One of the things that make a race really beautiful is how well the athlete finishes the race. There are times when the athlete may get off to a rough start for one reason or the other. When that happens, people may pity the athlete and even conclude that the race is lost while it is just getting started. For some other athletes, the race may start well and get rough along the line. That may also affect the result of the race.
Some people get a shaking and they are able to shake off everything and get back into the race properly in order to finish well. Then there are those who may also start well and continue well until the last phase of the race. It just may be then that they will mess up or relax because they think they have gotten to the end and that the race is already concluded.
When I was a secondary school student I used to see a lot of students racing because my school was so active in sports. I even remember vividly a young man we used to call Silvernus back then. He was in his final year and was also the fastest runner in the whole school. The second fastest guy happened to be the senior prefect of the school.
Once of the things that Silvernus was very famous for is the fact that he could start a race roughly, be hit during a race, lose a baton, return to pick the baton and still finish the race in a very strong way. I remember there was a day he was already leading the entire race but someone hit him and the baton dropped off. For some other people that would have been the end of the race. For Silvernus, it was not. He went back to pick the baton and continued the race. He eventually showed up amongst the first three people to finish the race.
He was just the kind of guy that we were so confident about whenever he was in a race. We had no doubt we would win the race. Why is that? Silvernus had the mentality and had also built himself to always finish well. We even have a Yoruba saying reminding us that it is not the person who starts that gets the reward but the person who finishes.
You need to operate with the mind-set of a finisher. Things may not have started well and a few things may have wrong but you can certainly finish well and strong. You should not pack your bags yet and just start waiting for the holidays to come. You have some days ahead of you and you can give the year a wonderful finish if you will not let your mind shut down.
I remember seeing a film about someone who was sick and eventually passed out. Shortly after that his spirit got up and started walking around. He unfortunately realized that no one could hear him. So many people were already weeping and just hoping a miracle would happen so he would return to life. He tried to convince them nothing was wrong with him but no one heard him. Finally he saw someone who heard him. He was so excited until he realized he was talking to a dead person.
When they got talking he asked the other dead person what was happening to him and why no one could hear him. He was told that he was as good as dead but that he could return to that body. The other man said to him, ‘you have the power to choose to live or to continue in this other world.’ When he heard that, he said he wanted to live. So the other man said to him, ‘then fight back to life.’
In many of the cases where we think we don’t have a choice, the real truth is that we actually have a choice and we can determine to let things spiral out of control or to finish well. Regardless of how the year has started, there is something I know you can do for yourself and that is to finish well. So whatever you do now, make up your mind and back it up with efforts and strategy to finish well.
Fola Daniel Adelesi
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