was nominated to participate in a tournament. Past experiences had taught him that no opponent was his equal. He had no doubt he would be crowned the champion, as usual.
During the finals, he met a strong competitor who scored point after point. It dawned on him that if he could not uncover a weakness in his opponent soon, he would surely lose the match.
Despite his valiant efforts, his worst fear came true. He was beaten and lost the championship. Shock and fury consumed him. He was red with embarrassment.
He watched the recording of the match with his coach and demanded that he point out the rival’s shortcomings so he could defeat him and regain his former glory.
In response to this demand, instead of telling him the loopholes in his opponent’s strokes, his coach drew a circle on the floor and wanted him to make it smaller without altering its original state.
He thought for a long time but couldn’t figure out how. Unless he erased the circle, he could not possibly alter its size. Baffled, he approached his coach again and pleaded for him to solve the mystery.
To the player’s surprise, his instructor did not erase the original circle; rather, he drew a bigger circle next to it. In comparison, the original circle indeed looked smaller.
“The same applies to you,” his coach explained. “Remember this: If you train to be stronger and more formidable, naturally you will feel your opponent is ‘weaker’.”
“Big and small” is a relative concept, as is “strong and weak.” Real victory is not about focusing on the flaws of others so as to crush your opponents, but about strengthening your body and mind so as to realize your full potential.