Becoming a Monster

No one sets out to be a monster from day one nor to turn into a monster by day 10. We don’t really plan to turn out bad.

The change happens slowly, not like magic, it’s never sudden. It starts gradually and then grows on. Once you are unable to detect the loopholes that allow the change creep in from the start, it’s always hard. It’s like Cancer, you only find out when the damage has already been done.

He doesn’t leave the house expecting to cheat on his wife. It starts by hanging out innocently with friends in a bar and even when the Lady in red comes along, he doesn’t intend to cheat on his wife. So, with an innocent mind, he hugs her. Still no ill intent. Then it cascades from there and when it happens, it has no idea. But here’s the thing, it doesn’t just stop there. Once you get sucked in, you’re in. So in a bid to cover his tracks, he goes to the Lady in fuchsia pink this time around and then over time he becomes a monster, a serial cheater. It’s so easy to forget that it all started with an innocent hug.

When your friends convince you to escort them to Alhaji’s house and “take” his empty tires to sell, they convince you that it’s not stealing. They tell you Alhaji has too many tyres that he doesn’t need them so you get sucked in. Tyres today, kidnapping tomorrow, notorious armed robber the next. It’s so easy to forget that it started with you just escorting your friends to Alhaji’s house.

You don’t set out to be a woman beater. He made you angry the first time and you walked away but she did not stop shouting. So you convince yourself not to walk away the next time. The next day, you come with the intentions of talking things through, very commendable. But then she shoves you and in a bid to react you slap her, the whole world pauses and you apologize, calling it a mistake. She forgives you, but the next day, you don’t stop at a slap, you pummel her like Mike Tyson would Evander Holyfield. These days you don’t even feel remorseful about it. You are proud of your heroics and now see it as a legitimate way to shut her up. It’s so hard to relate what you have become to the remorseful lad from that first day.

You came into politics to effect change, you were so passionate but then your first initiative did not pass through because you refused to bribe the Permanent secretary. After three failed initiatives and nothing to show for your time in office to decide to succumb, you give the Perm. Sec a bribe and the initiative is a huge success and lauded by everyone. By the next year, Perm Sec didn’t even need ask, you anticipated and dropped huge sums, then you discovered a loophole that meant you could also allocate more money to Perm Sec and then share the money with him. You have become so ingrained that you now feel obliged to take a cut from every public money that passes through you. Perm Sec is retired but that hasn’t stopped you. It’s so easy to blame the Perm Sec for putting you in this state, but can you relate any of this to the passion you started with? All started with you not saying no for the fourth time.

And that’s the template to becoming a Monster. Congratulations, you made it into the League of Monsters.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch

You win some; You lose some

In life, you win some, you lose some. You can never expect to win all. You can only try to ensure that those you win become far greater than the few you’d lose.

There’s a group of people regularly referred to as bad losers. These are the set of people who refuse to see the glass as half full whenever they lose. These are the set of people that are so distraught at losing that it envelopes their whole thinking faculty.

I can only try to visualize the motions Thomas Edison would have gone through if he was a bad loser, what would have become of Einstein when he was experiencing failures in his reading and writing, how Abraham Lincoln would have thrown the towel after he failed yet another election.

Point is, you never ever go far if you’ve got a bad attitude to losing. If you never ever get to see any loss as a stepping stone, if a loss never motivates you to do more and do better then you’ve got a long road to glory.

These set of people referred to as bad losers all have one thing in common, they are all always after personal glory. Show me one person who went far and achieved a high level of impact when chasing personal glory from the onset? No one.

I write this post on the back of one of the most epic Scrabble games I’ve played so far. There’s this guy I had never won before in Scrabble, we’ve played almost 10 games and I was still chasing after my first win. I always smiled amidst all those losses and kept studying his game play and also improving mine.

Finally, it was time all those studies paid off and here I was winning him mercilessly, you needed to see how his demeanor changed drastically, at some point he couldn’t take it anymore, he had to tear up the score sheet. He just couldn’t bear the thought of losing.

Here’s someone whose record against me looked like a tennis score, something like 6-1. Isn’t that satisfactory enough? Here was a bad loser looking me in the eye, how’d you ever improve or get better at anything if you feel it’s your birthright to always win?

Life in its whole context is a game where your experiences are consequences of the individual battles you have either won or lost. And the faster you learn from these experiences, the better your chances of winning the next battle, but the more you keep getting disgruntled at your losing experiences the more they linger. This isn’t rocket science.

In mathematics, a variation of this logic is called the Geometric Progression and an important term is the common ratio. This common ratio is the relationship a number in a sequence has with the next one, it’s a fixed common term repeated throughout the sequence. This is exactly the same with our dealings with life.

Your resolve is the common ratio here, never confuse your common ratio with your win ratio, your win ratio has no right to be constant. It’s the constancy of your common ratio that determines your win ratio. Now imagine what happens when you allow the motions of winning/losing allow you vary your common ratio, you see that the sequence is distorted.

The top sport coaches will always tell you they train their team hard right from when the season starts, they don’t wait till the finals of a major tournament to start training hard. That discipline is inculcated from the onset. If you wait till you get to the final to intensify training sessions then you’ll never get to any final. It’s that simple. You don’t allow your emotions to be swayed around by either losing or winning. Even in the rare occasions where you train hard and still get to lose, you don’t throw in the towel, you simply keep at it until you master it; this is the art of mastery.

You hardly ever learn something when you win but there’s always a whole lot to learn when you fail.

Whatever happens, always remember; you win some; you lose some.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

Twitter @Mr_GudMan