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Kylian Mbappe: Your environment matters

By Gbenga Adebambo
04 February 2023   |   4:02 am
The astronomical rise of the French footballer icon, Kylian Mbappe, is a proof that environment matters a lot. The PSG attacker’s father is a Camerounian by name Wilfried Mbappe, and his mother, Fayza Lamari, an Algerian.

Kylian Mbappe (Photo by Sylvain THOMAS / AFP)

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living” — Nelson Mandela

Life is a game and if you want to guarantee better results over a sustained period of time, the best approach is to play the game in an environment that favours you. Winners often win because their environment supports winning. If you want to maximise your odds of success, then, you need to operate in an environment that accelerates your results rather than hinder them.

The astronomical rise of the French footballer icon, Kylian Mbappe, is a proof that environment matters a lot. The PSG attacker’s father is a Camerounian by name Wilfried Mbappe, and his mother, Fayza Lamari, an Algerian. There is a widely publicised rumour that an official from the Camerounian Football Federation demanded for $1000 from Mbappe’s father for his son to be considered for a slot in the Camerounian national team, but he got irritated and decided to bring his son to France instead. The French FA was believed to be a place where talents are celebrated.

While the rumour may or may not be true, we cannot deny the fact that a continent that does not reward excellence or celebrate talents will ultimately be populated with mediocre minds. The mad rush of talented youths, tech gladiators, professionals and medical care-givers validates the fact that there is an unprecedented exodus of talents and gifted youths from the African continent.

It is not every environment that supports your growth. The wrong environment can kill the right initiatives. There are five categories of environment you need to be mindful of:

•Physical Environment: Your physical location matters. Your physical environment can be where you are living or where you are working. Don’t just stay where you are being tolerated, stay where you are being celebrated. An environment where your talents and gifts are not being appreciated can frustrate your progress. Elon Musk grew up in South Africa, but he knew that South Africa didn’t have what it needed to support his space mission for mankind. He needed to be in a country that had launched man to space before. A toxic work environment can pollute your sanity and frustrate your growth.

•Spiritual Environment: Whose anointing are you operating under? You will need a spiritual environment that accommodates your vision and helps you in your journey of destiny fulfilment. When you operate under a spiritual leader that is working in error, rebellion or disobedience, you will find it very hard to thrive and flourish in life. Many people have made themselves vulnerable to spiritual attacks by staying in the wrong spiritual environment. When you stay under a spiritual leader that is operating under a strange anointing, strange things begin to happen in your life.

•Emotional Environment:
The people you surround yourself with will either drain or fuel you emotionally. So, choose them wisely. Some people will ruin other people’s happiness just because they can’t find theirs. They can suck optimism, serenity and tranquillity out of others just for pleasure. Beware of such people! Beware of emotional vampires! Beware of fault-finders! Beware of friends that see you only as a competitor! Beware of friends associated with social vices! When you get married to an insecure man, he will make you vulnerable to attacks as he is.

Audit your relationships. Take an inventory of people who give you energy and those who drain your energy. Try spending more time around people that affirm your worth and those who help you nurture your potentials. Cut off from people that set limits and boundaries. That will drastically reduce their negative energy around you.

•Mental Environment: Your state of mind matters. Until you work on the way you think, nothing else works.
Arnold Schwarzenegger said: “Success is created mentally first’’. Winning starts from the mind. You cannot feature in a future you can’t picture. Winners picture winning in their minds. They see it with their mind before people start seeing it with their eyes. You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.

By “reprogramming” your thought patterns, you can effectively turn your life around for good. Your mental environment is your inner environment. You cannot change what is going on around you until you start changing what is going on within you. Our lives will always go in the direction of our most predominant thought. Renewing our perspectives and approaches towards life is the best way to live. If you cannot think well, you cannot live well.

Tony Gaskins said: “You can’t win in life if you are losing in your mind”. If you want to create different results from what you got in the past, you have to learn to think and act differently.

•Social Environment: Without great relationships, life is virtually bankrupt. There are critical relationships that are needed for you to go far in life. You must surround yourself with people who would mention your name in a room full of opportunities.

Anybody that keeps opportunities away from you is not your friend. Beware of fake friends! It is not what you have in your life, but who you have in your life that counts. Everything you’ve ever wanted in life is a relationship away! It is your ‘connection’ that determines your ‘collection’. What you will collect from life is dependent on the value of your connections.

Relationship is the ultimate connector. It goes far than what your degree and certificate would do for you in your lifetime. Relationships can open doors in a moment that your degrees and skills won’t open. I have observed that there is a strong connection between the quality of your relationships and the opportunities that you will be exposed to in life. Knowing people that can recommend you for the right places will always give you a significant edge in life.

I learnt something a long time ago about loyalty that has guided me in my journey: Your full loyalty must never be to an environment, a job, a system, a group of people, an organisation or a nation; your full loyalty must be to your dreams, visions and passions. If you will have to change environment, a job, leave a system, leave an organisation or leave a country to be loyal to your dreams, vision and passion, please do!

I am not saying that we should trivialise loyalty to people or system. I am saying we must never sacrifice our dreams in a bid to be loyal to people or system. Staying in an environment that frustrates your dreams just because you want to be loyal to others is self-sabotage. You must discipline yourself to leave any environment that does not support or accommodate your vision.

Imagine if Elon Musk did not relocate from South Africa, he would probably have settled down in a research laboratory for space research, instead of launching the company that now competes even with NASA in projections.

In her breath-taking book, “This Child Will Be Great: Memoir of a Remarkable Life by Africa’s First Woman President”, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the former President of Liberia, said: “The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them. If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.”

We need more African gladiators with big dreams in order to change the fortunes of the African continent. We need leaders that will create conducive environment that will allow such big dreams to thrive and flourish.