The hot topic in the last two weeks has been the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The tournament holds once in four years and it’s not surprising that it would take over the discourse space. Apart from the adrenalin-inducing effect the event has on football lovers all over the world, regular individuals are also sucked into the frenzy of the month-long competition. However uninterested they may be, they are not completely immune to the buzz and activities that come with the game. It’s practically impossible not to “stumble” into conversations or arguments or some good old banter relating to the event, let alone the adverts and constant updates in the traditional and online media.
Like I am wont to approach everything, beyond being an ardent fan of the beautiful game, I see the tournament as an opportunity to learn. I enjoy all of the beauty and fanfare that accompany the occasional event but take particular interest in the players – the ones who would write their names in gold during the course of the games. And the ones who would have a disappointing campaign.
Sometimes, the known stars go on to prove their mettle on the big stage as they are expected to do, other times, they fall short of the high expectations they are often saddled with. So far we have seen world class players like Robert Lewandowski and Lionel Messi wobble while the Romelu Lukakus, Harry Kanes and Cristiano Ronaldos of this world are having a ball so far.
And speaking of Cristiano Ronaldo, the current world footballer of the year, who’s supposed to be inching towards the twilight of his career has gone ahead to confirm what I have always believed to be the most important factor in building a recognisable and respectable brand as an individual. Consistency.
My observation of the lives of successful people regardless of the industry in which they operate has shown that people hold them in high esteem because they have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to what they do over a long period of time. In a generation where the quest for instant fame, fast money, and shortcut to success is rife, people who stay the course with a continuous and unrelenting passion for their craft are greatly admired. You don’t have have to like their personality, but you will respect the work they do and how they never fail to show up to do it day after day.
Ronaldo and Messi are the kings of football today because they have been consistent with their performances on the pitch over the last decade. The former has been particularly impressive in recent times because he has been able to extend his club success to country. Every time the media has suggested he was on the decline owing to age or just from a sheer doubt that he can keep churning out astounding goal figures, he has proven them wrong. And once again, his four goals (so far) in Russia has shown that he is not about to slow down soon.
Anyone can be a flash in the pan. With enough spunk for a specific period, anyone can shine. But to put in that sort of shift almost all the time is a different game entirely. Chrisantus Macauley was the top scorer at the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Korea. He scored seven goals in that competition and went home with the Adidas Silver Ball. Expectedly, he was touted as the next big thing in Nigerian football but fizzled out almost immediately, and remains lost in oblivion till this moment. The story isn’t much different for players such as Rabiu Ibrahim, Femi Opabunmi and others who were deemed potential heirs to former midfield maestro, JJ Okocha’s throne, but who have fallen short terribly.
The world showers consistent people with accolades because doing something over and over again without compromising on the high standards is perhaps the most difficult thing to achieve.
Think of all the people you know, the movie and music stars you idolised while growing up. Remember those who put out one hit track which became the rave of the moment but had nothing else to offer once the buzz around that one song died. Artistes who didn’t stay committed to releasing good music became as obsolete as a cardigan during the dry season.
Consistency is the name of the game in any profession or field of endeavour. If you are not consistent, you may be perceived as a charlatan. Consistency is what separates contenders from pretenders.
I have had people ask me what it takes to be a blogger, and one thing I always tell them is consistency. People write or express themselves in written words all the time, however, what makes the blogger different is the fact that they do it all the time via a known platform; and more importantly, they do it with a recognisable measure of regularity.
It is not enough to want something or desire to be known for something, you must demonstrate that you have more than a passing interest in it by doing it over and over again. Consistency is this quality that gets you noticed and earns you well-deserved respect.