What distinguishes the successful people who achieve their goals versus those who are equally skilled but not as successful? An interesting case study taken up by Southampton researchers regarding ace tennis star Andy Murray's success shows the ability to manage goals along with skill.
Researchers from the universities of Southampton and Birmingham found that Andy Murray was able to recognize an unattainable goal and focus his energies on getting after what he felt was within his reach.
Murray took the crucial decision to drop out of this year's French Open following a back injury, and let go of the objective of playing in four grand slam finals in a row. But, this crucial decision saw him recuperate and win the Aegon Championships.
Striving and staying motivated towards a goal and enjoying the journey is important to achieve success. When someone is motivated by external pressure or guilt, the process of achieving the goal is negative and stressful, therefore does not produce the desired result.
Personality psychologist from the University of Southampton, said: "We found autonomous motives such as enjoyment or personal importance were a double-edged sword. Athletes with autonomous motives put in more effort and persisted for longer which helped them reach higher levels of performance with increasingly difficult but attainable goals. Yet when the goal became unachievable, they had great difficulty realizing this, which led to brooding over the failure as the athletes struggled to disengage from the goal."