He clenched his jaw and swung from side to side in the manner of boxers. Eyes never leaving his opponent. Compare his muscular frame to the average build of his opposing number and you’d not be accused of being hasty if you adjudged the pending fight a bit of a mismatch. But when the announcements were done with and it was time to exchange fisticuffs, the savage mien soon gave way to an average countenance. The stance before the onset of the fight had no bearing on what played out when it was action time. The menacing character got beaten by the unassuming-looking personality I had been so certain he would defeat. I am a mixed martial sports fan and it is not uncommon to find me binge-watching episodes of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. And it’s not just because of how real the sport is, it is the artists involved and how unpredictable a match-up can be.
Time and again, I have seen that the first to pull a flurry of punches in the first round often tire out after that short burst of energy has been expended. Many times, I have feared for the one who is at the receiving end of those blows…at other times, I have written them off, concluding that the referee would be forced to put an end to the one-sided engagement.
On many occasions, I have been wrong.
What happens quite often is that as the fight progresses, the aggressor loses steam. He is tired and bereft of ideas. His opponent has taken all he has thrown and they are still standing, and so, he slows down to catch his breath, hoping he has done enough to swing the numbers his way. But it doesn’t pan out that way because that’s when his adversary strikes. They have been conserving their energy to be used strategically, and so many times, it is the beginning of the end for the first attacker.
The scenario that plays out in the UFC imitates what happens in life. I have always thought it more important to stay the course and complete a task than to start with gusto and lose zeal in the middle of the project.
Enthusiasm is not enough; it has to be powered by discipline to carry the bearer through.
The phenomenon features in the workplace also. The loquacious employee who talks up a storm and appears eager to get work done is not always the one you can trust to see a project to the desired conclusion. And it’s not because they were pretending; it is for the simple reason that it takes far more than fleeting fervour to achieve a goal. That burst of passion you feel is not sustainable—that’s why you are unable to complete that book—or fulfil the promise you made.
We call it Initial Gra Gra; the oomph that does not last
It’s interesting to watch just for the rush it gives. But that where it ends. The bus conductor who’s quick to take off his shirt in anticipation of a fight never throws a punch. It’s all an act, True fighters just fight. They do not theatrics before pulling a punch. When people approach me about blogging and how they would love to do it, the first question I ask them is if they think they can sustain it. Because the truth is, blogging isn’t a one-off thing. You are called a blogger because you write consistently.
As with many other endeavours, the ability to do a thing over and over again is down to one thing: discipline.
Starting something on a whim in the hopes that one will enjoy it or achieve success at some point is a gamble that hardly pays off.
We see it in our society.
A new government gets into power and off the euphoria of the excitement that greeted the promises they made when they were sworn in, they embark on a project without taking a holistic view of things, especially in terms of what it would cost to complete it.
The result: half-developed infrastructure scattered around the landscape.
The young man who’s intent on getting across to the other side of the sea in pursuit of a better life has no idea how to make happen. Donatus leaves the village to Lagos where he has no family or even a plan because he has vowed to “make it” and cannot be seen in the company of his broke peers anymore. Jane finds every business idea attractive because her friends seem to be making a lot of money, and so pursues the same ventures without a keen understanding of what they entail.
These are examples of everyday people who are more led by their heart than their gut. What am I saying? Think things through before deciding on a course.
Your path is different. Your journey differs.
There’s no need to model your life after another’s neither is it necessary to be sucked in by every trend.
Find your path; own it. Stay the course, and you’ll succeed there.