Given a level playing field, being yourself is the ultimate team sport. Think about it, all the qualities that go into making ourselves ourselves must work together for us to realise our desires. Let’s use the analogy of a football team. Here’s my starting eleven: conscience, ambition, optimism, self-realisation, confidence, trust, faith, empathy, strength, pride and talent. On the field of play called life; my eleven would start in the following positions. My conscience is my last line of defence, therefore it’s the goalkeeper. My four defenders are self-realisation, empathy, faith and trust. Between them, they keep my head afloat and provide a defense against the ills of our world.
In a football team, the powerhouse and creative inspiration comes from the midfield. Plays are made and broken here, attacks designed and executed. My midfield is occupied by the most desirable of my qualities – pride, confidence, optimism and talent. The centre of my midfield is occupied by talent and confidence with optimism and pride on the wings; ready to move forward to help the strikers when necessary. We’ve come to the strikers, those much-maligned quality performers who spend their time lurking, seeking to capitalise on any opportunity presented them.
On my team, the strikers are ambition and strength. These are the qualities that have allowed me to seize the opportunities that have come my way. They complement each other beautifully, with one touch passes provided by my optimism. They aren’t greedy, it doesn’t matter who scores, once the attempt is converted.
Everyone’s first eleven is going to be different depending on both the formation that your team is playing and the opposition that you encounter. In any team sport, training is the most important facet of development – get to know your team’s strengths and weaknesses; work on them and only then will you be ready to face the opposition.
There is room on my team for individual stars, those facets of my being that draw people to me. Every team has them; it is important to note however, that stars shine as a result of the efforts of others and sight must never be lost of the common good.
The cliche goes… you’re out of your league, look inside yourself; pick your strongest eleven possible and four substitutes and join the league best suited to you. It is by continuously succeeding at the game of life that you will enter the big leagues where everyone will see your skills; and you will reap the rewards of a life well played.
Remember, everyone likes a winner.
Douglas Brunton is a recently converted Man United fan…he especially enjoys the play of the striker Dwight Yorke.