Sunday, February 24, 2013
It is a debate that has severed the opinions of the entire footballing world, a question that has divided pundits, an issue that will probably linger for epoch to come. Perhaps, the god of soccer was simply so prodigal for deciding to lavish us mortals with two incredible soccer talents at the same time in history. If either existed at different eras, each would have ruled the soccer planet with minimum fuss, and save us an herculean comparison. But alas, nature gave us the twin geniuses at the same time. Without sounding too naïve, it is a slight misnomer to ever make comparison between two football players. This is because of the peculiarity, team involved and manger among other factors that comes to play. However, Lionel Messi and Cristaino Ronaldo are both attack minded players, thus, it makes comparison inevitable. Some have argued, perhaps out of proportion, that the ingenuity of the Barcelona team makes Messi thick. While there are some iota of truth in that, one cannot deny the little pee his due. If Barca makes Messi very good, so does Messi makes Barca. Ronaldo might not have the luxury of Iniesta and Xavi around him, but it will be foolhardy to deny that Ozil, Di maria and Alonso are not equally world class. In comparison, both players deliver on the big stage, and the records are there for the sceptics. Suffice it say, I believe a number of factors makes Messi the better player, and explains why FIFA and a vast majority of analysts think along this line. Character is a great factor in determining a true success, and in this, the Argentinian is almost faultless. Unlike Ronaldo who expresses fury so often against opponents, referees and at times fans, Messi is the reverse. Though he is not entirely devoid of this, he does not take it to Ronaldo's level. Moreover, Ronaldo earned an infamous reputation since his days in England for diving and simulation. A part of that stigma still sticks with him today. In addition, it is difficult not to like Messi. He is hardly ever in the news for the wrong reasons, unlike Ronaldo whose extravagant and partying lifestyle is well chronicled. Also, while some will say Ronaldo is a more rounded player, which is true, Messi is simply magical in the few things he does. Messi's pace defies logic, his stamina negets gravity, his impulse beats reason, and his consistent fitness mesmerises belief. Ronaldo is also a wonder in his own game, but when comparisons are made between the pair, Messi just edges it. The scary thing about Messi is that he still has years ahead of him, perhaps, more than Ronaldo will claim. Perhaps, many might disagree with my assessment and dismiss it as a case for Lionel. But when sentiments and unguarded hatred for Barca is kept aside, we see that Messi is probably the greatest player of all times. Forget winning the world cup, he might or never win it, but that does not deny the phenomenon he is. By way of conclusion, I suggest that we lay the argument of who is better to rest and enjoy the pair while they last. It is not to all generations that nature and the god of soccer is this generous in giving.
Monday, February 18, 2013
1. Help at least one person a day. The best part of life is not just surviving, but thriving with passion, compassion, humor, generosity, and kindness, and using these tools to make the world a better place. Smile, and help others smile too. If you don’t have the power or strength to write someone’shappiness, then try to help them remove their sadness instead. And don’t let the numbers overwhelm you. You can’t help everyone at once. Focus on assisting one person at a time,and always start with the person closest to you. If you can lie down at night knowing in your heart that you made someone’s day just a little brighter, you had a successful day. Read 365 Thank Yous . 2. When you feel like giving up, askyourself, “Can I give more?” The honest answer is almost always, “Yes.” And once your mind realizes it can, it usually does. One of the unique things about the human mind is that it can do only what it thinks it cando. The minute you say, “I don’t have the energy” or “I’m not capable of that,” you are actually training your brain to live up to your diminished expectations. Low expectations mean low results. So watch how you speak to yourself. And when you reach that point of struggle in your mind where most people would give in and give up, do the opposite and give it another shot . 3. Respect everyone. When you respect people it gives you a specialkind of access to them. No, you don’t automatically get the key to their hearts. What you do get is an increased understanding and rapport, and that can be priceless. If you’re a business owner, respecting your prospective customers will bring you more of their business. If you’re a teacher, respecting your students will add increased effectiveness to your teaching. If you’re an athlete, respecting the other team will help you build an effective strategy to win the game. In all walks of life, respect opens the doors of opportunity. 4. Accept exactly where you are, wherever you are. One of the great secrets to being happy and successful is accepting where you are in life and making the most of it. You won’t always know where you are going, but as long as you keep moving forward the journey will be rewarding. One step at a time, one foot in front of the other, time has a way of gradually showing you the way to what truly matters. Sometimesyou find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes in the middle of nowhere you find yourself. Read The Untethered Soul . 5. Seek lots of new life experiences. The people with the greatest wisdom are the ones who have been through the most. So start strong, stay strong, and finish strong by always remembering why you’re doing it in the first place. It’s all about learning and growing along the way. The most valuable lessons in life cannot be taught, they must be experienced. When you reflect on your life, you will likely see some pain, mistakes, and heartache. But when you look in the mirror, you will see the strength, growth, and wisdom that made it all worthwhile. 6. Maintain a diehard belief in yourself. A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug. Your individual thoughts and beliefs are similar to chapters in a book. When you put them together, you have the belief system that becomes your life story. If you are going to be successful in creating the life you dream of, you have to believe that you are capable of doing so. You have to believe that you have the resources, talents, and skills necessary to create your desired results. 7. Walk your own path. A good life is not living the life everyone else intended for you. Be true to yourself. Stand firmly by your core values. Your life is your spiritual path. It’s what’s right in front of you. You can’t live anyone else’s life. The task is to live yours and stop trying to copy the ones youthink are more acceptable. Because if you water yourself down to please everyone else, to fit in, or to not step on anyone’s toes, you will lose the passion, freedom, and joy of beingwho you really are. 8. Find an opportunity in every outcome, positive or negative. Sometimes things happen exactly as you had expected, and then there are other times when nothing goes as planned. In either situation, there is a way to respond triumphantly. Your victories bring happiness and feelings of self-achievement. Your defeats bring wisdom, strength, and determination. Both outcomes bring new opportunities. In this way, life moves continually forward. In each moment, you can build upon whateverhas come before. Right now, you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Because right now, you are in the only time and place where you can actually make a difference. Read The Happiness Project . 9. Need less. Instead of focusing so intently on what you want to get, consider the things you can let goof. Eliminate some excess baggage, lighten your load, and feel a weight lifted. So many ofthe things you think you need, you do not need at all, you simply want them. And as your wants diminish, your freedom and abundance grow. Because long-term fulfillment in life is not about getting all that you need; fulfillment is knowing the freedom to be all that you are without the excess. It’s about wanting what you have at any given moment, and making the best of it. Bottom line: Ambition, intention, and disciplined effort will bring you great things in this world, but there is more to success than acquiring the commonly celebrated milestonesof success that society confers. In the long run, less is often more .
Monday, February 11, 2013
Like a bolt from the blue, the nineteen years wait for a national day of sporting glory was finally delivered. It was the stuff of fairy tales, the kind of fables only the gods can conjure, an experience that was tailored for legends, a story written in the stars and a moment in the sun that we will relish for epoch to come. Ours is a national team that has been bedevilled by a plethora of vices. Corruption and impatience are twin evils that has been a bane of the Super Eagles over the years. The syndrome of never believing in the coaching acumen of a local manager is one that is too obvious that a rehash will be a waste of space. The Football Federation has spent millions of dollars hiring and firing foreign coaches, who care less about the Eagles job. We simply never learn. That we axed Samson Siasia within a short period of his appointment was an indication that we are never patient. The impatient syndrome is one that is present in a myriad of Nigerians. The unguarded taste for instant success is simply preposterous and inimical at best. However, it is fitting that a local coach in Stephen Keshi has delivered the moment of glory we all craved. Many doubted his Midas Touch, few gave him a chance, while some waited for his downfall. But, life could be a pack of surprises at times. Whether it was the Lucky presence of President Goodluck Jonathan presidency, that provided the platform for the Super Eagles triumph in South Africa, we may never know. What we do know is that given the right conditions, anything is possible in our turf. Our sporting talents has never been in doubt, and that will remain like that for decades to come. It was also the stuff of dreams that a home boy, Sunday Mba, will deliver the moment of victory. The organisation of our local league might be perilous, but the potentials that ply their trade in it are not. Mba proved that something good can still come out of Nazareth. As we still savour the times, it is a simple conclusion that sport remains a great force for transformational change in our country. The win was a welcome distraction from the shenanigans of our politics, the dirge of our security, the scourge of our economy, the sorry tale of unemployment and the many troubles of our nascent democracy. Suffice it to say, what happens between now and next year's world cup in Brazil, will tell if we have truly learnt our lesson. The NFF and all other stakeholders must stop the absurdity and ineffectiveness at the glasshouse once and for all. It is apt to mention here that Keshi is no magician. As he did say after the triumph, the Super Eagles are still a work in progress. So, expectations should be kept in moderation, while dreams lingers. While still in the ecstasy of such season, one should spare a thought for the encumbered Osaze Odewinge. From all indications, we might never see him in the green and white colours of the Eagles ever again. His is a lesson to many. No one is ever indispensable, humility is a great virtue, and nothing last forever. Indeed, in the centenary period as a nation, it is sheer joy that we are the King of Africa, for the right reason!
Sunday, February 3, 2013
A score and some years have fizzled away, and I am eternally grateful for the grace of the Father, the gift of life, the fierceness of the battles, the beauty of the moments, the scars of the pains, the disappointments of events, the hurts of traitors, the power of tears, the counsel of mentors, the sublimity of the times, the miracle of helpers, the treasure of friends, the presence of family and the lessons that the University of Life has doled out to me. The past one year has been an indelible one for me. So much has happened, yet I have no regrets. I have come to learn that greater than intellect, and more priceless than ingenuity is the favour of God upon a man's life. It is no exaggeration to say that only grace can single out a man. Without being copious with the obvious, it is of prime importance that we never write off anyone. Life itself could be a tale surprises, and the man at the tail of the ladder could sit at Buckingham Palace the next day. In this past one year, I better understood the essence of living in the moment. Most times, we are encumbered about the tidings of tomorrow that we lose the power of now. Remember the words of Jesus 'Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof... Matt 6:34'. Perhaps the greatest lesson I have learnt over the course of the past one year of my life is to be thankful for the things I have. I have been fortunate to have as friends some of the best people on the planet. Friends who are loyal enough to stake their all for you. I really feel this is immeasurable. Indeed, it goes without saying that people come our paths for different reasons. Learn from everyone, keep hold of those you must, and let go of those you should. After all, everyone must not be your friend. I have also learnt not to take life too seriously. Life is simple, it is our excesses that complicates it. Be thankful for the things you have. They might not be as much as you might expect, but be thankful, for someone somewhere is fighting a harder battle. Also, learn to be nice to people, without expecting anything in return. People will hurt you, but be nice anyway. In addition, despite whose ox is gored, always follow your dream. It might not give you a fortune, but it will give you a life. Penultimately, never forget that only God has the final say. He is the chief arbiter, and it is only wise to partner with him in making you a success. Surely, I am thankful for the past one year of my life, and I am confident that my best is yet to come!