Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Lift your talent with optimism

                 By Bayo Ogunmupe
       Webster's All-in-One Dictionary and Thesaurus defines optimism as a doctrine that this world is the best possible world and we must anticipate the best possible outcome for our actions in it. Since I accept this view, I have taken optimism as my ideology and cultural plan guiding me throughout life. This means you too must have such a body of beliefs which guides you in your day to day interaction with people in and out of work.
       The greatest obstacle to your success in life is your belief in yourself. Once you discover the arena of your talent, what hinders you isn't talent but a lack of trust in yourself. This is a self imposed limitation. Indeed, when you believe in yourself, you unleash power and resources around you that immediately take you to a higher level. Your potential is a picture of what you can become. Optimism as your ideology helps you see your future and reach for it.
       Success is more than having great talent. In American sports, success is a legend. People call it guarantee. At that time, it was an outrageous statement: a bravado from an high profile athlete whose team was the underdog before the big game. It occurred in 1969, just three days to the world championship game of football, the first that was called the super bowl. And that was just eight simple words uttered by the Jets' quarter back, Joe Namath. "The Jets will win Sunday, I guarantee it." That boast may not seem remarkable today. Ever since the career of Muhammad Ali, bold statements by athletes have become commonplace. But people didn't hear such boasts from anyone playing in the upstart American Football League (AFL). The then eight year old AFL was considered inferior  and in the previous two world championships, the AFL teams had been trounced. Experts believed it would be many years before an AFL team could compete at the level of any National Football League (NFL) team. The NFL Colts were favoured to win that third championship by 19 points.
       Namath's guarantee was outrageous then, but it was more than a hallow boast. It wasn't out of character for Namath either. He displayed superb self confidence and believed in himself, his team and their ability to win. That optimism, the ability to believe in yourself is the ideological self belief I am talking about. You have to inculcate such beliefs.
       In the 1968 season, his fourth, Namath finally lead his team to victory in the championship. He didn't care nobody gave the Jets a chance to win against the Colts. What the people didn't know was that Namath had watched films of Colts as he did of any opponent. Namath convinced his team of victory and that was what they did. The Jets beat the Colts 16 to 7. It was considered the biggest upset in Super Bowl history. Thus, Namath's fame is proof that it takes more than talent to become great. It takes belief, hard work, study and action. Action is the key to success in life.
       Therefore, beliefs are worth buying into. I do not know what your gifts are. But I know that they cannot be lifted to their highest level unless you are incurably optimistic about your ultimate success in life. At 75 years, Bob Dylan just became the first musician to win the Nobel prize in Literature. He did not need good government to become great. it is only in Nigeria that we blame mediocrity on the failure of governance.
       You must always believe in your potential to become great. Which is why you must craft an ideology for yourself. The inventor of the light bulb Thomas Edison said:"If we did all we are capable of doing, we would astonish ourselves." You must believe yourself first before you can do what you are capable of doing. The author of The Secret ot Staying in Love, John Powell, estimates that the average person reaches only 10 percent of his potential; sees only 10 percent of the beauty around him, hears only 10 percent of its music; smells only 10 percent of nature's fragrance and tastes only 10 percent of the deliciousness of being alive. Most neither see nor seize their opportunities. Industrialist Charles Schwab observed: "When a man puts a limit on what he will do, he has put a limit on what he can be".

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