Keep Your Head Up

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I was in Junior Secondary School the first time I watched the music video “Baby Don’t Cry” by Outlaws featuring then recently deceased Tupac Shakur. Tupac Shakur was one of the most influential hip hop artists and poets of all time. So many years later, the lyrics of that song Baby don’t cry, I hope you got your head up even when the road is hard, never give up have come to mean so much to me in this torrid journey of life.

The world is awesome when things are going to plan. We feel on top of the world, get comfortable and possibly criticise others. After all, it is easy to criticise others when you are comfortable. We assume nothing could ever bring us down.

But what do you do when the tables turn? When you try your best but you don’t succeed. When you lose something you can’t replace. When you love someone, but it goes to waste.

You feel so tired but you can’t sleep because you feel trapped by something or somebody. The tears come streaming down your face; you feel stuck in reverse, leaving your vision blurrier than it was before. You start questioning if you can take another step without falling on your face.

When faced with problems, take a deep breath and keep your head up. Believe in yourself and understand that failure prepares you for success. Without failure, we wouldn’t know how gleeful and exhilarating success is.

Failure is an important part of life – it is the rate-limiting step in life. Scientifically, rate-limiting steps are the slowest steps in a metabolic pathway or series of chemical reactions, which require the greatest activation energy. They determine the overall rate of the other reactions in the pathway.

29-year-old Kenyan marathon sprinter, Hyvon Ngetich exhibited this energy on Sunday 15th February 2015. Competiting at the Austin marathon, Ngetich raced into an early lead and seemed destined to win the race at a point. However, with two-tenths of a mile to go, disaster struck. She collapsed.

Unable to walk, not to talk of run, she was offered a wheelchair by the organisers to take some respite and/or throw in the towel but she refused. She crawled on all fours finishing third the race just three seconds shy of second place and ten minutes after the winner Cynthia Jerop (of Kenya) had crossed the line. When asked about the race afterwards, she said she doesn’t recall the final two kilometres of the marrathon or the crossing line. “Running, always, you have to keep going going,” she said.

Life is like a marathon with hurdles along the way. These hurdles can make or mar you depending on how the approach you adopt. You may choose to adopt the Ngetich approach – refuse to succumb to self-pity, apathy and depression – or wave the white flag.

Whatever you are going through that has made you question your existence, always remember there’s light at the end of the tunnel. The moment will definitely hurt but don’t give in to its pain. Focus on your dreams. Never give up and keep your head up!

Over-expectation, a recipe for disaster

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It is quite astonishing how sports are linked to our every day lives https://arturozinga.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/footballs-life-lessons-part-1/ https://arturozinga.wordpress.com/2013/04/07/footballs-life-lessons-part-2/ This past weekend, the best TV series, the English Premier League (EPL) returned to our TV screens for the 24th season. Prior to its premiere, there was a lot of fanfare worldwide. Every fan predicted how the season premiere would shape up.

Chelsea fans, brimming with confidence, were so keen for their team to kickstart the defence of their EPL crown whilst Arsenal fans, based on their team’s recent acquisition of World class goalkeeper Petr Cech and pre-season heroics, believe this season will finally be theirs. As a result, some predicted a 6-0 trashing for their teams against their first opponents Swansea City and West Ham United respectively. However, their expectations weren’t met and their teams were surprised by these less fancied teams.

Just like these football fans, how often do we over-expect and put so much emphasis on positivity? When do we come to know that we are expecting something impossible?

It is natural for one to have expectations; expectations play a huge role in our lives. We all have personal goals and visions; how our lives should be in 10-20 years from now, how our personal relationships should be, how our favourite sports team should play or how we should be rewarded for our efforts and thence expectations are synonymous with the word should.

In all honesty, when there’s love, there will be expectations. Whether it is love between a child and the parents, husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend or a fan and his/her favourite celebrity/sports club, there will always be expectations in any kind of love. In other words, we depend and expect so much from the others. Robert Greene wrote in his book, The 50th Law, “Dependency is a habit that is so easy to acquire…It is hard to resist. But once you give in, it is like a prison you enter that you cannot ever leave.”

Expectations have a huge effect on our emotions; they can make you happy as well as rob your happiness. We set the tone for disaster when we over-expect thereby creating toxic relationships and consequently, expectations kill love. Over-expectation is hard to define but it creates a perfect recipe for disaster.

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Everyone in the world is governed by self-interest. We expect people to follow our own rules and principles, and share our values, dreams and experiences. We tend to expect more from others in comparison to what we actually have to offer. There is a wide gap between our expectations and supply but many love to disregard this fact and focus on getting the best. For example, everyone has a list of features s/he expects his/her dream partner to possess but just a few actually work on themselves to be that perfect somebody we all desire.

Nonetheless, it is a fact that one cannot run away from expectations but it is important to set these expectations around reality. The reality of life is that none of us came into this world with a crystal ball so twists and turns are a natural part of life.

Realists are not scared to embrace the hard truths (twists and turns) of life; they weigh both positive and negative sides of everything life throws at them. The best option for one is to embrace reality and lower his/her expectations.

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