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How Serena Williams Is Finding Happiness in 2021

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Serena Williams has a starring role—this time off the court—in a commercial that will air during this year’s Super Bowl. It’s for Michelob Ultra, and also includes the likes of former quarterback Peyton Manning and basketball player Anthony Davis.

The spot has a surprisingly philosophical message: “Does joy lead to success, or does success lead to joy? Are you happy because you win, or do you win because you are happy?”

 

The question feels especially pertinent now, during lockdown, when stress is at an all-time high.

 

Williams is the rarity among us whose life hasn’t changed too much since the start of the pandemic: Tennis’s solitary nature means it has been able to go on, albeit with a limited audience. (Williams is currently in Australia, where she will be playing in the Australian Open with socially distanced spectators.)

 

She’s been able to continue traveling on tour, maintaining a fitness routine much as she always has. But she is, still, uniquely positioned to offer advice on work-life balance, particularly now that she’s taken on mothering a toddler (she gave birth to baby Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. in the fall of 2017) alongside her champion athleticism.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – JANUARY 12: Serena Williams of the USA celebrates with daughter Alexis Olympia after winning the final match against Jessica Pegula of USA at ASB Tennis Centre on January 12, 2020 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Williams finds a direct correlation between happiness and her job. “If you’re happy, then you win, and then you win because you’re happy. Imagine going out to work and being sad? You’re not going to play well,” she says. “It’s important that in order to play well, you have joys in life and to have things to look forward to.

 

You might not win every tournament, but still you can have an opportunity to look forward to just relaxing and having balance. I think that this is super important.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 05: Serena Williams of the United States shows her emotion to the crowd after winning her Women’s Singles semi-final match against Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine on day eleven of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 05, 2019 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

 

As for how Williams maintains a level head amid the chaos of our present day?

She laughs and says, “Random, I know.” Especially now, she notes, “it’s about finding those little moments off the court.”







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