03 Oct Don’t Listen!: When Dreams & Skeptics Collide
By Kenneth Minishi –
Mummy it’s over! Such was my childlike sadness when it dawned on me that the curtains had come down on what had to be the best World Cup ever. There were so many indelible memories. Grown men crying when singing the national anthem, Luis Suarez giving us a clue where the remainder of Steve Job’s Apple went, Ghanaian infighting, The Brazilian “Sabasaba”…. the World Cup was out of this planet! It was a great tournament full of joy, grief, shocks, comebacks, falls from grace and off course the underdog story, case in point; Costa Rica.
Before the tournament began, the draw for the group stages was carried out and on everyone’s lips was the group of death. Group D was made up of England, Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica. Fans and pundits considered Italy and Uruguay favorites to advance. Whereas England was viewed to pose a considerable threat, Costa Rica was regarded as minnows, the whipping boys of the group. The question was not whether they would go out, but how many goals the other three teams would pump past them to see who would go through on goal difference.
Football is a funny game though, on paper people make predictions, but on the pitch things turn out differently and so it proved. After two rounds, Costa Rica had convincingly dispatched of Uruguay and then Italy to qualify to the second round with a game to spare. Incredulously, after their last group game with England, they topped the group unbeaten with England and much fancied Italy headed home. They went as far as the quarterfinals only to lose to the Dutch, not in ignominy as Spain or to be more precise, 5pa1n, but in dignity via a penalty shoot-out. This was a far cry from the whipping boys everybody expected them to be.
The underdogs had proved the skeptics wrong. They didn’t listen to the naysayers; they listened to themselves. They listened to the belief that within them was the potential to be great regardless of what everyone else thought. Sound familiar? It happens to you and me but not necessarily on a football pitch.
Many times we view others or ourselves as underdogs in life. Like Costa Rica, we may have dreams and aspirations to succeed but unlike Costa Rica, we let other people step on our dreams as if they were doormats, scraping of criticism and doubt on them with relish. We pay a lot of attention to people clueless of our capabilities.
It’s sad that a lot of men and women don’t live life because they let others expectations of themselves define who they are. Misery loves company they say; it’s no wonder then that scores of people living average lives, will pull all the stops at belittling ambitions so as to ensure that dreamers like you and me stay with them in their mediocrity.
Fear drives them to say things like “You won’t make it!”.
They dread that you will excel and prove them wrong. That same fear also makes us to listen to them – we fear we will be wrong, we will fail, we won’t have the strength, we will be embarrassed…blah, blah, blah. I think the apprehension we have the most is that of greatness and what it will take to get it.
I love a quote from Marianne Williamson; she says, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
This fear can only be overcome by faith; a faith that allows us to live life in abundance. This life is not equivalent to having lavish possessions but being happy in the knowledge that you have exhausted your God-given ability to live out your purpose.
True faith doesn’t come from listening to skeptics and critics put you down; it comes from believing that you have potential to be great despite any circumstance. Costa Rica didn’t listen to people saying they were in the group of death and that they would be the first to be put to the sword; look where that got them to.
Do the same, don’t listen to the skeptics, have faith, believe you’re great and shine.
Kenneth is a contributing writer for Artlife who is passionate about Jesus, personal development, football, pool, food amongst many others. He has previously written for Strathmore University. More of his literary works can be found on facebook at www.facebook.com/kenneth.minishi