If you are not responsible for your mistake, who is?
A couple of weeks back I played the game of soccer. It was Physics vs. Mathematics group of PgDE ‘B’. Normally, we prefer playing in the morning due to extreme heat in the daytime. I would be up by 5 AM sharp without complain, all because of a great love for the game. If I were to rate myself in a scale of 10, I would give not more than 5; I am just an average player but that doesn’t deter me at all.
|Me at the extreme right: Team Tri-Sci (PgDE 'B' B) vs. BEd. IV Yr|
But that time, though, it was already 5:30 AM when I woke up. Within no time, I reached out and woke the teammates up and made our way to the playfield. But to our utter disappointment, the B.Ed students-ten of them playing Futsal-had occupied the playfield. I blamed the teammates for being late and that was what we get being late. I didn’t want to give up after waking up that early. And I didn’t want to negotiate with the B.Ed students either.
Some of our friends negotiated rather peacefully and succeeded in driving those Futsal players away. It didn’t take much time to get our game started. The game gained its momentum and everybody played at the optimum level. Just a few minutes before half time, it was 2-1 in favor of Physics team. Entrusted with a left-winger’s role, I tried to live up to the expectation of every team member. I was feeling comfortable with my teammates and in fact I loved the way they encouraged me to play harder with confidence. Yes, I lacked confidence and stamina! It seemed like everything was coming along my way when I made few long and short successful passes. I even took charge to take a corner kick for the first time in my life. Being a left-winger my mates asked me to kick it totally oblivious to my skills. But miraculously I delivered a fine ball that connected to a goal by our little-overweight striker-Zambala, giving us an equalizer 2-2. Excitement filled the ground, but it was short lived-a talented Physics striker found a net in our post. Now it was 3-2, the Physics in the lead. Nevertheless, we made the last minute pressure on them and we were presented with a very wonderful opportunity to deliver a perfect much-needed equalizer. Our right-winger struck the ball so hard just a few yards away but it deviated from their goalie and went rolling right to our striker only to be missed and I saw the ball making its way towards me. I was alone just a yard away! With just one thought in mind (a goal), I kicked the ball so hard that it went flying away from the post. I had just missed the lifetime opportunity! I felt terrible about the miss. Not surprisingly, everybody shouted at me and some even went to the extent of saying me to ‘stop playing’ if I were to miss such opportunity. In the midst of frustration, I just shouted back ‘F**K U’…!
Being a human myself bound with full of tendencies, I didn’t want to take this blame singlehandedly and so I blamed our striker Zambala. I made my point that it was his ball and that I was not at all in the position to kick that ball, it appeared out of nowhere, and that I happened to kick it. However, deep down inside me, I knew I made a biggest mistake by kicking that hard. I could have kicked lightly and aimed at the side, which provided more probability for a goal. My teammates would not have to curse me for losing bets-a lunch to the Physics team. I felt so sorry for teammates and like they said, I wanted to quit playing soccer. I thought it was just a subject of humiliation and lost of energy. The final whistle blew and immediately boots on my hands, I made my way straight to the hostel. I began to hate soccer!
Back in the room, the same thought accompanied me. Whole time I was like ‘Pema, you suck at everything!’ I began to hate myself.
But as if a divine has intervened, I came to realize that the problem was not with the soccer or teammates, it was solely with me. I didn’t want to accept my mistake; that was a problem, which made me miserable! Had a taken that mistake as a stepping-stone, I wouldn’t have felt that way. After all, I am human just like any other prone to mistakes! Instead, I had just wanted to escape and not confront with it. I was a loser! Had I been able to realize that I made that mistake and that there was still ample of room for improvement, there should not have been any reasons to feel the way I felt. I had never taken my friends suggested seriously and because of that I was still on the same level while my friends showed much improvement and seemed happier.
I have now come to realize that if you refuse to accept your mistake, then you refuse to improve as well!