Every other week in The Coach’s Box, Timothy Thomas explores the various lessons that can be learned from the world of sports.

After Novak Djokovic secured his 23rd Grand Slam tennis title, he took some time to proffer life advice for young people with broad aspirations. His advice isn’t just beneficial for young people, though; it’s useful for anyone who dares to dream, no matter their life stage.

Before we get to Djokovic’s speech, however, let’s revisit an article I wrote for Christ and Pop Culture not too long ago: “No, You Can’t Get It All Done,” based on Oliver Burkeman’s book, Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, and Andy Mineo’s hip-hop album Never Land II. I won’t re-post the whole article here, but its basic premise was to draw us back into our present reality and make it useful instead of obsessing over our future choices and dreading or over-glorifying our past. This is where Novak Djokovic’s speech is wisdom for anyone with aspirations.

Here’s what Djokovic said after his Grand Slam:

And I just want to send a message out there to every young person: “Be in the present moment. Forget about what happened in the past, future is something that is just going to happen. But if you want a better future you create it, take the means in your hands, believe it, create it.”

I give this coaching advice to my track and field athletes when they’re nervous before an event. Athletes can get so worried about results that they freeze themselves into a performance coma. I’ve watched athletes talk themselves into losing before the race even starts because they question their training, skills, and abilities. But they don’t have to succumb to self-doubt, not if they took such advice to heart.

Followers of Jesus have the added benefit of being “in the present moment,” as Djokovic suggests. We can live in the moment precisely because we entrust ourselves and our futures to God. We know that in the end, we will win overall (Revelation 21:4). That should fuel us to give our very best effort for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10:31) and let the results land where they may.

We can live in the moment precisely because we entrust ourselves and our futures to God.

Admittedly, entrusting our performance and future to God is much easier to type than practice. Giving 100% of our effort doesn’t always feel safe, especially without knowing the outcome. Losing (be it competitions, relationships, job opportunities, or family members) doesn’t feel good, either. If you’re still reading this, then you’ve probably felt similarly about taking chances and living fully in the moment.

This constrains us to living conservatively, especially the older we get. Pain, loss, and suffering aren’t enjoyable or desirable. We want to avoid those as much as possible. But suffering is the forge that builds great faith and resolve, and contains lessons that we should never stop learning as we age. Suffering drives us to entrust our futures to a God who fills the whole earth with His glory (Isaiah 6:3).

When we try holding tightly to or manipulating our futures, we might find occasional success—which does feel good. But then the moments of loss and pain become more devastating. Entrusting our future to God feels better because we can truly live in the moment without the ultimate fear of failure. The losses are still painful, but we are not relegated to staying with them. We can look back up and ask God for wisdom as we continue living in the moment he’s given us with gratitude and resolve to trust Him.

Whether you’re a young athlete striving to achieve something phenomenal, an artist with grand dreams of having your work admired worldwide, or an author hoping to write a great book someday, Djokovic is correct: “If you want a better future you create it, take the means in your hands, believe it, create it.”

Just because we entrust our world to God doesn’t mean we should sit back and watch him work magic. He’s given us all the magic we need to create a beautiful world flourishing with talent, excellent artistry, and wonderful words. Besides, do you really think Novak Djokovic won 23 Grand Slam titles without practicing and working hard for them?