How To Write a White Pill Book Review - "Serve to Win" by Novak Djokovic
Yuri reviews a white pill book and movie that deserve a larger audience: "Serve to Win" by Novak Djokovic and "Devotion", a story of pilot Jesse Brown's heroism from the Korean War
Comrades: Novak Djokovic and Jesse Brown are legends.
I have written about Novak Djokovic at length in the “How To Play Like a Champion” series. He is the GOAT of tennis and bodily autonomy who will be competing for his record 23rd Grand Slam at the French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open over the next 5 months. He won the 2023 Australian Open with a torn hamstring.
In 2013, he published a book called “Serve to Win” that was a unique hybrid of autobiography and health advice. It remains the only book he has ever authored. Many passages illuminate why he made his courageous stand a decade later, sacrificing his participation in 2 Grand Slams where he was favored to win (2022 Australian Open, 2022 US Open) because he refused the COVID jab.
How did Novak become one of the mentally and physically strongest men on the planet? “Serve to Win” captures the mindset of a champion better than any I’ve ever read. Novak opens with his terrifying account of NATO bombing:
For 78 straight nights, my family and I hid out in my aunt’s bomb shelter. Every night at 8PM there was a siren that announced the danger and everybody would leave their homes. The whole night we would listen to detonations, and when the airplanes flew low, there would be a horrible noise as if the sky were torn apart. The feeling of helplessness dominated our lives. There was nothing we could do but to sit and wait and hope and pray… But the war didn’t stop me from pursuing tennis. During the days, I would meet [Coach] Jelena somewhere in Belgrade to practice; she stuck by me and tried to help me live a normal life, even after her sister was fatally wounded… We’d go to the site of the most recent attacks, figuring that if they bombed one place yesterday, they probably wouldn’t bomb it today.
Djokovic turns this unfathomable adversity into a white pill mentality of love:
We decided to stop being afraid. After so much death, so much destruction, we simply stopped hiding. Once you realize that you are truly powerless, a certain sense of freedom takes over… In fact, my countrymen began to make fun of how ridiculous our situation was. NATO was bombing the bridges over the Danube, so sometimes you would see people gathered at the bridges with bullseyes painted on their shirts, daring the bombs to hit them…. These experiences became lessons. To truly accept our own powerlessness is incredibly liberating… Whenever I feel like I am spoiled, I try to refocus myself and remember how it was back htne. That puts things back in perspective. I remember the things that I really value: family, fun, joy, happiness, love. Love.
He learned all the right lessons from war and Communism:
Growing up in wartime taught me another crucial lesson: the importance of keeping an open mind and never ceasing to search for new ways of doing things. As a people, we were controlled by a government that kept information from us. The consequences of that continue to this day. Even though we have recovered from the war, we haven’t recovered from the mindset that communism instilled: that there is only one way to think, one way to live, one way to eat."
His open mind led him to change his diet. Early in his career, he kept retiring from matches due to physical exhaustion. A random doctor named Igor Cetojevic watched him suffer on TV and had a hunch it was related to gluten. A fascinating test confirmed his hypothesis:
Get someone to assume the same stance - right arm out, left hand on belly - and test their strength by pushing down on their right arm. Then have them hold a cell phone [or slice of bread] against their stomach, and test again. The radiation from the cell phone causes the body to react negatively and weakens the arm’s resistance, just as a food you’re intolerant to will. It is an eye-opening revelation - and will make you think twice about carrying your cell phone in your pants pocket.”
Physical strength builds mental strength. Every person needs to internalize this powerful excerpt about how Big Food, Big Pharma, and Big Media destroys bodies and souls:
You don’t have to live under a dictatorship to be manipulated by fear. It’s happening today, in every country in the world. We fear that we won’t have enough - food, money, or security. We work and work and work, and fill our bodies with fast food and processed food, because we are afraid to slow down. Then our bodies rebel. And so we go to the doctor because we have problems with our stomach, our head, our back. We want a cure. We get pills to cure the symptoms, but they just push our problems under the rug.
After eliminating these physical and mental blocks, Novak vaulted himself to GOAT status with one of the dominant seasons in history in 2011. He won 10 titles on 3 different surfaces and defeated Nadal and Federer a total of 10 times collectively, his match record being 10–1 against them. He went on a 41-match win streak and set a then-record of 5 Masters titles won in a season.
The rest of the book goes into detail about his eating, sleeping, and training habits.
Eat slowly and consciously.
Give your body clear instructions.
Go for quality, not quantity.
He lays out a full week of his diet and recipes:
Breakfast: 1 glass of room temperature water, Power Bowl Muesli with unsweetened almond milk or rice milk, 2 tablespoons honey, fruit
Midmorning snack: Gluten-free bread or crackers with avocado and tuna
Lunch: Mixed-greens salad, gluten-free pasta primavera
Afternoon snack: Apple with cashew butter, cantaloupe or other melon
Dinner: Kale caesar salad with quinoa, minestrone soup, simple herbed salmon.
His concluding remarks predicted his COVID saga and will echo in eternity:
A lot of people, especially closed-minded people, are led by fear. That and anger are the most negative energies we have. What are closed-minded people afraid of? It could be many things: Fear that they are wrong, that someone might have a better way, that something has to change. Fear limits your ability to live your life… Some people at the top feed off negativity. The way I see it, pharmaceutical and food companies want people to feel fear. They want people to be sick. How many TV ads are for fast foods and medicines? And what’s at the root of those messages? We’ll make you feel better with our products. But deeper down: We’ll make you fear that you don’t have enough of the tings you need. It’s crazy - even when you are completely healthy, they say you need supplements to stay that way. Here’s a pattern I’d rather embrace: good food, exercise, openness, positive energy, great results. I’ve been living that pattern for several years now. It works better than the alternative. Don’t be afraid to accept your own truth, to change, to analyze. Put questions in perspective. Try to be objective but skeptical. And stay positive. That energy will fill your body and improve your health, fitness, and overall performance.
Look at the raw emotion and love celebrating with his family after the 2023 Australian Open victory:
For more background on Serbia, here is my guide to Belgrade:
“Devotion” is the inspiring story of Navy pilot Jesse Brown, who overcame poverty and segregation to become one of the first black Navy fighter pilots. While supporting ground troops at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir during America’s Forgotten War, he was shot down. Disobeying orders in a valiant rescue attempt, his white wingman Thomas Hudner intentionally crashed his own aircraft nearby. Hudner spent hours behind enemy lines in the freezing cold trying to extract Brown from the wreckage, but it was in vain. Brown was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Hudner the Medal of Honor. Both families remain close to this day in their efforts to retrieve Brown’s body from North Korea.
“Devotion” is all about the American spirit. Brown and Hudner became close friends and served with honor, never leaving a man behind. The acting and visuals were solid, though it was a bit long at 140 minutes - our attention spans are too short now. Perhaps the reason why the film performed poorly at the box office is because the modern American audience no longer cares about patriotism and comradeship. They would rather watch yet another demoralized Disney Marvel or Star Wars sequel. In contrast, the CCP’s propaganda movie about the same battle where Brown died generated the most revenue in Chinese history. This is the difference between one empire on the decline and one on the rise.
What other white pill books do you recommend?
Re Novak's diet choices: intolerance to gluten, (as wheat cultivation is thought to have brought about civilization--'growing' enough calories to support diversity of occupations) or intolerance to the glyphosate involved in the agriculture? This gluten-intolerance matter seems to be of fairly recent appearance.
The mindset of warriors. You know this is fascinating and members of my family have cut gluten from their diets and found other sensitivities. But there is an anthropological and genetic theory that hunter gatherers were defeated by an influx of farmer warrior types. Lots of evidence apparently that farming, cereal grains and loss of our most biologically beneficial diet and lifestyle led to deep systemic weaknesses. Plague also was able to flourish once we put down roots and attracted rodents. I will be glad to write an updated post on this if anyone is interested.