Posts Tagged With: success

Olympic Fever

Some people are saying that they are sick and tired of watching all of the TV adverts with an Olympic twist, that all they see are babies in Olympic vests and red, white, blue, red, white blue everybloodywhere. Some people get sick and tired of too much of something.

Well, in this case, I LIKE IT! I like it how the community gets together and I like how we all celebrate the athletes’ achievements as if they were our own achievements. These committed, driven individuals share their glories with us, lazy asses that only care enough to watch it on the telly. I like how generous they are to do it for their country and for each one of us spectators. What a nice thing to have someone pushing themselves to the limit just to make us smile and cheer loudly.

Being a Brazilian but also a British citizen, I find myself in funny situations when talking to people about the Olympic competitions. I say a lot of “We” did this, “We” did that, not making it very clear if I mean “We” British or “We” Brazilians. My fellow work colleagues sometimes ask what I mean but, most of the time, I realise that I’m not making much sense and add the odd word in to make myself understood, so they then know exactly if I’m talking about Team GB or the Brazilian crowd.

My approach to the Olympics is the same as the one I have in the World Cup. I support Brazil if Brazil is playing, I support England if England is playing. But if Brazil is playing England, sorry, it’s Brazil all the way! I also like to see poor third world countries winning, as I imagine winning something at this scale is a big confidence boost for citizens of places that find themselves in difficult situations.

The most special thing about the Olympics, though, is the sense of community, the sense of “we are all in this together”, even though we are not the ones jumping high or running fast. I like how we all dress the part, talk the talk and cheer loud enough for the athletes to hear us, no matter the distance.

I’ve also realised that I’m starting to like sport more and more. And this is big, coming from someone that didn’t even like PE at school. I like the fact that it’s really black and white and not subjective at all. If you do your best time, if you score, if you do better than your opponent, then you win. There is no ‘opinion’ about how you perform. There are set parameters and all is very clear and simple. And I like simple things.

I’m having a blast watching all the Olympic stuff on the telly. No, I didn’t make my way down to London because I thought that the ticket prices were robbery in daylight, but I’m happy with seeing it all from the best angles from my own comfy sofa. And let the best ones win! (be them Brazilians, British, Canadians, Australians, Ethiopians…..)

Categories: Living away from home, Olympic Games | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

The map of life

Yesterday we watched the movie “The Adjustment Bureau”. Please stop reading now if you haven’t watched it as I’m about to spoil it for you if that’s the case. The movie is about a “higher power”, the fate commanders. They basically decide people’s fates and make sure that everyone is following the path they are supposed to be on. If something doesn’t go according to plan, they then intervene by making little things happen (such as spilling coffee on someone’s shirt), so timings are adjusted and things can get back on track. If the little things don’t work, mainly because some things do happen by chance and by chance only, then they move on to making bigger things happen, all in the view of keeping to the plan, keeping to the map of life which is supposedly written by someone “up there”.

I didn’t think the movie had enough depth to it, if I’m honest, and if I compare it to Inception (which has a similar storyline), well… there’s no comparison, really. But this post is not about the movie itself. The movie made me think about bigger things… about destiny, about fate, about how much we are actually in control of what happens to us. Sentences like the good and old: “If it didn’t happen, it’s because it wasn’t meant to be”, “Everything happens for a reason” and “Things happen when they have to happen” are said too often, but do we really mean that or do we just say them because they make us feel better for not achieving what we originally wanted? Is there really a destiny controller, like in the movie? If so, what is the use in us planning carefully where we want to be in 5 years’ time? What is the use in us planning what to eat tomorrow?

I know this sounds quite stupid and, of course, we are in control up to a degree, but I wish I knew if all the careful planning of my own life is not just a big waste of my time. Should I just swear by the most used sentence of all, when it comes to destiny? The old “Let’s just wait and see”? I don’t want to just wait and see, I want to plan and see, I want to dream and see…

I can’t tell if there is a God of destiny… I do know, though, that some spooky things do happen sometimes and I do, like many other people, find myself thinking: “if this didn’t happen, then the other wouldn’t have happened”, and so on… Maybe there is someone magically swapping the pieces of the jigsaws that are our lives. Maybe there isn’t. I do know, though, that people do overcome their own capabilities all the time… think of athletes, think of ill people that are given months to live and end up living years and years, think of lovers that were not meant to be, like in this movie, and find a way to be together despite all the contradictions destiny puts in their way . There’s proof out there that, somehow, things do happen just as people make them happen.

My belief is that yes, there is a destiny written for each one of us, but I do believe that we can change it. It might not be the wisest thing to do all of the time, but we can do it. It’s a risk, like most things in life. It may pay off, it may not. But one thing I know: “getting there” and knowing that you mapped out your own path means one thing: achievement. And knowning that you made it happen with the careful manipulation of what was available in your life is as rewarding as living the dream itself.

Categories: Dreams | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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