Two thousand fifteen was the year replete with various sport events. Among all these events, tennis saw total domination established; Novak Djokovic (Serbia) won almost every important tournament, and consequently had the best year of his career. This domination can be observed just by looking in the official tennis ranking (ATP) list, where the total number of points Djokovic earned (16,585 ) is almost twice Andy Murray (8,745), who follows in second place.

The results that Djokovic has achieved in 2015 become even more reputable if we take into consideration that the difference among the tennis players in the top 50 is only a matter of mentality. Furthermore, since the domination that Djokovic showed can hardly be seen in any other sport, especially individual competitions, I want to take a brief look at Djokovic’s childhood, which was everything but the pleasant in order to elaborate on his perfect mindset and strength for playing at professional level tennis. Additionally, I hope to show those who feel demotivated, unlucky, or suffer “harsh” destiny understand that the road toward the top achievements and goals is possible no matter what the constrains are.

Djokovic was born in 1987 in Yugoslavia, a country that collapsed a couple of years after his birth, went through multiple wars which led to the division of Yugoslavia into several smaller countries. During this period, he started to practice tennis, discovered his dream of becoming No.1 and showed his family that tennis was in the future. However, in the midst of his improvement in tennis, around the age of 12, the world biggest military power, NATO, started three months long bombardment on his country. Because of the intense bombing, most of the people in Serbia, including Djokovic, had to move to safer conditions. During this time, food was rationed, people dreamed about nights without stress or sudden awakening from bombs, and all the objectives they had were changed with the thoughts focused on how to survive each day.

However, Djokovic’s was different. A clear aim with focus and determination to reach his goal made these war conditions have little influence on his tennis career. He used to train in an empty swimming pool, in the 2×2 bedroom of the shelter, and sometimes, unsafe places that still had a tennis court. This fight towards improvement in tennis, even when the life seemed like a bad dream made his determination to go for his goal unstoppable.

When the war was over, Djokovic went ­­abroad in order to gain further knowledge that he could not receive in Serbia. Realizing his passion, his parents decided to invest the little money they had into his career. Despite the adversities he faced living alone in the distant country, he improved and finally reached success that led him to be at the top of his sport.

Can you close your eyes for a minute, imagine the something that is your goal right now? Can you use the tools you have to help reach your goal? Do you still believe in the reaching success?

Always remember to stay positive and look at all the opportunities that have been given to you instead of focusing on the negatives in life. Similar to Djokovic, you can turn a dream into reality!

Written by Rados Veselinovic                                                                                                                                    Edited by Emily Perotti