Friday, February 24, 2012

Are You an Obsessive Fan or a Strategic Player?

How to Win the Games of Life
"All stars have a miserable beginning."
- Bishop David Oyedepo

If you're a student of science, you'll know that stars don't just pop out and shine from nowhere. A star is actually a mixture of unattractive gases which combine and form that meaningful thing you see at night. We really don't care about where they came from or how they're made. All we care about at that time is looking at them, wondering how they shine so bright and compare them with the other stars we see.

Just like these, we have our "earthly" stars that we look up at and compare with other stars. We grow to become their fans and watch their every move. The moment something goes wrong and they stop shining, we're the first to know.

Just recently, I watched a TV show where a popular baseball team lost a game and as usual, the fans were furious. A few days later, these fans were at a restaurant still lamenting over the lost game and tried to encourage themselves with past victory instead of enjoying the meal in front of them. Some minutes later, they spotted one of the baseball players in the same restaurant eating to his heart's desire. They left the restaurant furious, leaving behind only one guy who decided to enjoy his food after realizing a few things.
What did this guy realize?

1. Players Know When to Move On
Why dwell on past victory or failure when there's more to come? The future still has a lot of goodies and spanking for you, so the best thing to do is to prepare for that and let sleeping dogs lie. If you're a fan of any sport, you'll know that getting over defeat is not an easy task. But the crazy thing is that the players responsible for the defeat actually prepare for the next game instead of crying over spilled milk.

2. There is a Time to Shine
Win, win, win!!! That's all we as fans want. Players can't win all the time because they'll simply explode with all the pride and recognition that comes with success. The moment a star reaches its peak, it explodes and when this happens, there is no turning back. Sometimes, we don't see the stars shining because the world just has to go round. When you win, celebrate it because it is only for a time. Always have it in mind that failure exists but never expect failure. The faster you face this fact and overcome the fear of failure, the more life games you win.  

What is your favourite sport and how do you cope with defeat? Do you dwell so much on personal defeat or success that it keeps you from moving on? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments. 


  1. Hi Lanre: I'm not at all a sports fan, but I will still comment, as I think you have touched on a very important point.

    When we think negative thoughts, we get a negative outcome. When we think victory and positive thoughts, we are much more likely to succeed - in anything we do.

    I was a cheerleader in my younger years and to this day, I think of myself as a cheerleader. I'm always rooting for the success of others and looking for a bright outcome for all. The eternal optimist. Shine on!

    1. Hi Doreen,
      You completely explained it all. Positive emotions empower, negative emotions disempower. The more we think about what we want, the closer we get to it.
      Thanks for your comment, I really appreciate it.

  2. Lanre, I loved every word of your post. Moving on is one of the biggest favours we can do ourselves. When I think of the past, I try not to dwell on failures but the good times I spent with loved ones, the cherished moments of success...I always say to people life has no reverse gear. The key mindset is to enjoy everyday as it comes & keep working towards a better future. Thanks for the wonderful post.

    1. Hi Oluchi,
      I'm glad you found the post interesting. I love your statement, "life has no reverse gear". You can't change the past but you can change the future.
      Thanks for your wonderful comment.

  3. Hey Lanre, I love the new header pic! I'm ashamed to say I haven't been over here in a while, but I am loving the new changes. :) And just as I remembered, you have great content, as always. This is a great topic, as I am a huge football fan. My team is the Redskins because I'm from and live in Washington, DC. So if you know anything about football, you know they are not doing very well right now. So I have "game day frustrations" quite often during football season. But I love these lessons you've given here. They are so right on point and necessary to keep in mind. I don't usually carry my frustrations on after game day, and you are right, it's good to learn to let things go and prepare for the next game. It's also good to know how to celebrate your wins in the moment, that's being grateful for what is and staying humble for what is to come. Great topic and I love how it intertwines with personal life. Those are definitely lessons to keep in mind for many different aspects of life.

    1. WOW!! I love your comment Alexis.
      True, you've been away for a while but I'm glad you're back. The more we hold on to the success or failure of the previous game, the less prepared we are for the next.
      I appreciate your wonderful comment, hope you stop by again.

  4. When I read your post I could not help but think about Malcolm Gladwells' book on Outliers.

    Fans are not outliers, real stars are. There seems to be a hint of jealousy in the behavior of the fans that you observed. I'm sure the player didn't notice, or if he did, he realized and didn't care.

    1. Hi Stan,
      Welcome to the conversation. Well, I guess the fans just felt that "how could he lose a game and not feel remorse about it?" He was enjoying his meal while they didn't. As I said, they didn't really understand what it meant to be a player.
      Thanks for your comment.

  5. What a great post and I loved your analogy to the heavenly stars! Professional athletes do their best at the time and when I heard about all the Twitter messages going out degrading various athletes who had "not measured up," I was totally disgusted. What ever happened to good sportsmanship? My next tween book is actually about failure and how the most successful people have frequently also experienced the greatest number of failures. It's all about believing in yourself and your dream and having the perseverance to fulfill that dream. A great post as always!

    1. Hi Sandra,
      I agree with you. The more successful you become, the harder you fall. This only makes standing back up more challenging but stronger. After this, falling will not be so easy.
      Your blog is entirely on the topic of success and I like it.

      I really appreciate your comment.

  6. Great post! Moving on from the past is a lot easier said than done. I struggle with it...but the results are amazing when you do in fact let bygones be bygones. Also no one can win all of the time. If you do win all of the time, then all your efforts will eventually have not point. You have no reason to keep striving to improve.

    1. Hi Shona,
      Thanks for joining in on the conversation. Failure is actually a way of showing us how not to do certain things. It helps us improve, just like you said.
      I appreciate your comment, please stop by again.

  7. I am out here in Hawaii, the official outpost of absolutely no professional sports teams whatsoever. Nada. Zero. Zip.

    We do, however, have individual sports such as surfing where you can count on no help from anyone else and are entirely responsible for the outcome. You would think that this would present an entirely different set of problems to overcome. But when I looked at your list, I see that knowing when to let go and move on is still applicable. Finding your time to shine also resonates just as well with individual sports as it does with teams.

    I think that the advantage to team sports is the ability to share the workload as well as the responsibilities. In life, there is a real advantage to being part of a team, rather than having to carry the entire ball single-handedly.

    It would be nice for us to think of ourselves as all being stars. But in truth, the Steve Jobs of the world are few and far between. For the rest of us, learning how to play nicely with others is the only practical way to win the game of life. It doesn't guarantee a win, but two heads are almost always better than one. That's the way I cope. I try to forge strong alliances and then find my strength within the group. Sometimes I am the quarterback and sometimes I am a blocker. It depends on the strengths of the team with whom I am working. And that's a great comfort.

    It must be a terrible responsibility knowing that you are always going to have to carry the ball. I'm just sayin......

    Warmest aloha,
    Kay in Honolulu


Have any comment? Let's hear it.
Did you enjoy this post? You can subscribe here and receive new posts straight into your mail.