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“I’m ready to fail better”: Aryan Lakshmanan


Reyan Mishra

Jan 15, 2021

Aryan Lakshman, a 15-year-old learner at Beyond 8, recently emerged as the champion at the U-16 Polish Open, racking up victories in five consecutive games. The humongous Federer-fan works up a sweat every single day of his life to realize his dream of making it big in tennis. All the diligence is showing and how! We met Aryan fresh after his win for a freewheeling chat on his dreams and goals for the future. Excerpts:

Reyan: First of all, many congratulations on your stellar win at the U-16 Polish Open. Tell us a little bit about the moment you knew your true calling was the exciting world of tennis!

Aryan: I am not sure if I want to dub it as an a-ha moment. But one experience that comes to my mind is when I visited Nepal earlier this year to play my first international tournament. I got a wild-card so I was required to prove myself to be able to play more tournaments after that. I played pretty well and reached the quarter-finals – had some great matches. I think that became one of those moments that I treasure the most.

Reyan: How do you strike the equilibrium between studies and tennis? It must definitely be hard!

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Aryan: On a regular day, tennis practice takes up the first half of my day. I wake up at 5 AM every morning and right after breakfast, I go to practice for over 2 hours. Post that, I have a fitness session which is followed by lunch and a quick power-nap. I make time for studies in the evening. I try to be proactive in planning my schedules in collaboration with my facilitators at Beyond 8. For example, if I have a tournament coming up, I would start studying extra in a bid to be on par with my class. I know that my tournaments may come up anytime so it’s important to always make sure that I’m a few pages or lessons ahead.

Reyan: Wow, that sounds like a rather packed schedule. How do you unwind after a long day?

Aryan: I realize that my mental health is just as important as my physical fitness. I always make time for a relaxing shower in the evening and try to relax in the night before bedtime. Occasionally, I do indulge in some good music and Netflix to unwind.

Besides that, I take quick power-naps to boost myself up for my practices and studies.

Reyan: What have been the most rewarding and most challenging moments of you following your passion?

Aryan: The most rewarding moment of my career so far was my big international break in Nepal, where I was noticed for my performance.. I also consider it a great opportunity to travel the world, experience a variety of cuisines, and immerse myself in diverse cultures.

On the flip side, I also have my share of tough days, where I have to deal with defeat after all the hard work and sweat I would have put into the preparation. But I am learning it is literally all part of the game! My personal motto is a quote from Samuel Beckett: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” That’s exactly what I’m doing. I’m ever prepared to fail better.

Reyan: What does the road ahead look like?

Aryan: I expect the next year to be very exciting as well as challenging at the same time. I do not plan for more than 3 months at a stretch because one doesn’t have the schedule for the tournaments in advance. That anticipation makes it all the more fun. While I am aware, the toughest is yet to come, I love every bit of what I’m doing right now and I hope to continue the same in the next year in my game, education, and life.

Reyan: That sounds brilliant! If you could articulate the secret sauce of your success with other students of your age, how would you put it?

Aryan: It’s basic and applies to everybody: stay focused and work hard. It’s no secret – what makes a difference is how one performs on these two parameters. There will always be countless distractions and diversions that could sway us away from our goals, but if you truly love what you do, you will rise past all the forces in opposition. You won’t need a torch to find our stability or dedication --- these great virtues will be the natural derivatives of what you do.

WATCH: Complete conversation with Aryan here

For more interviews of this caliber, stay tuned and watch out for the full video interviews on Beyond 8’s Facebook page !

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