Sunday June 22 2014

Dancing along with the champs

By Dennis D. Muhumuza

The national flags flying high in the wind, the players’ palms on their chests, singing along heartily as their national anthems play. What a lovely moment! How beautiful it is to be there in the lights representing your country in a prestigious tournament like the Fifa World Cup!

Every man and woman deserves to bask in such glory as is in the service of their country. It is possible through hard work and believing in our inherent ability to do awesome things. No one could have revealed the secret better than boxer Sugar Ray Leonard: “You have to know you can win. You have to think you can win. You have to feel you can win.”

This winner’s mentality is what distinguished Muhammad Ali as well. So optimistic was the boxer that he called himself the greatest way before he knew he was. Then he said: “The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses -- behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road...” to emphasise the value of inner conviction alongside actual preparation in the success equation.

Psychologists have empirically established that the world is bursting with failures whose plight is a result of giving up too soon.

The mentality of Yogi Berra that “it ain’t over ‘til it’s over”otherwise known as the never-say-die attitude is missing in many. We forget that failure is, according to Nigerian motivational speaker and writer Hugo Africa, “a dress rehearsal for success.” If inventor Thomas Edison had given up on the 20th attempt, we would probably still be living in darkness! He experimented 60 times before he cracked the winning formulae for his famous invention -- the light bulb.

Watching the 2014 World Cup has spurred and reminded me to win the battle of the mind and to never give up if I want to dance in the lights like the true champions.