Emotional Maturity kungfupanda

Published on January 1st, 2011 | by Olumide

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Kung fu Panda

If you’ve ever looked in the mirror and seen a failure, this post is for you. If you lost your job in 2010, your girlfriend dumped you, your husband asked for a divorce, your colleagues made fun of you, you failed terribly in school or you did a whole lot of incredibly stupid things, you really need to read this:

During my days in the NYSC Orientation Camp, we were forced to undergo rigorous military training. The ultimate goal was to get us to march as part of the parade on the Passing Out Ceremony before the Governor. Initially, I was part of the marching team in my platoon. But I made a mistake one day and was sent off to join the non-marchers or ‘Otondo’s as those who didn’t make the team were called. On joining that group, I discovered something: the attitude there was so different from that of those who had made the team. There (those marching), everyone was focused and eager to do well. Here, most people had given up and were just passing snide remarks. Without meaning to be disparaging to anyone, the ‘otondo’ group reminded me of losers. But before leading you to the conclusion before telling my real story, let me go to that. It is based on a cartoon known as ‘Kungfu Panda’:

His dreams were always about kung fu. He would defeat the indomitables, quash the unconquerables and deliver his people from oppression. But when he woke up, he was nothing but a big, fat and lazy panda. He couldn’t perform excellently at the family business which was cooking: he could not cook as well as his father because he didn’t have the ‘secret ingredient’- so he was just barely enduring that path, coping with unfulfilment. He couldn’t attain his dream which was kungfu fighting because he lacked agility, had neither training nor the discipline to learn and endure. He was eveything a kungfu fighter was not…

Yet, he could not drive away the desire to be the Dragon Warrior and custodian of the Dragon Scroll. Considering that that was the peak of a kungfu career and only the creme de la creme of kung fu ever attained that status, it was just as good as living in a world of fantasy. He knew all the kungfu  terminologies, followed all kungfu competitions, spoke like a real fighter… but it was really depressing to know that he didn’t have what it took to be one. If he had gotten access to a mirror, he would have seen a mere failure drifting with the wind.

But through a series of uexpected circumstances, this big fat panda found himself ‘mistakenly’selected to be the Dragon Warrior. Unfortunately, it was not just a title; It came with huge responsibilities. He had to fight the arch enemy of his people; a professional fighter who made even the kungfu masters shudder. He had to do so in order to save his kingdom. All he had to help him was a teacher who had no faith in him (actually, he also had no faith in himself) and a dragon scroll which was supposed to contain the secrets of greatness in kungfu but which was (as he soon realized) nothing but a beautiful blank sheet of paper.

The peak of the story lies in his discovery that the blankness of the scroll was not a mistake. It was blank to represent that there really is no special ingredient that automatically creates success or greatness. For you to be special, you have to believe you are. Similarly, the ‘secret ingredient’ in his father’s soup was actually nothing because the father had discovered that everyone felt the soup was special because they thought it was made with a secret ingredient.

I know you did not get that. Let me rephrase: when you look into the mirror and see a failure, you will continue to fail! For you to succeed, you have to believe you are special. You have to look at yourself and see success inspite of your woes. You have to believe in your best brand: YOU! When you believe you are special, other people will believe you are. There is a way a prince commands authority because he knows he is a prince. Even without a crown or royal clothing, he would still raise his head high because of who he is. Because of the way he would carry himself, people would want to associate with him. They would want to be his business partners.

Stop beating yourself up! You are not a failure because your girlfriend dumped you- you are probably too good for her:) You are not a dullard because you failed all your courses- you only need to learn them, master them and you can do it if you put your heart to it. You lost your job, so what? Go and get another one! Don’t be an ‘otondo’ in 2011. Get on the field and match!

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