You can do you!

I was bored alone at home last Saturday when I realised it was about to rain. As a knee-jerk reaction, I picked up my phone and called a friend of mine. Let’s call her Cindy (not her real name). When she answered the phone, I was like “Hey, Cindy it’s been a minute. I was around your place, thought I’d drop by and check on you.” And she was like “yea, sure.” So I swagged up, ran from my house to the Junction, took a taxi, dropped around her place and walked about a hundred meters to her home, you know the usual thing a guy does when he says he’s ‘dropping by’.

So I got there and Cindy and I got to talking and like clockwork it began to rain. Out of the blues, she asked me “Hesley, what sport do you play?” And with a cheeky smile, I said “Chess”. She seemed dissatisfied but apparently decided it was a nonevent and we continued talking. After sometime, she said “Well, I like boys who are good at sport, I’m sure they have energy.”

Not to be outdone, I told her “I’m the best kilpfigerer that has ever lived.”

“What’s that?” She asked.

“It’s an extreme sport, much like snooker, but played with feet and has very complicated rules. It exists in an alternate universe and would not be invented on earth for another 500 years to come.” She laughed. Seeing as I was on a roll, I decided to continue with my jokes. “I’m serious though” I said to her. “Imagine the greatest footballer to ever live was born in an era when there was no football. Look at it this way; you’re familiar with Lionel Messi yea? Well, a few people believe he’s the best of his era (Not me though, CR7 all the way.) Who does Messi remind you of in the Bible? Yes, Zaccheus of course. Really think about it. They are both short and when it comes to taxes, their dealings are fishy (yep I said it.)Not to mention, they are both pretty athletic. In the time it took for Jesus to cross the road, Zaccheus had climbed a tree. How can we be certain then that Zaccheus is not the greatest footballer to ever live but was just born in the wrong century? Or that I would not have made a great gladiator had I not been born two thousand years too late?”

Cindy refused to see my point and when it was time for bed, she lent me her umbrella and sent me packing. Note to self: when a girl is strictly into athletes, words won’t get you anywhere.

As I found my way home, I did a lot of thinking. In the spur of the moment, I had come up with that rather silly point of view but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense to me. Next, my brain began to wander and boom I had an epiphany.

I remembered back in high school when we had our inter-house competition. My house was involved in a football match and I showed up at halftime to find my team two goals down. I may be the worst footballer since the dark ages, when people didn’t play football, but everyone knows I’m good with my mouth (hehe get your mind out of the gutter.) I stepped up and gave them this rousing speech. I knew nothing about football tactics or game management but I said one or two things to galvanise their confidence. Fifteen minutes elapsed and my team returned to the pitch. By the end of the game, we were leading by 4 goals to 2. Boy did I feel like Sir Alex Ferguson. Till this day, no one can quite agree on what happened. Some say our opponents were tired, some say it was the weather while others blame it on poor refereeing. I would like to believe it was a certain speech a certain someone gave at halftime. We’ll never know.

Anyway, I was inevitably drawn to that experience for one simple reason; All around me (And even beyond) I am surrounded by people who have no idea what they want to do in life or people who have become disillusioned with what they once thought was their passion. You see, so many people go around life needing a ‘halftime’ for someone to just pat their backs and put them back on track. Sadly, not everyone gets a personal coach. Well, if you don’t have one I got news for you buddy, you don’t really need one, you can do you. You can be your own coach. You just need to keep two things in mind.

First thing is that a lot of people stand to benefit from you achieving your goals. Imagine how empty our lives would be if Ronaldo or Messi didn’t play football, if Ali didn’t take up boxing or if Tupac never rapped etc. The list is truly endless. You owe it to the world to at least try to pursue your dreams and showcase your talent. You have no idea how many lives you could enrich by chasing your dreams, you can’t afford to just give up and let your dreams die. There’s a biblical principle, “To whom much is given much is expected.” If you do not want to listen to me, at least listen to God.

Secondly, regardless of what you attempt in this life, always remember that a job half-way done is equivalent to a job not done and a job badly done is even worse. You see, I’m a big fan of Leonardo Da Vinci, I believe he is one of the very few people in human history that deserves to be called a genius. So imagine my surprise when I found out his final words were “I have failed God and man because the quality of my work is not what it should be.”(I wasn’t by him when he died but trust me, that’s legit.) That’s not to say Da Vinci considered himself a failure. Far from that, what it means is (provided we all live long lives) in the end we will all look back; the people who will be disappointed are those who will know deep down that they did not fulfill their potential. I’m not saying we all should be singers or footballers but whatever it is you’re doing, ensure you love it and give it your best shot.

So go out, do you, pursue your dreams and passion. Do what you want to do and do it to the best of your ability, that’s all we can ask of any man. In the end, when your grandchildren ask you why your life is so fulfilled, you’ll tell them ‘I took Hesley’s advice and it’s the best thing I ever did.’ (And if this blog is still online, maybe you’ll direct them here.)