A collection of short stories and journalistic commentaries depicting my simple life
and how I fit in with the modern day universe of our times

GRUDGE MATCH



I’ve got another great idea for a new TV show...

Do you remember on TV in the 1970s and 80s, they used to show pro celebrity golf from some of the finest courses in the country? Wasn’t it great... top celebrities like Brucie, Tarbie, Lynchie (who started a trend by being famous for just being famous) and Ronnie Corbett pitting their skills against the top professional golfers.

Well my idea is based on or around that, but I’m going to bring it kicking and screaming into the 21st Century...

Welcome to Pro Celebrity Boxing!

Just think of it... every week a celebrity from the very pinnacle of the light entertainment world would test his pugilistic skills against a top international boxer... live from Bethnal Green, or wherever it is that grown men gather to beat each other’s brains to the consistency of chicken liver pate.

I sense you may have concerns. Let me put your mind at rest...

I’m not talking about putting the pro celebrity golfers in there... dear me no! Brucie and Tarbie are far too old for goodness sake. Do you think I’ve taken leave of my senses?

Although Ronnie Corbett may be a perfect match in weight and reach for Prince Naseem, I wouldn’t want to be held responsible for the outcome of a contest between the two at his age. Maybe 5 or 10 years ago, you’d have had a decent contest, but not now.

Similarly, Bernard Manning may well have had a big weight advantage over Lennox Lewis, but even though Lennox is generally thought to be past his peak, I think he would still have too much for the deceased foul mouthed Mancunian.

No.... I fully intend keeping this ‘real’.

So my show will be putting Prince Naseem in the ring with Ant or Dec (take your pick) - a perfect match in age, weight and reach. And when I’m looking to match Lennox, I think I need look no further than that one man mountain of lard Rick Waller (ex X-factor) - who would hold both a weight and age advantage over the aging champion.

An obvious match in the middle weights will be Nigel Benn and Dale Winton too.

And don’t think I’m just going to throw those celebrities in there without any training either. That would just be silly. They will have a full 10 weeks training to prepare for the bout. There’ll be no half measures on my show.

And what a great show it would be apart from one small problem...

Each bout would last no more than about 10 seconds... oh, and someone would probably be killed.

You see, no matter how determined those celebrities, no matter how much training they did, no matter how hard they worked, they would still not stand one single chance in a million of succeeding because...

It is not within their absolute physical or mental limits to do so.

Determination and high expectations are absolutely essential when striving to reach a goal... but it’s vitally important that this determination is channelled down a route consistent with your own personal physical and mental limitations.

Let me give you some examples...

No matter how determined I am to win the 100 metres at the next Olympic Games, no matter how hard I work towards that goal, I will not succeed. No matter how determined I am to play Premiership League football (or Unibond League football for that matter) it will not happen.

Because both goals are beyond my physical limitations. (I’m too slow, too old and have two left feet).

No matter how focussed I am on being a top recording artist, or becoming universally known as the ‘fourth tenor’, I’m going to be sadly disappointed too.

If you’ve ever seen Vic Reeves sing a song in the ‘club style’ a la ‘Shooting Stars’ you’ll get a feel for my limitations in that area.

There are very many areas of excellence which are permanently closed off to me, because of the absolute limitations which I was born with, or those which age has kindly brought with it. And I’m certain it’s the same for you.

I know this all sounds a bit negative, but it isn’t, because all you really need to do is...

Channel your determination and enthusiasm along realistic lines.

Only you will know... and you do know... deep down, whether what you’re trying to achieve is within the absolute limits of your capabilities. But you must guard against selling yourself short too...

Let’s imagine an 18 year old Austrian bodybuilder arriving in America with barely a word of English and announcing that he is going to be the best bodybuilder in the world, and then the most famous and successful movie star in the world... and then political leader of the fifth largest economy in the world. Oh, and he’s going to create a multi-million dollar business and property empire along the way.

Rick Waller against Lennox Lewis looks a better bet!

And yet it was all done by an extraordinary individual who set realistic short term goals, and then used the accomplishment of each as a stepping stone to the next.

And this step-by-step approach was the key...

Arnold Schwarzenegger had the physical capability to back up his determination to achieve his first goal... and it was the same physical capability which gave him the opportunity to achieve his second goal in films. Success there gave him the public standing to overcome any natural shortcomings he had, in reaching the final goal of political office.

Teenage immigrant to state governor is beyond all limits. But put the other stages in place and it starts to make some sense.

I suppose what I’m saying is that determination works best when it’s applied in a carefully calculated direction... one where realistic goals are already in place. That doesn’t mean that your goals should be easy or un-ambitious, but rather that their achievement isn’t dependent on overcoming some impossible physical or mental obstacle.

The good news... the really good news... is that if your goal is a boring mundane one like building the biggest business of its type in the world, or making so much money that you can’t even count it - then there are no absolute barriers standing in your way.

There are an almost infinite number of ways to make a great deal of money. Many of these are closed off to me. They impose requirements beyond my physical and mental limitations... yes I have lots of mental limitations too.

But it doesn’t matter...

Because there are plenty of other routes to the same goal which don’t have these barriers in place. I found some of those, and you can too.

I know from personal experience how easy it is to become fixed on one track... one route... ignoring the barriers in place and just running into them time after time.

So what I’m suggesting you do today is take a cold, honest look to see whether there are any rigid barriers in place between you and the business and financial goals you’ve set yourself, and if there are, think about plotting another route.

That might mean getting out of the business or job you’re in now and starting something new... it might even mean giving up on a long held ambition, which will be hard. But not as hard as coming up empty handed time and again - and getting no closer to the ultimate goal.

Look, Rick Waller is never going to outbox Lennox Lewis... neither am I, and neither are you, no matter how determined you are. If achieving your current goals mean you have to do the equivalent of that, then now could be a good time to reassess where you’re going, and how you’re going to get there, that’s all.




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Its my own fault really, its all about what I see in the world, and how it all translates for me.

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