Dr. Louis Brown Ogbeifun

Accredited Mediator | Certified Professional Manager and Trainer in Workplace Conflicts


Life’s Match: Winning, Losing, and Drawing

In April 2023, I watched Liverpool Football Club humble Manchester United to a 7-0 defeat. With that performance against Liverpool, many thought they would not go far. I read fans lambast the team and players on social media. But football does not work that way. Manchester United has fifty-nine points, is fourth on the league table with two outstanding matches, and is in the FA Cup final. That is football, and such is life.

Unbelievably today, Tottenham lost 6-1 to Newcastle. I am sure those into betting would have lost their investments. Football clubs play matches to win because winning attracts winning bonuses, happiness, cheers, and accolades from fans. Besides, winning positively prepares the players for their next outing. When clubs win, players and team officials hug themselves, shake hands, wave to their fans, and are full of smiles.

In contrast, a loss attracts a zero bonus, criticisms, fan abuse, and sometimes the players sob bitterly. The other option in any competitive game is a draw, which in some cases could be celebrated more than a win without a bonus, as happened between Arsenal and Southampton last week. So, in sports, clubs, and athletes get acquainted with winning some games, losing some games, and drawing others.

Comparatively, life is like sporting events. The above analogy drawn from football event typifies what life holds for us as individuals, a people, or a country as we move on with our earthly journeys. One moment one is unbelievably strong, cruising supersonically for the tops, and at other moments, one gets knocked down and deflated like a punctured tire.

Unfortunately, there is usually no draw in the game of life. In life, and depending on our goals, we either win or lose,

Life is also like a song or musical lyrics. Each verse has a unique identity and meaning.

When singing a new song, we can only know what the wordings of the next verse, and mean the verse means when we get to that verse. So it is with life. Until we experience a particular phase, we will not know what that phase holds for us.

Some songs have interludes, while others have not. Some songs are short, and others are long. Some songs are sweet, while others might be harsh and uninteresting.

As we move on to our final destination, some of our experiences will be sweet and memorable. Others may not be as palatable. But irrespective of our experiences, we must endeavor to press on until we overcome.

Interestingly, some persons have developed shock absorbers for all situations that confront them. When they win, they modestly celebrate with thanksgiving and never allow the euphoria to go into their heads. When they lose, they do so with humility and take it with equanimity, believing that the loss is a stepping-stone to their next success story. They are never downcast. If they did, it was for a brief moment. At other times, they would say, “Thank God, it could have been worse,” immediately shake off the loss or losses and return to the drawing board.

During introspection, instead of sulking, great people are preoccupied with diagnosing what went wrong, what could be done better, proffering answers and alternatives to plans, and moving on.

Christians and Muslims just concluded Lent and Ramadan fasting respectively. Would that wipe away all our tears and give us rainbows to the end of our earthly journeys? I do not think so. But I know that irrespective of the socio-economic terminals we find ourselves, God has promised to be with us wherever we go and shall not be consumed by what we experience.

Whatever life throws at us now, we need serenity, sanity of thoughts, and sobriety to calm our frail nerves if we must avoid breakdowns. That is why life is a marathon.

For our country Nigeria, giving up on country should not be an option. If you are tempted to give up, check out other countries in turmoil and see what their citizens are going through.

I know there are palpable fears over the expected court pronouncements on the last Presidential election. We should be calm. We are in a phase like no other, but I know we shall overcome the barriers and obstacles as they come.

I appeal to all my friends that in all situations, you should be calm, prepared and ready for the best or possible worse alternatives.

In this life’s journey, we must cultivate resilience, unshakable hope, and perseverance as key elements to overcome.

Our mind muscles may ache and weaken; we should not give up. Our hearts may seem to fail; let us slow down and hyperventilate. When in despair, let us reach out to those we think can help. We should not be too proud to seek help; after all, we all need a shoulder to lean on at some point in our lives.

In your travails, people may laugh at you; please learn to brush them aside. Others may mock you; learn to be blind and deaf to what they say because the end shall justify the means.

For you reading this post, whatever your situation, whatever you aspire to have, and whatever you believe God for, I pool my faith with yours and say, “IT SHALL BE WELL.”

Welcome to a new week. Grace and peace!!!