The Sound of Your Name
Fear has turned has turned what is meant to be a guard dog into a timid lifeless teddy bear that is currently scavenging for baby poop from discarded diapers. Just how low can a capable giant sink?
I don’t know what goes through his mind. But one thing is for sure. Every bit of his muscles tells him he is meant for much more than licking baby poop from diapers. He knows it. He senses it from the way people, cats and other dogs react when they see him. But instead of living up to expectations, he curls what remains of his tail between his legs in fear.
Sometimes African mothers pronounce death sentences when they name their children. Even if your mother gave you the most wonderful name and you might have acquired names such as loser, failure, drunkard etc that shouldn’t give you a reason to live a life that is beneath what you are capable of.
Take MacDonald Mariga, for instance. Loosely translated, Mariga means a funeral. That is a dead man walking, if you ask me. But Mariga didn’t allow his ‘death sentence’ to hold him back. Instead, he went on to become the first Kenyan footballer to play in the UEFA Champions League in March 2010.
You may have made mistakes that have tainted your name. The good news is – you have the ability to change what was meant for your downfall into a huge blessing that will transform the generations after you.
“I’ve been criticized. I’m not big on talent or size, but I want to progress and I have shown the critics… there’s no room for everyone; but there’s room for the work. God rewarded me.”
Boubacar Barry, after Ivory Coast won the African Nations Cup in 2012.
Master Your Fears
Didier Drogba is one of the most brilliant footballers to have come out of Africa. However, after featuring in three African Nations Cup finals, he never featured on the winning side. Instead, Ivory Coast became champions after he had retired from international football.
After heading in the goal that took Chelsea to extra time against Bayern Munich on May 20, 2012 at the Allianz Arena, a heavy weight rested on his shoulders. This wasn’t going to be the first time Drogba was going to take a decisive penalty. Thoughts of losing crucial penalties, in the past, weighed heavily on his mind. He remembered his miss against Egypt in 2006. He also remembered his miss against Zambia, a few months earlier. He hadn’t forgotten his red card when Chelsea faced Manchester United in the Champions League final in 2008.
What’s more, he was facing Manuel Neuer, one of the best goalkeepers in the world who had saved penalties against Real Madrid during the semi final. Bayern had never lost a penalty shoot in a final while Chelsea had never won one. That is too much pressure and weight.
With the penalty shootout hanging on a 3-3 see-saw, Drogba’s penalty kick was going to be one of the most decisive in his career. It was already clear that he wasn’t going to be a Chelsea player anymore (but this was to change after he made a comeback, and is set to join the club as a coaching staff). Despite all the pressure weighing heavily on his shoulders; his past misses and his fear of missing yet again, only one thing remained clear in his mind. He was going to conquer his fear! There was no doubt about it.
Was Mariga lucky? What about Didier Drogba? None of their achievements has anything to do with luck. They heard the sound of their names being mentioned at the podium long before it happened. They took the chances they had been given. They worked hard and by mastering their fears, they emerged victorious.
The question is, what are you going to do with the lemons that life has thrown at you? Are you going to make lemonade the way others have done before? Or, are you going to think outside the box by throwing the lemons back and asking for apples instead?
The choice is yours.