It was meant to be the last kick of the match. The unimaginable and unprecedented was about to happen. Africa’s dream was about to be realized. The tension was palpable. There was dead silence at the over eighty thousand capacity arena. The usual noisy vuvuzela blown by enthusiastic fans and the drum beats of the supporters club were stilled because of that supposedly final kick.
The black stars of Ghana was about to become the only African country to have made it to the semi-finals of the FIFA world cup. But then, after the kick, a dream it remained.
Yes, everyone that saw the game felt sorry for Ghana, considering the circumstances that led to that palpable moment, and then their eventual loss of the game. People felt it was unfair but is life really fair? While it is easy and convenient to groan and shout about how the black stars were cheated by their opponents, the truth is, despite the circumstances the Ghanaians found themselves, their destiny still rested in their hands.
We may have no control over our circumstances but what we do with our circumstances and how we turn out afterwards solely depends on us. The black stars could have kept their cool, converted the penalty kick and moved on to the semi-finals of the world cup despite the ojoro perpetrated by their opponents.
Life is just that way, full of unfair situations and circumstances but we must realize that there is always an opportunity to succeed despite all odds, but for most people, recognizing that opportunity at that material time is the real issue. Internal representations are key to recognizing opportunities during high pressure moments. Lifelong opportunities have been lost by people who do not possess this skill.
When you are faced with an unfair situation and you are well within your rights to react, rather than do that, a person with internal representations of the big picture will rather keep his eyes on the goal and ensure that only behaviours that will assist in reaching that goal are exhibited despite the pressure. So instead of reacting, he would act. Reacting involves your emotions while acting involves your head and your emotions in a controlled manner that will be channelled to achieving your desired objective. It was King Solomon that said that a wise man’s eyes are in his head.
An attribute that will be aroused in anyone with this skill is discipline because a man with internal representations is a man with vision. Having internal representations is having internal visions or pictures of one’s desired future or goals. When you have vision, it automatically disciplines you. For example, if you are struggling with discipline concerning your finances, have a strong financial goal or desire, maybe in regard to an investment or acquiring an asset. You would realize that habits like impulsive spending would be greatly minimized if not eliminated.
Meditation will aid your internal representations. When you spend adequate time thinking or pondering over something, soon enough you will find yourself talking or speaking about what you’re thinking and the more you speak them, the more those things you speak about gain entrance into your consciousness. Once your consciousness has gotten a hold of your goals and visions, when pressure moments come, you will not forget your objectives. Rather, you will find yourself exhibiting behaviours that will draw you closer to your pre-determined goals.
The black stars of Ghana failed to exhibit this important life skill. Therefore, when Asamoah Gyan stepped forward and misfired that all important ‘final’ kick. All the rest of the squad could feel was despair, mental fatigue and desperation but it was no longer desperation to win but desperation to get it over with, considering the way those penalty kicks were taken by the players.
If only we can always exhibit this quality during pressure moments, potential moments of frustration and despair, then moments of missed opportunities or possible regrets will seldom be a part of our history.