Some days, you’re high, and you feel you can bring down a mountain, and some other days, you’re left wondering and moaning why life has been so unfair to you. It is easy to manage the days of motivation, but true strength isn’t seen when everything goes well; it is conspicuous when everything turns against you. Your reaction to the exuberance of life and situations is what determines your courage to win. So, how do you bounce back when hit by unexpected eventualities? In the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Italian Elia Viviani recovered from a devastating crash and fall to win the gold medal in the men’s omnium. In the same crash, South Korea’s Park Sanghoon was hospitalized. On same Olympic Games, Mo Farah fell during the 10000M marathon, but got up to claim the gold medal. For both champions, it would have been easy to surrender, but they didn’t. No wonder, after the victory, Viviani wouldn’t stop weeping; he was completely overwhelmed with emotion. Mo Farah said to the BBC, “At one moment I thought my dream was over, my race was over. I tried to be tough, and that is what I did.” Tough people don’t yield to demotion; they fall, get up and keep going. Your dream will be over if you don’t stand up, dust yourself and carry on. You must realize that as you walk, run or fly, there’ll be accidents or incidents; how you respond to it is what will decide your final outcome. You can decide to go off track and surrender while midway when things appear not to be working. You can decide to get vexed because someone crashed or clashed with you. Or you can decide to say to yourself, “It is part of the process to intermittently fail when the race hasn’t ended, therefore, I will not surrender until I get to the finish line.” If that is your decision, even if you don’t win a medal for global recognition, you have won a diamond for being a person of courage and strong character. Walter Anderson said, “Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself.”
When you’re down, your inner fire will dwindle, but when it does, what would you do to get yourself back to where you were and beyond?
1. Remember that YOU’RE ON A MISSION: a man on a mission can fail, stumble and wobble. Being a good person, having everything perfectly laid out, and being highly motivated does not mean the outcome will be favorable. When most of the time, it isn’t, you must pause and say to yourself, “It isn’t just a single journey, I AM A MAN ON A MISSION.” Missions consist of marathons and visions; if you lose a single race, you can still win the competition.
I learned so much from Omnium Cycling Competition. At a certain point in the race, the first four riders to cross the line after 10 laps, score points – the first scores 5 points, the second scores 3, the third scores 2, while the fourth person scores 1. These points are cummulative until all the laps have been completed. Losing points on certain aspects of the race does not mean failing because you can drop points and still emerge the winner.
On certain fronts, many people drop points and assume that the game is ended because they’ve forgotten that it’s a mission. To keep your energy on, especially when you drop points, you must repeatedly remind yourself that you are on a mission. All your cells must be continuously reminded until they can recite it in your sleep. Without that resonance, all you’ll hear from your inner voice is defeat because that is the information it is exposed to. Know it, YOU ARE ON A MISSION. Say that to yourself all the time.
2. Be ready to START GAIN, if need be: I remember when I was young, and when I had a very difficult upbringing. I was really interested in education in spite of the many challenges I encountered. For between 2-3 years, I left home in my teen age because I felt no one was genuinely enthusiastic about my life. I lived with friends but still had my head together. One day, I received a message from one of my senior siblings telling me to relocate to another part of the country where I would have the opportunity to study as a doctor. I was so elated. I told everyone that could listen, and everyone who wished me well was happy. I relocated.
It was a very disappointing relocation because things didn’t work out as intended; there wasn’t actually any plan made – it was based on assumption. I was forced to come back to prodigal living after that heart-rending move. For days, I wondered how people would react after all the well wishes. I felt ashamed and defeated, but was ready to face it and start all over again. Until the writing of this article, for over twenty years, I didn’t remember that this story was part of my history because I have done far better than the disappointment.
Be ready to start over again, if need be. Don’t die where you failed. Don’t burn where you were disappointed. Pick yourself up, wipe your tears and carry on. If you’re sincere with getting up and moving on, in a few years from now, you’ll look back and not find what made you cry. And what made you cry will become your turning point, and will form part of your training material for helping those who are down. You were down for a reason; to make you one of the most inspiring mentors to live on planet earth.
3. Increase the resolution of what you see: pictures get better with higher resolutions. If you see nothing, you get nothing. If you see blurry, you may get something but maybe, not what you expected. To get your intention on your hands, your mental picture must be sharp and clear – you must identify what you really want, and keep seeing a clear image of what you want. When you’re down, it is your image that will pull you up. When you’re out, it is your image that will bring you in. Your image never isolates you, so to say. Having a vivid imagination of where you’re going takes you out of the pit. You can’t compete with the best without seeing a picture of you withstanding the best. If all you see is having the autographs of the best, you will never step out to compete with the best. If all you see is taking selfies with the best, that’s where you will end up. I respect the best, but I will never worship the best because I AM THE BEST – god don’t worship god. Call it arrogance; I don’t care!
4. Remember, YOU ARE UNDER WATCH: when you embrace destiny, you aren’t a spectator anymore; you are a competitor – stop yelling like a spectator; run the race. You are now under the watch of those seated in the spectators’ stand; you are now under the watch of those on the sideline. You are an inspiration to a few of those who want to join the race; if you give up, they’ll be discouraged from getting involved. If there aren’t new entrants, when the old retires, and some die, the race itself will die, and competitions that keep the world going will gradually evaporate.
You are under watch; don’t let those who are enthusiastic about life pull back because you, who is already on the scene refused playing your role on the stage. You are under watch; don’t stop believing that YOU CAN. You may have stumbled; that doesn’t mean you should crumble – if you do, there’ll be double trouble.
5. Learn Learn Learn: fall only inspires if you learn some lessons from it. In life, we must learn from good and bad times. Our lessons make us win. You didn’t go down for nothing; you did so that you can gather enough momentum to project into the high sky. So learn, and don’t think you’ve come to the end. Just when you think you’re finished, your life has just begun. Respond to that situation or circumstance positively; get up and fly. You were born to fly!