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Definition Of A Grateful Loser? by yemmyma: 6:18pm On Aug 06, 2012
It was such a tense moment for me. Goose bumps, enthusiasm and that feeling of excitement you get only intermittently spanning long period intervals, say once in a year. For me, that was the moment i have felt overly keen on something so far this year.

The joy of watching a great Olympic race went up a notch when the names of the athletes was called just as the game was about to start. The fun and the swagger at which the sprinters responded to their names capped it all for me. This was a battle of the superstars.

Imnagine with me, Usain Bolt, Tyson Gay, Yohan Blake, Justin Gatlin, Asafa Powell and others vying for the gold medal. This was anyone's game. The fact that there were no niggling injuries in the build up to this match made it even more interesting. It all made up for a very level playing field.

The highlight of the match for me was not about who came first or how they did it during the actual match up. But the special moment came when fourth placed Tyson Gay was asked by the media about his opinion on the race. He said,

"I gave it my best. I came up short. I tried man, it was the best I could do."

That statement there stroke me. It told me when kings are going head to head against each other, there can only be one winner. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose. The most important is to give our best and accept whatever the outcome.

In my usual element, all i could come up with was the analogy of that sprint race to what we experience in our daily lives. The game of competition. We meet it everywhere. At school, job searching, career, friendship etc.

I remember when i started my studies at Yabatech, out of 80+ students in my group, only 22 students was able to attain an upper credit in the first semester which is the elite grade point on that scale. In the second semester the number of upper credit plummeted to 12. At that point the boys were separated from the men and the race got hotter. We all knew what each of these 12 dudes can do academically. Two semesters after, all 12 finished their National Diploma with an upper credit. Only one dude was able to taste distinction for a semester before coming sliding back to upper credit.

This whole tale is not about the 100m dash or my class mates. But let us put this in a career perspective. You are armed with good grades from a reputable institution, maybe a bit of work experience and the necessary confidence to face any interview. At the end of the day, you find yourself competing with 10,000 other students on the various streets of Nigeria with your same class of grade. All of you chasing 10 spots from an organization.

How would you feel if you come up short like Tyson Gay? Would you still think you are the best or amongst the best? or would you simply say well there has to be a winner?

Please share your thoughts my people.

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Re: Definition Of A Grateful Loser? by violent(m): 6:59pm On Aug 06, 2012
Winning makes absolutely no sense if you only benchmark yourself against other people's ability and it shouldn't necessarily be about being the best in a team or a group. Winning for me is being able to challenge and beat what I've previously considered my ultimate limits.


I did come up tops in my undergraduate class, but the driving factor for me then as it is now, wasn't because i thought i was doing better than someone else, but the push to do better than i had previously done...I still try to apply this same principle in every other aspect of my life including when giving presentations, working on projects,applying for new jobs, picking up girls cool...!


Usain Bolt isn't just interested in giving an extraordinary performance, he also runs to beat his own best records!!...that for me is the true spirit of a winner and there can be more than one winner in any game.

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Re: Definition Of A Grateful Loser? by yemmyma: 8:09pm On Aug 06, 2012
violent: Winning makes absolutely no sense if you only benchmark yourself against other people's ability and it shouldn't necessarily be about being the best in a team or a group. Winning for me is being able to challenge and beat what I've previously considered my ultimate limits.


I did come up tops in my undergraduate class, but the driving factor for me then as it is now, wasn't because i thought i was doing better than someone else, but the push to do better than i had previously done...I still try to apply this same principle in every other aspect of my life including when giving presentations, working on projects,applying for new jobs, picking up girls cool...!


Usain Bolt isn't just interested in giving an extraordinary performance, he also runs to beat his own best records!!...that for me is the true spirit of a winner and there can be more than one winner in any game.

Good response,

What happens when you are competing for a prize? for instance when you are desperately in need of that job? want that scholarship prize? get that good looking girl?

If improving one's personal best never get him or her any reward/recognition, do you still consider that winning?
Re: Definition Of A Grateful Loser? by violent(m): 8:52pm On Aug 06, 2012
yemmy_ma:

Good response,

What happens when you are competing for a prize? for instance when you are desperately in need of that job? want that scholarship prize? get that good looking girl?

If improving one's personal best never get him or her any reward/recognition, do you still consider that winning?

I think that, life will always find a way to reward those that continue to win by challenging their own ultimate limits. For such people, winning is a continuous idea. There's always a goal to beat...

I have come to understand that I can't always have all the things i want. Still, not getting the things i want doesn't necessarily make me a loser. Not trying hard enough to be the better version of who i used to be makes me a Loser.

Sometime ago when i started applying for graduate jobs in the UK, i sent out loads of application documents, got invited to more than 7 assessment centers, 4 of which led to final interviews and eventually two offers from which i chose 1. Obviously someone else got those jobs i couldn't. But the mere fact that i have gone further than i used to gives me a winning feel!
Re: Definition Of A Grateful Loser? by yemmyma: 9:36pm On Aug 06, 2012
violent:

I think that, life will always find a way to reward those that continue to win by challenging their own ultimate limits. For such people, winning is a continuous idea. There's always a goal to beat...

I have come to understand that I can't always have all the things i want. Still, not getting the things i want doesn't necessarily make me a loser. Not trying hard enough to be the better version of who i used to be makes me a Loser.

Sometime ago when i started applying for graduate jobs in the UK, i sent out loads of application documents, got invited to more than 7 assessment centers, 4 of which led to final interviews and eventually two offers from which i chose 1. Obviously someone else got those jobs i couldn't. But the mere fact that i have gone further than i used to gives me a winning feel!
You have just nailed the point right there. Nice posts!
Re: Definition Of A Grateful Loser? by AjanleKoko: 9:40am On Aug 07, 2012
Interesting discourse.
The key is not to give up when you fail, the key is to keep trying.
I think, in our part of the world, we are wired to fear failure. It was interesting to watch the women's 100 metres over the weekend, and monitor the comments of Nigerians on FB and Twitter.

Blessing Okagbare won her semi-finals, and she was severally applauded by Nigerians. Then she placed last in the final, and it was condemnation all round.
Something we don't do in Nigeria is encourage. Failure is usually widely condemned, so people are usually afraid to try. Also, I may be judgmental, but I think Nigerians get discouraged easily.

In the Euro 2012 group stages, Spain was busy thrashing the Republic of Ireland. The score was four goals to nil. Just a few minutes to the end of a dreary, punishing encounter for the Irish, their fans started singing their signature song 'The Fields of Athenry'. It was amazing to see all the Spanish fans in the stadium get up and applaud the Irish. Even the Spanish players slowed down a tempo, to take in the beautiful song. You can check it out, it was widely reported in the media.

That's what passion is all about. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but you must have a passion for what you are doing. Passion is the only thing that will drive you to compete. Nigerians need to shed this Jeun-jeun mindset, and develop a passion for life. No more whining, no more entitlement mentality. As we have seen at the Olympics, you don't get a medal for just coming. You have to compete, beat the best, and win, to get a medal. Everybody else knows that, why can't we just shut the heck up and get on with it?

Usain Bolt has brought a zing into the world of sprint, simply by demonstrating his heartfelt passion. It was wonderful to watch him just before the race started on Sunday, doing his DJ-mixtape routine. And his signature Bolt posture has transfixed the world. What a great, passionate guy. Plus, he's from a country poorer than Naija, but never allowed that to hold him down. What is holding us down?

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Re: Definition Of A Grateful Loser? by yemmyma: 2:00pm On Aug 07, 2012
AjanleKoko: Interesting discourse.
The key is not to give up when you fail, the key is to keep trying.
I think, in our part of the world, we are wired to fear failure. It was interesting to watch the women's 100 metres over the weekend, and monitor the comments of Nigerians on FB and Twitter.

Blessing Okagbare won her semi-finals, and she was severally applauded by Nigerians. Then she placed last in the final, and it was condemnation all round.
Something we don't do in Nigeria is encourage. Failure is usually widely condemned, so people are usually afraid to try. Also, I may be judgmental, but I think Nigerians get discouraged easily.

In the Euro 2012 group stages, Spain was busy thrashing the Republic of Ireland. The score was four goals to nil. Just a few minutes to the end of a dreary, punishing encounter for the Irish, their fans started singing their signature song 'The Fields of Athenry'. It was amazing to see all the Spanish fans in the stadium get up and applaud the Irish. Even the Spanish players slowed down a tempo, to take in the beautiful song. You can check it out, it was widely reported in the media.

That's what passion is all about. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but you must have a passion for what you are doing. Passion is the only thing that will drive you to compete. Nigerians need to shed this Jeun-jeun mindset, and develop a passion for life. No more whining, no more entitlement mentality. As we have seen at the Olympics, you don't get a medal for just coming. You have to compete, beat the best, and win, to get a medal. Everybody else knows that, why can't we just shut the heck up and get on with it?

Usain Bolt has brought a zing into the world of sprint, simply by demonstrating his heartfelt passion. It was wonderful to watch him just before the race started on Sunday, doing his DJ-mixtape routine. And his signature Bolt posture has transfixed the world. What a great, passionate guy. Plus, he's from a country poorer than Naija, but never allowed that to hold him down. What is holding us down?

Good post AJ,

Following one's passion is great. But away from athletics, do you think the Nigerian society is set up for the risk that inherent in passion? For instance, lets take an example from home. The Nigerian rapper Modenine said 'most Nigerians rap but are not hiphop'. He raps for the sake of protecting hip hop in Nigeria but has little accolade to his name compared to mainstream rappers like Naeto C and M.I. Would you advise him to continue with his passion for real and genuine hip hop or jump on the commercial side of rap? What happens if he can't break even?
Re: Definition Of A Grateful Loser? by AjanleKoko: 2:09pm On Aug 07, 2012
yemmy_ma:

Good post AJ,

Following one's passion is great. But away from athletics, do you think the Nigerian society is set up for the risk that inherent in passion? For instance, lets take an example from home. The Nigerian rapper Modenine said 'most Nigerians rap but are not hiphop'. He raps for the sake of protecting hip hop in Nigeria but has little accolade to his name compared to mainstream rappers like Naeto C and M.I. Would you advise him to continue with his passion for real and genuine hip hop or jump on the commercial side of rap? What happens if he can't break even?

Are you saying Naeto C and MI are not good or passionate rappers?
Personally I think they are better entertainers than Modenine. They know how to make good listening music, commercialize it, and they are also good on stage.
Modenine is also quite successful commercially. He doesn't make party music, so you may not see him at too many events. But his airplay is also good.
In my opinion, all three men have passion. They wouldn't be doing what they're doing if they were focused strictly on jeun-jeun mentality. That is what separates them from the hundreds of other musicians jostling for airplay.

What you said, referring to bolded, indicates one thing to me: maybe that is what the problem is with us. We don't want to do anything unless we have some guarantee of financial success, and there is also the perception that whatever we do must be 'easy'. And we have somehow bent the whole society towards that line of reasoning. How can you guarantee financial success without hard work as a pre-requisite? Do you think Usain Bolt would be the world's fastest man today if he wasn't working seriously hard at it? Of course we all have to survive, yes, but 'break even'?

I guess it is because Nigeria has very few people who actually worked very hard for their wealth. Most of the wealth around is ill-gotten, which has bent the populace into a mindset that rejects hard work and necessary sweat, and has also drained all desire to excel from the people. But this is a cascade effect; we can't just single out IBB et al. There must be something that triggered that line of reasoning, and that something still reinforces it till today. That's the question we all have to ask ourselves, the mental barrier that we all need to break. Else, like I always say, we will be deservedly re-colonized in the end.
Re: Definition Of A Grateful Loser? by yemmyma: 2:54pm On Aug 07, 2012
No, i never said M.I and Naeto C are not passionate. I only made reference to the comment by Modenine. Hip hop and Rap.

Coming back to the point of breaking even, at some point i believe we need to commend Nigerians to an extent. Some of these dudes are doing what they love, but don't have any financial back up. Like my friend at Yabatech who came joint top in my class always said no body is forcing him to go to school as he was just doing it for himself. Father doesn't care and mum is dead.

Last week in France, there was tension in the circuit of their arts practitioners whose job are seasonal. Do you know that when these people are not having performances, they are entitled to some form of unemployment benefits? The tension i mentioned earlier was a result of the announcement by the govt to cancel these benefits.

Now you see what i mean. Passion is much more easier in the West but the risk are far too great in Nigeria where the majority of the populace is unsecured.

But i should also point out that the trajectory at which we are attending to this issue is swaying from the athletics case because there are many other elements involved in the rap/hiphop race than the athletics.
Re: Definition Of A Grateful Loser? by AjanleKoko: 5:20pm On Aug 07, 2012
yemmy_ma: No, i never said M.I and Naeto C are not passionate. I only made reference to the comment by Modenine. Hip hop and Rap.

Coming back to the point of breaking even, at some point i believe we need to commend Nigerians to an extent. Some of these dudes are doing what they love, but don't have any financial back up. Like my friend at Yabatech who came joint top in my class always said no body is forcing him to go to school as he was just doing it for himself. Father doesn't care and mum is dead.

Last week in France, there was tension in the circuit of their arts practitioners whose job are seasonal. Do you know that when these people are not having performances, they are entitled to some form of unemployment benefits? The tension i mentioned earlier was a result of the announcement by the govt to cancel these benefits.

Now you see what i mean. Passion is much more easier in the West but the risk are far too great in Nigeria where the majority of the populace is unsecured.

You are also using the word 'entitled'.
On the subject of hip-hop, what about the creators of hip-hop, African Americans? Were they getting any 'entitlements'?
Re: Definition Of A Grateful Loser? by prodam(m): 5:20pm On Aug 07, 2012
Brilliant discourse here!
To be candid, as I have pointed out on my latest thread titled 'why are you still in Nigeria'...the problematic situation of the country has really affected the drive and perspective of Nigerians..nobody today would consider passion without first calculating the financial gain..that is what the economy has provided us with...a nation where there is no reward for patriotism and hardwork..the man who takes the shortcut is always celeberated..I hope someday, things will change for the better
Re: Definition Of A Grateful Loser? by yemmyma: 5:28pm On Aug 07, 2012
AjanleKoko:

You are also using the word 'entitled'.
On the subject of hip-hop, what about the creators of hip-hop, African Americans? Were they getting any 'entitlements'?

Ha! Permit me. They had things going for them one way or the other. You can't compare them to the hopeless situation some Nigerians find themselves.
Re: Definition Of A Grateful Loser? by AjanleKoko: 5:34pm On Aug 07, 2012
yemmy_ma:

Ha! Permit me. They had things going for them one way or the other. You can't compare them to the hopeless situation some Nigerians find themselves.

I beg to differ on the 'hopeless' situation.
But I wouldn't go into that at this point. My point is, we go to no end to find excuses for our ineptitude and lack of motivation. I'm thinking of composing a new national anthem for Nigeria sef, called 'THE GOVERNMENT DID NOT GIVE ME MONEY' grin

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