By Sola Kolawole
Several years ago as an undergraduate, I came across a piece of creed titled; “The Laws of Sportsmanship.” These laws have influenced me positively since I first came across them.
They are credited to one Mr. Kihachiro Onitsuka, the founder of ASICS, a Japanese athletic equipment company that produces professional footwear and sports equipment.
Every April in Japan when fresh university graduates resume for work at ASICS headquarters, Mr. Onitsuka would read out aloud this creed which he refers to as the definitions of sportsmanship spirit.
In my own small world, especially in the pursuit of business and career, and even until recent, politics, I have adopted them as the six crucial laws of sportsmanship and somehow, they tend to summarize a significant portion of my philosophy of life.
I like to talk about these laws at every opportunity and also in interactive forums with contemporaries and protégés.
These laws are not as difficult as you think and they are just as pleasant as they appear. You may also find them very useful as you wade against the tides of life.
A sportsman should learn to respect rules. The observation of rules is a fundamental requirement as a good member of society.
A sportsman should learn to be courteous toward not only opponents but also anyone around. He should behave courteously at all times and treat people the way he wants to be treated. Besides, it is important to show gratitude whenever desired.
A sportsman should learn to prepare himself so that he is able to display his best in any given condition. If a sportsman wants to obtain good results he has to train with a positive, passionate, creative, enduring and challenging attitude, which is also applicable for being successful in life.
A sportsman should learn the importance of teamwork. By cooperating and helping each other, not only
higher results will be obtained as a team but also individual abilities and skills can be improved more
efficiently and effectively. To attain higher goals in life, help from many people is necessary.
A sportsman should keep his goals and make every effort for self-development to reach his goals. A sportsman should learn about endurance.
As a sportsman, all you need to do after falling down is to stand up again.
If you fail, keep going until you succeed.
In essence, these six laws have simplified the application of wisdom in our daily interaction with men. It is expedient that we imbibe a habit of respect for fellow humans not minding their status or station in life. We just need to treat people, young or old with respect. It has also been proven that adopting a permanent attitude of gratitude will make us enjoy more open doors of favour. Even God rewards souls that regularly and exuberantly express gratitude.
We need to deliberately prepare ourselves daily for a lifetime of exploits by having a perpetually contagious optimistic perspective to life and the several eventualities that will come our way.
The place of teamwork cannot be overemphasized. In our clime, I have observed over the years how companies die midway as a result of the owner’s reluctance to forge partnerships with competent employees.
Most businessmen prefer the employer-employee model to the partnership model where the employee has a stake in the company and works not just as an employee working to earn a living but as a stakeholder or shareholder in the business.
Our capacity to endure is also a vital success factor. It is not just about positive thinking, it is more about positive living. I tell people that I am not easily discouraged because no matter the intensity of the adversity against me, my dream or my idea, I am always persuaded that things will work out well for me very soon. It is my stubborn and very illogical orientation to life.
And this leads me to the need for persistence. Some call it consistency. It is not about repeating the same things over and over but the ability to just maintain a dogged approach to achieving ones goals in life. When I meet a wall on my path, I return to the drawing board to conceptualize several ways of by-passing the obstacle before me, and sometimes for some people including me, it may involve pulling down the wall.
Sola Kolawole is a Consulting Town Planner & a Farmer.