Always Try And Benchmark Yourself, Against The Best...In The World

With the World Cup, still fresh in our minds, I am reminded of one of my earliest memories, in following this tournament:

- the tournament of 1974!

I was still a little boy, but I followed the progress of the African teams, as they tried to qualify for the few places, available in those days. My family lived in exile, in Zambia, at the time, and together with my friends, we followed Zambia's progress, until it was knocked out, by the mighty "Zaire" (now Democratic Republic of Congo):

We were all in absolute awe of the Zairian team, as they conquered one team after another, in Africa, on their way to the finals... Surely, this team could go all the way!
I heard people arguing passionately that Zaire, would probably beat Brazil... After all Pele had just retired. None of us, had ever seen Brazil play, or Pele, or any other team for that matter... There was no live television.
Always Try And Benchmark Yourself, Against The Best...In The World
I read in the newspaper that Zaire used "black magic", and a lion was often seen in the goal area, which frightened away players from opposing teams!
Then Zaire, went up against a country then known as Yugoslavia (it no longer exists), and they were thrashed 9:0!....
It was shocking! .....How could the "best team in Africa", be humiliated like that?!
So what happened to the lion? was all rubbish: Zaire were a terrible team; in fact some of the players didn't even know the rules of football, and it was so embarrassing!!!
We thought they were the best, because they were all we knew about.
When consoling me in my disappointment, my mother quoted me a Bemba proverb (A Zambian language), which translated means:
"A child who has never traveled, boasts that his mother is the best cook."

From that incident, I made some important life observations:
.... If you say someone is good, at something, what is your benchmark?
...... Who are you comparing them with?
..... When evaluating capability, or success, in anything, don't listen to mumbo-jumbo rubbish.

If you are to be a success, you must learn to undertake proper professional assessments of the situation. Look at the facts, carefully and analytically. Don't be carried away by emotions, and baseless subjectivity.
As the Apostle Paul, said, "don't measure, yourself, against yourself", and say, "I am the best."

African football learnt a lot from the Zaire debacle, and in 1978, four years later, an African country, Tunisia, held the mighty West Germany, who had won the 1974, tournament to a draw, in the group stage....aaah pride restored!
Then a few years later, Roger Milla, and the real "indomitable lions" (Cameroon), showed the world what Africa could do:
- they were polished;
- they were professional;
- they hired professional coaches;
- their players knew the rules;

Even the mighty Pele, acknowledged, and, predicated that Africa, was improving so quickly, it would one day win the World Cup!
This is not about football.... So let's not have a discussion about the Brazil World Cup, or Brazil's loss to Germany....please:

- whatever you are doing, do you know who is really the best? And what is your basis?

- do you know what we call "best practice", or are you just out there, doing your own thing, to your own standard?

Your cannot improve, and become the best, if you do not not know what is expected of the best!

... Let's raise our game, because we have what it takes, to improve, and benchmark against the best, and become the best!

God Bless.


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