Sunday, September 27, 2020

Jubulane, Vuvuzela and Real Life

Apparently the FIFA World cup  Jabulane ball has a mind of its own, it is unpredictable and bounces the wrong way. It is too light, too fast and too this and that. The bottom line is that both winners and losers complain about the ball. So that makes everybody even.

On top of that the vuvuzelas are too loud and too noisy for players to hear instructions from their coaches or technical team, let alone communicate among themselves. I say that it may not be conducive to the kind of play that most teams are used to but as of the 2010 world cup it is part of the game that both winners and losers have to deal with – equally.

You see in life as in sports there are two types of people, those that complain about the rain, the cold, the bounce of the ball and the condition of the pitch and those that focus on winning irrespective of the condition of the pitch and everything else. What about you, what type of person are you?

Are you the type that focuses on what is going wrong or could potentially go wrong instead of what is going right or could potentially go right? The difference between winners and losers is what they focus on, winners focus on what is important and losers focus on the noise. No doubt the vuvuzelas can be irritatingly loud if you are not used to them, but at this point no matter how much teams or their fans scream at FIFA for allowing vuvuzelas it is not going to change the game. The only thing that can change or influence positive outcomes of the game.

The same thing applies to you, in life if you are going to win and win big you have to start focusing not on the noise or distraction but on making forward progress in all fronts irrespective of all the unfairness of the game of life. Yes, sometimes life is unfair, perhaps even more unfair to other than it is for others. But the only real option we have is not so much to complain about the unfairness of life but to focus on moving ahead. The people that today are in position that most of us deem fortunate have had to deal in their own life time their won fair share of misfortunes. That is why success is what happens when you after you deal with life’s misfortunes or unfairness.

There are those that believe in misfortune and those that believe in luck. Generally those that believe they are lucky and generally lucky and those that generally believe themselves to be unlucky are generally unlucky. Is this a coincidence or it simply the way life works?  There are distraction everywhere in life and the people that are least prepared to deal with them often lose and then turn around and blame their losing in the distractions. People that win often operate under the same hostile conditions that the losers operate in except they focus instead on forging ahead instead of mourning about the noise.

The noise will always be there, there are times when the vuvuzelas are going to seem to be blowing especially louder than usual when you need to concentrate, and the ball there will be times when the ball will bounce the wrong way when you have already committed yourself to a position and direction in which you were expecting the ball to bounce. When that happens the best thing you can do is to get back into the game by bouncing back quicker, regrouping and getting back into formation rather than disintegrating  because of all the pressure.

Pressure is the name of the game it seems to me, it’s not how talented or how skilled you are but how well you can handle the pressures of this game we call life. Do you have what it takes to turn on the heat when the going gets tough or do you wilt when the pressure rises? On the scale of one to ten how competent are you in handling pressure? Do you give up at the slightest indication of adversity, do you get easily discouraged, do you give up at the first sign of trouble brewing?
I am asking you these questions not because I want to know but because it is much more important for you to know. So yes, the noise, distractions, the vuvuzelas and the wrong bounce of the ball will always be there. Some people call these things challenges, problems, adversity or troubles but whatever name you choose to call them by the bottom line is you and I are not going to end up where we want to end up unless we keep on going in focused and consistent manner.

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Read this week's paper

Sunday Standard September 27 – 3 October

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 27 - 3 October, 2020.