Sunday, 26 December 2010

Why are we so stubborn and why can't we just accept things the way they're meant to be?

As a loyal Liverpool fan for the greater part of my life, I've understood frustration.  Frustration at watching the likes of Man United, Arsenal and Chelsea leapfrog above Liverpool in the last two decades, frustration at this season watching Tottenham Hotspurs and Manchester City do better than Liverpool and frustration at seeing lowly-ranked teams, week after week hold Liverpool to a draw or worse still, beat Liverpool.

Nothing though frustrated me more as a Liverpool fan than having Rafael Benitez as Liverpool manager in the last few seasons.  So when Inter Milan decided to sack him last week, I can emphasize with Inter's fans and understand the sense of relief they must be feeling after watching how Benitez completely destroyed any sense of team morale and spirit in what was an otherwise successful team under Jose Mourinho.

At the heart of the issue though was one issue that has consistently dogged Rafael Benitez in the last couple of years and that is stubbornness.  Being stubborn is human nature, I can understand that.  There is a sense of insecurity that everyone has from time to time but when you're in the public spotlight, surely there has to be a time when you need to suck up your pride and understand that things have to change.

However, like Rafael Benitez, we've seen too many examples lately of people, companies and governments just been too damn stubborn.  Whether it be policies related to the "War on Terror" which have at times gone woefully wrong, the handling of the economic crisis whether in the US or even in this region or the outrage that the current WikiLeaks scandal is causing, there is a sense of stubbornness that seems to be underlying in the policies that dictate what's happening.

All too often, we tend to forget that the best way to move forward is to accept the situation at hand.  There are some things we can influence and control but there are many things we can't.  Accepting the situation the way it is, then moving forward has always proved to be the more successful route forward.  The refusal to accept a situation or scenario then leads us as mankind to want to make everyone else around us perceive the situation differently and this is where the problem starts.

The moment you start  trying to influence everyone else's thinking into what everyone knows is obviously the wrong route down, you start to lose support of those who you really need backing you.  To quote an example of this from Rafa Benitez's time at Liverpool, you saw his unwillingness to accept the fact that he never managed to actually manage the situation with Xabi Alonso when he tried to sell him a few seasons ago or to admit he had failed to effectively replace Alonso when he did eventually leave Liverpool.  The list of Rafa's gaffe's can go one for pages (remember the whole Harry Kewell signing and then leaving in six months for a huge loss!).  Had Rafael Benitez only accepted the pickle he was in, he would've probably been much more successful as a Liverpool manager.  Instead he went on to destroy any sense of team spirit or unity that existed, much like he was doing at Inter Milan.  Liverpool were lucky enough to have strong characters like Steven Gerrard, Pepe Reina and Jaime Carragher to carry over the situation, else who knows where Liverpool may have ended up.

The next time you get yourself into a jam, take a deep breath, take stock of the situation, accept it and I'm pretty sure you'll find yourself better off.  Try it and hopefully it works for you, the way it does for me.