SWIMMING AGAINST THE TIDE


BY HERBERT MTOWO Life has a way of making us learn when we least excpet to at times.Others choose to sit and wait to die or see their future blown up in smoke,because they have not been afforded the opportunity.Hope will see you througH,1to prove their worth.Right now it’s tough to not feel like a victim. So many events seem to be beyond our control, and so many consequences of the decisions of others appear to have cost so many so much. It’s an easy time to choose to blame others and let events just carry us along- the perfect example of a victim. And an awful lot of people will do that, and be the poorer for it. They will stop trying to swim upstream, and instead let the current carry them where it may, and they will feel out of control and blame it on things outside themselves. They are victims of events. And victims want every one else to be a victim too – it proves they’re right about their own behavior. They will have chosen to be a victim – even though most would deny it. Others choose to be victors. Faced with the same events and circumstances and consequences and outcomes as victims, they will continue to swim upstream – possibly more slowly and with more effort, but still working their way toward their goals. They know it may take longer, it may be tougher, but they choose to stand and fight, rather than let themselves be overcome by events. They take action – sometimes actions that seem so small – but they know that only action leads to results. And in doing that they often find opportunities that they couldn’t have dreamed of, but exist because of the very circumstances that turn others into victims. As Steve Schiffmann says in his book Make It Happen Before Lunch, “dwell in possibility, there is always a door somewhere waiting to be opened.” Victors are optimists, opportunists,are takers of action.. What I have shared above reminds me of Demba Ba,who seven years ago failed trials at English lightweights Barnsley and things were so bad for the budding Senegalese forward that only a French Third Division side, Rouen, could offer him refuge. Earlier trials at French clubs Lyon and Auxerre had also ended in failure for Ba. Another English lightweight, Watford, were not so sure and, to minimise their risk, offered him a one-year contract in 2005 but after manager Ray Lewington was fired, his replacement Aidy Boothroyd felt Ba wasn’t good enough, and froze him out of the first team. He quit and moved to the French Third Division from where he was signed by Belgian club, Mouscron, in 2006 but, after scoring in each of his first three games, Ba fractured his tibia and fibula and was out of action for eight months. He arrived at English Premiership side, Stoke City, last year and failed his medicals, the second time this had happened in his career, after an intended move to German side Vfb Stuttgart in July 2009, also collapsed after he failed a medical. Noone at either Stoke or Vfb Stuttgart has disclosed to the world the nature of Ba’s medical shortcomings.But shortly after his Stoke ordeal, Ba was whisked away by his agents to try his luck at West Ham United and was signed.Given all the drama that has gone on in his career, from the heartbreak of his rejection at Lyon, Auxerre and Barnsley, the cold treatment at Watford, the injury curse at Mouscron, the failed medicals at Stoke and Stuttgart, you would be forgiven to wonder how Ba has kept going all these years. And, given the explosive success he has enjoyed at West Ham and Newcastle United, you will be right to wonder what the hell was going on in the minds of all the managers at Lyon, Auxerre and Barnsley who decided he wasn’t good enough. Given the prolonged spell that he has completed leading the line at West Ham and at Newcastle, and staying healthy all the time, while taking a lot of the brutality that comes with the defensive hardmen employed specifically to stop him scoring goals, you will be right to wonder what the hell was going on at Stoke when they announced he had failed a medical.Ba scored seven goals in 12 games for West Ham last season before leaving the club, after his goals failed to save them from relegation, thanks to a clause that allowed him to go elsewhere for free in the event that the Hammers had been relegated. He has scored 15 goals, in 19 appearances, for Newcastle United and, on Wednesday the 4th of January 2012 , he struck a beauty against Manchester United that sent his stock sky-rocketing and, in an instant, turned him into the striker the whole world was talking about.Ba turns 27 on May 25 next year and, even if you are not Senegalese, you can’t help but take a bow for this remarkable marksman, if not for his goals that have made waves, then for his incredible life story in which his courageous fight to defy the odds heavily staked against him. I like Demba Ba, even after all the torture that he put me through as a die-hard United fan on Wednesday night, because he represents the greatness, on the sporting fieldsand in life that we as human beings can achieve as long as we keep focused on pursuing our goals. In life attitude is everything.Is your glass half empty or half full? When was the last time you tuned in to your personal attitude barometer?The only difference between being a victim and being a victor is your attitude toward the situation.Life happens; it is as good or as bad as you make it.It is a personal choice to let small things ruin your day.You run out of coffee creamer or your favorite shirt is dirty.Even getting laid off at work or watching your portfolio diminish really pale in comparison to having someone else decide your fate, as in Demba ba`s situation. Now and again, Demba Ba stumbled upon a number of difficult managers who probably didn’t like him/his dark features and rather than judge him on substance they decided to judge him on the colour of his skin and told him he had failed trials at Barnsley, of all teams folks, Auxerre, and all the funny teams. Someone at Stoke City decided he was not medically fit to play at the Britannia and told him to try his luck elsewhere, although chances of him succeeding were very minimal,but we now know that he was medically okay and chances of him succeeding were very, very good.There are some people who seem to breeze through life, rejoicing from one triumph to the next,that`s Demba Ba for you folks.But by contrast, there are others who never quite make it, and always have a reason why life has dealt them a hard blow. Society is made up of victors and victims, and the difference can very often be boiled down to one key factor – attitude. Use today to pay attention to the things that you use as an excuse to be a victim.You can allow a betrayal in a relationship,to leave you forever feeling Hope will see you throughwounded,sulky,bitter and spiteful or use it as an opportunity to improve yourself and find a more meaningful relationship.Believe you me it hurts and cuts deep to have a heart break,but as they say its not the end of the world,embrace pain as a schoolmaster into greatness. You can mourn a job loss or use the opportunity to pursue your passion and create the life of your dreams.Need some inspiration and motivation to give your attitude a 180?To be a victor requires courage, goals that keep victors pointed toward where they want to go, and an understanding that they may not be able to control all the things that happen to them, but they sure can choose how they deal with them. Victors keep control of their responses. They have their bad days – weeks – months -years but they persist.Demba Ba has set the English Premier League aligt with hi scoring prowess,but he persisted were others wavered and chickened out. And in doing so they win in the game of life. Regardless where you are right now, choose to grab hold of whatever it is that you really want, set your plan to get it, and act. You’ll be better for it – I guarantee you.Choose to face your pain,loss,rejection and refuse to form a sorry me and pitty me Social Club.

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