Winners didn’t win
while sitting on
the spectators’ bench.
-Fola Daniel Adelesi
am sure you know that at first the balloon is flat. You could have it in your pocket or in the middle of your book and nobody has an idea of what you are keeping in your book. Sometimes you could hold it in your hands without anybody noticing that you’re holding unto a balloon. But the moment you pick the balloon to blow air into it steadily, it becomes impossible for you to put it in the middle of your book like you did earlier! Once you start blowing the balloon you cannot fold it in your hands as you did before! Everybody around you begins to notice the balloon. They begin to pay attention to its colours and its size.
This is how the life of a man is supposed to be. When you have an idea it is first in your book. It can be on a sheet of paper in your palms and not seen by anybody. But when you begin with your idea, people now see it. It also becomes impossible for you, the visionary, to hide the idea. The idea attracts attention itself. Just like all the balloon needs to begin to receive attention is consistent air, all your idea needs is consistent creativity blown into it. Blow creativity into your idea like air is blown into the balloon.
Air sustains the balloon so long as there is no space for air to escape. Your business and vision also thrives so long as creativity is not allowed to escape.
Your next line of action is to shoot up. The balloon traps air inside to be able to able to exhibit its real size and at the same time takes advantage of the air to move up. The breeze does not often favour the balloon but the balloon still takes advantage of the breeze to dance in the air. You and I know so well that the balloon might be fully blown but it does not move if there is no breeze to carry it.
You do not have to start with money. Start with what’s on your mind. There are people who have ideas and are waiting to get money to start. This is why it amazes me that there are people who also have money who are waiting for ideas so that they can invest their money! If money really gets things started, the people who have money should not look for ideas.
You may as well be interested in the fact that the balloon lasts longer because of its flexibility. When it hits anything its direction changes. When you hit a hard rock while sailing through life, don’t stay put. Don’t say it’s the end of the road. There’s a long way to travel behind the rock. When the balloon is pressed it bends and flips out of pressure. Learn to endure, for sometime, bend and flip out of pressure to the next level. It’s sure isn’t going to be straight because when you have the alphabet written on a straight line, you would have to go zigzag before picking the letters that form success.
I have often found myself thinking about why some people feel so comfortable as spectators. There is no zeal in them and they don’t seem to be bothered about anything. The hustle and bustle of people is like a normal thing to them because they see that everyday.
They just prefer to look, even when they know that ‘a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the alms so shall poverty come.’ The reverse of this scripture will suggest to me that if I lose some of my sleep and lose some of my slumber and keep my alms open to get something done I will be rich! I like the fact that the last thing that was pointed out was the folding of the alms. How can the alms be working when you are sleeping or slumbering? The issue is that many people cannot put their hands to work not because they cannot work but because they have put their minds to rest.
We ought not to forget that the mind is the engine room of innovation where exploit is powered. Many men are limited because they allow their minds to operate based on what is seen around them. The mind is capable of accessing another world entirely and must be given that profitable liberty, only, when the notion is to achieve success.
You would only agree with me that the mind is capable of accessing another world entirely when you take a good look at what happens to men when he is on a spot. A man sits and stops working but his mind does not stop working! On a spot the mind cannot bring the picture of the world to you. Many people understand and agree that the mind can replay the past to a man. Many people understand and also agree that the mind can interpret the present. Despite this, they do not realize that the mind also unfolds the future and is capable of impressing it long enough for a faint picture to become invincible.
Winners didn’t win while sitting on the spectators’ bench! The likes of Ben Johnson, Michael Jordan, Olajuwon Akeem, Thiery Henry, Samuel Eto Fils, Drogba, Segun Odegbami, Obafemi Martins, And Ronaldo could not have been seen as stars in their chosen endeavours if they were satisfied as spectators. No matter how fast your legs can carry you nobody would call you a winner until you prove how fast you are on the track.
The mentality of a winner is that nobody understands what he is saying so he has to express himself with his actions. You would look like a fool if you tell the person beside you that you can dance better than the person on stage having been given equal opportunity to dance and you have refused to dance. It’s not going to be of any news value that you are comfortably poor if you are comfortable as a spectator.
An observation on why some people remain comfortable as spectators revealed that they didn’t want to undertake risks. Now as far as I am concerned you are only displaying a magnitude of ignorance when avoiding risks because it is a risk not to take a risk. Why are you always thinking about, “what if it does not work out well?” why not tell yourself, “it will work out well,” and dare the consequences. If you really want to tell inspiring success stories you have to undertake some risks because the roughest of all roads are the roads to greatness. That is why I often tell my friends to show me a millionaire who does not have a story and I would show them the thief they are looking for. It’s not that thieves don’t have stories to tell but are they stories they can tell boldly for the consumption of the general public? Can they stand with their heads unbowed like a motivator explaining his downfall except when they have had a change of heart?
There are so many people who probably have ten reasons to do something, but one disadvantage in the process is enough to discourage them. They want to be successful but they don’t want to pay the price of success. Tony Olukoyede, President of Purpose Power International said, in his book titled Foundations of Success, ‘you have to pay the price if you want to rise.’
How on earth will anybody write about the blacks without including Martin Luther’s name in the book? Who is Martin Luther aside from the fact that he always advocated equality between the blacks and the whites at the expense of his life? There is hardly any other thing that can stop you from going far in life except your own fears!
Job 3:25 says, ‘For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.’ Going by this statement you may permit me to say that fear is also a prophecy! If what you fear has come upon you why didn’t you dismiss that fear before it came on you. We are often afraid because we have a hypersensitive instinct that tells us what can happen but we have forgotten that we have a mind upon which the proposition of instinct is accessed and approved or declined! What I mean is that life can present pictures to our minds just like having several movies. You must not accept everything because that is what some people do. They accept every picture presented by life. Unfortunately life reserves the best of pictures for those who persistently reject the preceding miserable picture. I used the word unfortunately because many people pick from the crumbs of pictures depicting the least they can be. You can become the least you can be even as a spectator.
You may want to keep your money to yourself when you should invest it thinking that it is dangerous to invest in what may disappoint you. Interestingly, I like to tell you that avoiding a risk is a risk on its own. What if the speculated loss does not come into place? It means you have lost business opportunities! Some people want to wait for others who are going through the process to come back and tell them how easy it has been. It’s nice you would have learnt from those who have an experience but you would have killed yourself because you have just denied yourself of a firsthand experience.
The reason I said you would have denied yourself of a firsthand experience and that you would have killed yourself is that there is hardly anyone who goes through an ordeal that the two of you are supposed to go through who would come back and tell you everything he went through from the first step to the last step.
When you finally make up your mind to go, probably after he has told you the sweet words you wanted to hear in place of those harsh words that you ought to hear, you then begin to see things for yourself in sharp contrast to what you have been told. You would have gone through it together but you were waiting for an experience, unfortunately, an experience that will waste your time. Waiting for experience, sometimes, wastes your time!
Do not misunderstand me. I strongly believe in the guidance the experience of others can give me but that’s the experience of those who have gone far ahead of me not the experience of those we ought to have gone through it together because the pains of their ordeal may push them to indignantly mislead you!
You would not be enjoying technology, especially cars, T.V, Radio, Internet services and the likes if the inventors had allowed the risk involved to limit them. I know a little about the development of radio as a broadcasting medium. The man who initially started what led to the invention of radio started with electromagnetic waves that could only reach out to a few meters away.
There were subsequent researches carried out to make it work and the radio eventually came to Nigeria in 1932. It came as the tool the British Empire was using to convince all its colonies that they had one enemy and at that time it was like a box you could only switch on and off or increase and reduce the volume because there were no choice stations. You would only hear a voice talking and that’s why my compatriots would call it Radio ‘asoromagbesi.’ (i.e a speaker who waits for no response).
Nothing, as at then, was similar to infrared rays so you had to link up with the so called power house through a wire that runs directly from their control room to your house. They claim to have perfected it in 1935 but I believe it did not near perfection until recently when other inventions gave room to live broadcast and immediate response to issues raised on radio. Your radio only has to be tuned to any station you choose to listen to instead of running a wire from your house to the control room.
This is such a long process and it has taken so much time but if the inventors had waited for an experience, an idea like this could have been a mirage or most likely picked up by somebody else. There is such a great risk in delay when nothing is really delaying you. Permit me to also tell you that a delay in the pursuance of your dream is a delay in destiny.
Condemnation, as far as the dictionaries of some people are concerned, is the most important word to them. They are not doing tangible things because they spend the whole of their time condemning what others are doing. This has not allowed them think of doing anything reasonable because they spend the most meaningful part of their life (time) picking the faults in what others do as if they get paid by doing that.
There are people who could be better actors on stage or better leaders in public offices but they wouldn’t get there since they are too concerned about identifying the flaws of others while great opportunities would be whispering into their ears. Opportunities only whisper and they leave once they are not heard.
Such people are always unfortunate because they have people listening to them. People feel good when there’s somebody else who is ready to listen to them but they have not come to the knowledge of the fact that whoever listens to you all the time is killing you. The reason somebody would listen to you all day long without uttering a word in response to what you have said is that you are a fool. This doesn’t sound nice but you need to realize that the people who love and respect you don’t spend all day listening to you. They talk back to you and as well take some time to ruminate what you have said. Wise people keep quiet when fools talk so that they also are not mistaken for fools.
It’s normal that you don’t stop talking when you find out that people are interested in what you are saying but you never leave the spectators’ bench because you are satisfied with people listening to you. The irony of life is that people who talk too much are never heard but those who act are overheard. Look up and be sure that you are not a spectator when everybody is interested in what you are saying. They may just take you for a comedian and engage you when they want to unwind.
Spending too much time to think about what one wants is another reason some people would be among the spectators forever. It’s not a bad idea if you want to spend some time planning what you want to do, but a number of people waste too much time while planning. The Yorubas would say, ‘if you spend three years planning madness, when will you go into the market?’ Sam Adeyemi, the Pastor of Daystar Christian Center, Nigeria and the television host of Success Power was talking about life and he stressed the need not to spend the whole of your life for dress rehearsal.
You, probably, do not know that you are not the only one thinking about that idea on your mind at that moment. It’s all about thinking fast and doing what you have to do as quickly as possible. A lot of people ask you to think; think and grow rich or think big but there’s hardly anybody who realizes that you also have to think fast! Thinking is useless when it does not meet time demand so you must think fast. If you are thinking to grow rich you must think fast as well! If you are thinking big you need to think fast. One more thing that is important is that what you conceived while thinking is irrelevant because the thinking was carried out in your mind but what you act that others think about is the most relevant thing.
The story was told of a lady who was supposed to be a psalmist but she would compose songs and use such songs to console herself or uplift her spirit whenever she was down. She was supposed to sing those songs in crusades to affect lives but she was always singing to herself. Something happened one day. She went to a crusade where someone was invited to the platform to sing and that person was singing those songs she kept to herself. The lady who sang the song sang it word-for-word and she even used the same tune for the song. She could only cry because another fellow had taken the opportunity she would have started using earlier to inspire souls or mend broken hearts.
Doing things as quick as possible does not mean you don’t need to plan, but you should know that every idea is for a reason and what ever has a reason is meant for a season. You sometimes blame yourself for not making use of certain opportunities because you don’t find such opportunities coming your way again.
Let’s take a look at the way companies that render prepaid mobile services operate in the country. When you get your PIN on the card and you activate, there used to be a message that tells you the validity period of the amount on your mobile phone. Let there be an assumption that you activated the PIN on 25th of January and the validity terminates on 31st of January. Whatever amount is left on your phone after the 31st of January cannot be used again except you get another card.
It’s exactly the same thing with ideas. Ideas have validity period but the only unfortunate thing about ideas is that ideas do not get activated before the validity begins to count. It starts counting as soon as it is born. The idea becomes invalid if you don’t act on it at the right time. Go back to your desk and pick those ideas you have dropped. Dust your shelves and bring out those proposals. Even if you no longer have a wide margin of validity, get it started. Some people never stop when they start but they have tough times starting.
It’s not unnecessary to say that men without ideas do not have a place in the competitive world. They always end up as a spectator of the end products of others’ ideas! They don’t have a place because when you sell your ideas your ideas will also show you to the world just as the bible says, ‘the gift of a man maketh room for him.’ Ideas rule the world. Those who have ideas would always have their way because people want to listen to those who have ideas.
If you don’t have an idea you would always remain on the spectators’ bench because every invention is the product of an idea and people will always give attention to investors. I once asked, after several rumination, that if the wealthy are the greatest, what about the idealists whose ideas sustain wealth? Create ideas because people are often identified with their ideas.
You are a product of an idea. It doesn’t matter if you believe it or not. If you have an idea you may find yourself participating instead of spectating. You would be comfortably poor if you are comfortable with spectating. That is why the bible says in Proverbs 20: 13 ‘Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare.’