To win, be a player and not a spectator

The legendary Martial Artist, Bruce Lee, is quoted as having said: “Do not pray for an easy life; pray for the strength to endure

The legendary Martial Artist, Bruce Lee, is quoted as having said: “Do not pray for an easy life; pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”

In these COVID-19 times, we all need to say this prayer. We are living in challenging times. There is nothing as worse as having a year of missing school. And that is not for just one class or a few students. But the whole country. Only very few lucky children of the middle and high-end class parents are attending school via zoom.

It is these kinds of privileges and opportunities that keep some people ahead of the race than others. It is not easy to win a marathon race where your competitors start the race 5 kilometres ahead of you! In this ‘social factor’ economy, where you belong, and your identity play a significant role. And that is the kind of unique advantage. Just being an alumnus of a traditional or right international school offers you opportunities which are not available to others.

Many winning networks and friendships are formed in school. However, if you went to a lousy school, you may fail to fit in. And you could become a social reject.

In 2014, I subscribed to the digital resources of one of the top American Universities. I even undertook online classes, to get closer to the action.  Since then, I have remained a loyal subscriber. In 2020, the University organized free classes on COVID-19 recovery strategies for the Alumni and friends in Africa. I am one of the lucky folks who got an exclusive invite to attend the free masterclasses of the four special webinars that were delivered by some of the leading professors and entrepreneurs. These were high-level sessions of reflection and strategic thinking on how to win amid a pandemic.

I learned at an early age while still in secondary school that winners are folks who participate in the game as players, not as spectators. We used to hold vibrant debates which taught us the importance of preparation. Senior two folks would debate with students in senior three or four, as the rest made noise in the background. Looking back, bystanders found it easy to make noise. Folks who have been there tried it and gone through the experience know what it takes to win. Such people rarely make reckless comments or character assassinate others. Few players point fingers when their teammate miss a penalty. They know it is not easy even to step up to take one! For that reason, I always make it a point to participate in any event as an active player, not a mere spectator.

During the free webinar series by the top American University, I made a series of comments and asked questions. It was, therefore gratifying to receive an email from one of the speakers to engage further.

When you play, you get noticed. Few people take note of the spectators. If you want to win, get into the ring. You will not win an MP seat if you do not vie for one.

To be part of the action. That is the only sure way to progress.

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved.


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