Friday, July 03, 2009

BRAZIL (3) vs USA (2); you (x) vs 2009 (y)!

A single moment can change all. – Christoph Martin Wieland.

It is the UEFA champions league semi-final, FC Barcelona desperately needs an away goal against Chelsea to get a chance to play Manchester United FC in the final match. It is just seconds to ending the match, and the Barca coach is starting to congratulate the Chelsea coach – having lost all hope of playing in the final. However, somewhere on the field – there is a player who desires to play in the final and with seconds to go – he scores the goal that gets them there. FC Barcelona goes on to win the cup.

Fast-forward a few months, and it is the Confederation Cup final match. It is the United States against Brazil, and everybody expects it to be a walk-over for Brazil. 5 minutes into the match, PHCN cuts the power supply to my area (as ‘usual’), the generator refuses to come on and so I retire to my room quite annoyed. At the end of the first half, I call a friend who tells me USA is leading by 2 goals! Wow, I exclaim – that’s great! My neighbours turn on their generator, and so I join them to finish the match. It amazes me how Brazil scores their first goal seconds into the second half, go on to score two more, and are proclaimed cup winners at the end of the match.

From my understanding of Mathematics (thanks to FAYESE Joseph and Dr. Layeni – if you know what I mean), a turning point is a point in space where a curve changes directions.

In English, a turning point is an important moment of change – a time or incident that marks the beginning of a completely new, and usually better, stage in somebody’s life or in the development of something.
You know, it is funny how so many successful people can trace the beginnings of their success to a particular moment in time; one moment that changed everything for them. Ever heard the story of an apple hitting Isaac NEWTON on the head? The whole thing was over in seconds, but that incident gave rise to a better understanding of the relatively murky concept of gravity. Benjamin CARSON tells the story of a particular class where a Mr. Jaeck (his teacher) compliments him for identifying a rock correctly (obsidian), and relates how that particular moment gave him hope for the future.

Turning points always accompany change, and all changes can be traced to a turning point.

Today, we stand in the 2nd half of this year. Dull your senses to your environment for a minute, and imagine for a moment that life is one big football match - you playing against year 2009. The first half is over, the referee insists that there is no half-time break, and so you just swap sides and keep playing. Take your eyes off the field for a second and take an objective look at the scoreboard. What does it look like now? Who is leading? Is it 2-0(2009 vs. you) or 0-2(2009 vs. you)?

Ok, it’s back to reality time! Take another look at the examples above. History shows us that matches CAN be, and HAVE been won in the 2nd half - times without number. So, no matter what the scores are now, there is hope for the future!

Make today a turning point in this year (and maybe for the rest of your life...). Commit yourself to ‘eating that frog’, learning that musical instrument, building that relationship, writing that book, getting that job, etc. Write it down (don’t leave it in your mind) and make it really plain. Read it daily (according to Bill Fitz Patrick - just 1% of the world’s population does this!). Make yourself accountable to someone higher up, or find mentors if necessary. Finally, don’t just think – DO IT!

In the words of Barack Obama – “If we work hard, and take responsibility – we will have a chance for a better life”. I don’t want a GOOD life; I’ll have a GREAT one! What about you?

To change what you get you must change who you are. - Vernon Howard.

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