African Cup of Nations 2015 was a mixed bag of excitement, action, thrill, suspense, apprehension, tedium, heartbreak. They characterised the tournament from cradle to grave. We all had our share of these feelings. But I had something extra – an inspiration. Let’s share.
Let’s fast-forward all the seeming boring moments of the tournament and do a playback of the finale, when Ivory Coast’s Elephants locked horns with Ghana’s Black Stars at Equatorial Guinea. After a full regular playing time, the trophy bearer had to be decided with a penalty shootout.
Then our hearts dropped! We felt cold and sick. It really felt like some elephants were thumping the earth. It was like the stars in the air were dropping on planet earth. A penalty shootout at the closing game of a Nations Cup will certainly give you shivers – cold shivers down your spine. It was edgy – we sat at the edge of our seats. Some of us had to watch the penalty shoot-out like this.
Here’s the inspiration:
Among the 1.111 billion people in Africa together with patrons and fans across the globe, one person followed the development with comfort. He was stress-free and cosy. He restfully, leisurely poured himself into a plastic chair, unmoved by the impending danger. Guess who!
Cote D’Ivoire’s striker, Gervinho
|Gervais Yao Kouassi
So how did Gervinho maintain a normal heart rate without any obvious palpitations and distress? How did Gervinho lift the trophy without the stress all others went through? How did Gervinho achieve a milestone for his country without feeling or looking sick? How did Gervinho keep his cool?
Simple, he refused to look!
So maybe refusing to acknowledge the presence of your fears may do you some good, someway.
See, kneeling a few yards away from the goal post, chanting some prayer words and watching your colleagues like Afriyie Acquah fly the ball away from goal is not pleasing; especially when you have struggled to come this far. Not at all. It’s fiery, it’s fearsome; it’s deceptive and discouraging. Situations like this kill dreams.
So Gervinho choose to avoid the sight of it.
They say its bravery and manly to face squarely your tragedy, but sometimes merely giving no attention to it does the trick! There’s something scientists call a BLIND SPOT.
Many people do not know that the human eye has a blind spot in its field of vision. There’s a part of the world we are literally blind to, for our own good. So we do not see as much of the world as we think. A lot remain unseen.
For the most part, the human eye gives the brain an accurate picture of what is going on in the world. There are limitations. Although many birds and insects can see ultraviolet and some creatures can see infrared, humans are stuck looking at the so-called visible light only. This cuts down our view of the world, not letting us see the urine trails left by some mammals, and making us blind to some freaky creatures that are moving about and around us.
Irrational fear is false evidence that keeps bubbling and holds you back. It distracts and prevents you from maximising your happiness and success. They say to conquer your fears, you need to confront them. But occasionally, you simply need to act like they never existed. You need to consciously hide from your view some aspects of your life that are challenging.
The problem is that sometimes our blind spot shield us from that which really shouldn’t be ignored, and we lose it. Too bad! But other times, our blind spots keep our life bright and shiny. A woman with pancreatic cancer would have lived longer, but for the day the complications of her life-threatening condition were made known to her. She passed on from psychological trauma, secondary to the perception of the ugly.
So sometimes, whiles some challenges look you in the eye, get your rescuers at work, go far behind them, ignore the oppression, find a seat and wait for success to celebrate. Just like Gervinho did; just look away. As long as you have a pulse, there’s hope.