Let me use boxing as a metaphor. In many epic fights, we have seen great boxers floored and battered, yet they got up and knocked out their opponents. In the more familiar sport of soccer, it is common place to see teams come from behind (goal deficits) to defeat opposing teams.
Life is like sports: you win some, you lose some. We must know that a knockdown is not necessarily a knockout. Most winners in any battle will tell you that they once suffered defeat along the way. If you are down today, don’t stay there. That is not your destination; your goal must be to reach the top. Let me remind you of the warrior’s creed, “I will lay me down and bleed awhile, and then rise and fight again.”
No victory is ever won on a platter of gold. Every champion must take a beating. Surviving such odds or knockdown is the price you pay for your trophy, which may be anything from winning a contract, getting a job, achieving your goals, making a successful sales pitch or getting married to your dream man or woman. Nothing comes of nothing.
Many see this recession as a knockout, I see it as a temporary knockdown. Nigeria is not always down. You, too, are not always down. Know this for a truth: if you are down, it does not mean you are out!
President Muhammadu Buhari contested and lost the presidential election three times but went on to win the fourth time. No matter how many times you have lost, you can still be a champion. You hardly kill a snake with a single strike; very often, we kill a snake with a flurry of hits.
No matter how long it takes to get to your destination, getting there is what matters. It makes no difference when Donald Trump (another perennial candidate) or Buhari won their elections, what matters is that they are, finally, presidents of their respective countries, even if in old age. Don’t let people give you a time frame or some unrealistic deadline. Work with your own watch. Don’t be discouraged by capricious time either. The Bible says, “God made all things beautiful in His own time.” (Eccl. 3:11). In other words, God’s time is the best. Your day of victory is your day. The world will celebrate you because it loves success, and success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan.
My counsel here is like the refrain from Peter Tosh’s hit song, “Get up, stand up, don’t give up the fight.” Quitters don’t win, winners never quit. Some of the greatest works of art were produced by men during their periods of adversity. Like Nelson Mandela before him, President Olusegun Obasanjo walked out of prison (escaping the executioner) straight to the Presidential Villa. History is replete with such incredible stories. Rags-to-riches stories are the stuff fairy tales are made of. You can also be a reference and motivation for success, if you refuse to give up the fight.
Every Nigerian must realise that it is in our hands to pull this nation up and make it great. Foreigners won’t do it for us. Blame game won’t do it. Living in denial won’t help. We must refuse to lie down and die. Everyone should get up and do their best and then stand together to revive our ailing economy. Every country goes through seasons of adversity, and very often recovers. Ours can’t be an exception. Only those who fall learn how to get up.
The world’s economic powers were once powerless but they managed to turn their fortunes around and emerged as champions. We should shun this escapist illusion that foreigners would help develop our nation through “transfer of technology.” No nation ever developed with the purchase of foreign expertise. Every bottle stands on its own bottom. If Nigeria must survive, it can only do so with its own breath, not on foreign life support, because no man breathes with another man’s nostrils.
Also, he that is down fears no fall. Fellow countrymen, gather your breath, get up and get set to win again with Nigeria’s greatness as your ultimate goal. Collectively, everybody wins.
WEEKEND SPICE: “It is not how far you fall that counts, but rather how high you bounce.” – Brian Tracy
Until next week folks, stay motivated.
•Ladi Ayodedeji is an Author, Conference Speaker/Pastor and life coach. He can be reached at [email protected] and 09059243004 (SMS only).