Skip to main content

(141): Ronaldo, Osaka and Us: Between grit and rethinking

 By

Muhsin Ibrahim

(Twitter: @muhsin234)

 

Cristiano Ronaldo, 37, is unquestionably one of the greatest footballers in the world. Needless to say, he has lifted almost all trophies, except the World Cup. Notwithstanding, his recent performance at Manchester United is anything but superb. I am not a football pundit, but I am old enough to understand if someone is no longer in their prime or the odds do not favour them anymore.

 

Naomi Osaka, 24, is a much younger athlete than Ronaldo. She had a winning streak, including defeating her role model, the undisputable tennis GOAT, Sareena Williams. However, the lady luck stopped smiling at her after that remarkable performances and victories. Much unlike her much older athlete colleague (i.e. Ronaldo), she didn’t summon her grit at that time. Instead, she had a rethink. Thus, she tried the fashion industry and, well, succeeded.

 

In his book, Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know, Adam Grant subtly criticises Angela Duckworth’s argument on grit in her famous book, Grit: Why passion and resilience are the secrets to success. He says we should avoid “escalation of commitment”. What’s that?

 

Grant defines escalation of commitment as “When we dedicate ourselves to a plan, and it isn’t going as we hoped, our first instinct isn’t usually to rethink it. Instead, we tend to double down and sink more resources in the path.” Isn’t it what many of us do?

 


Of course, Osaka goes back to tennis. And, yes, Ronaldo may come back. However, if I were him, I would rethink my commitment to professional football. Grant (2021:229) points out that “gritty people are more likely to overplay their hands in roulette and more willing to stay the course in tasks at which they’re failing, and success is impossible”. In other words, gritty people go into foreclosure.

 

Honestly, I side with Grant’s argument more than Duckworth’s. We may be passionate about several things. Nevertheless, we may not succeed even after trying our best possible. For instance, how many relationships have had to let go? That doesn’t mean they aren’t our calling. Instead, it tells us that we aren’t cut for it. Hence, instead of pushing and pushing, rethinking and reversing may be our best way out – and, of course, way forward.

 

Being on social media for nearly two decades, many young people (I am also young, by the way) have talked to me about their passion for writing or doing postgrad programmes abroad, among other things. So naturally, I do my best to advise many, if not all of them. But, frankly, some of them should rethink their dreams. It’s glaring that some do not have what it takes to be writers or secure foreign scholarships.

 

I am also experimenting with a profession outside academia. Bluntly, I am beginning to rethink. I am not under duress to foray into any field. I am deeply grateful to God that my take-home salary pays my bills and more. While I may still pursue the – or another – profession in addition to teaching and research, I will not foreclose my thoughts.

 

Finally, try and try harder. Suppose you fail ad infinitum, please, stop and have a rethink. Rethinking should not necessarily come after a series of failures. It could or should come almost at any time. Moreover, that doesn’t mean grit is unimportant. I think without it, both Ronaldo and Osaka would not have gone that far. Even yours faithfully had to apply grit to be where he is – Alhamdulillah

Comments

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

(143): On Connection Regrets: My Excruciating Experience

On Connection Regrets: My Excruciating Experience   By Muhsin Ibrahim Khadija, nicknamed Kashe-Kala, who I ‘re-nicknamed’ KKK, was one of my dearest classmates during our undergrad at Bayero University, Kano. Honestly, KKK, a sickle cell patient, was pretty, posh, and from a wealthy family. Hence that sobriquet. So, admittedly, I believed she was out of my league. However, we became so close. Despite our closeness, we disagreed pretty often. About a year after graduation, I met the lady I later married. The day I told KKK about my newfound love, she jokingly bragged that I chose this girlfriend because she’s her namesake: Khadija. On hearing this, some friends thought she loved me. It’s not true; our relationship was platonic. I had visited KKK’s house countless times. I barely missed seeing her at the hospital. Her relatives know me. I can’t forget the day I was riding my motorbike to their house when I stopped by the roadside to answer her call. From nowhere, someone snatched m

(113): Kwana Casa’in: A Short Review

Kwana Casa’in : A Short Review If posh locations, number of cast and crew members, sophisticated camera, etc. are enough indicators for the budget size of a production, then Kwana Casa’in [90 Days], produced by Arewa 24 channel, is doubtlessly an expensive soap opera. Directed by Salisu T. Balarabe, the drama is arguably the best of its kind in the Hausa language. Being funded by foreign, non-profit, non-political bodies, including the MacArthur Foundation, Kwana Casa’in stands out as a socio-political critique of our people and governments. It unmistakably aims to provoke reflection and introspection and to spark conversation and action within and outside the corridors of power. Is it able to achieve that? Set in a fictional town called Alfawa, the drama begins at the peak of governorship electioneering. The current governor, Bawa Maikada (acted by Sani Mu’azu), is highly corrupt and desperate to win re-election in spite of doing very little for the people. The health sec

(168): Top 7 Kannywood series of 2023

By  Muhsin Ibrahim & Habibu Ma’aruf muhsin2008@gmail.com As 2023 draws to a close, the closure of Kano Filmhouse Cinema is one of Kannywood’s most regrettable events in the outgoing year. Consequently, there was a significant decline in the number of cinematic releases. Nevertheless, amid this setback, a silver lining emerged as it spurred a notable shift towards series films, with prominent producers and directors venturing into the evolving market. From  Labarina ,  Alaqa , and  Manyan Mata  to  Fatake ,  Amaryar Tiktok  and  Gidan Sarauta , Kannywood’s audience has been captivated by numerous enthralling TV and web series. While the series market faces criticism for potentially fostering second-rate productions, the following list highlights the best seven series films aired in the year. Please note that the numbering is not hierarchical.  1. Labarina Labarina  stands out as a household name among Hausa film enthusiasts. Despite premiering in 2020, this show’s latest seasons con