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Is Jy Bok?

  • 4 min read

Article by: Jacques Burger – Chief Executive Officer: M&C Saatchi Group South Africa.

As South Africa, we have this ability to push ourselves –  time and time again to the very edge of a cliff. Sometimes we even dangle over the edge a little, with one hand holding on and then, and just as the world thinks we are about to fall over the edge – we miraculously pull ourselves back from a tragic ending.  

Our Rugby World Cup win this past weekend in Paris is no different. A nail biting three weekends of winning by just 1 point, it felt like we were always right there on the proverbial edge, holding on for dear life. 

But pull us back we did, and we have a shiny trophy and the title of ‘best in the world’ to show for it. We also, even if for just a few celebratory weeks, will forget about loadshedding, corruption, terrible economic growth, a depreciating currency, rampant crime and unemployment. Instead, we will ride a wave of positivity, a sense of us all being united and the deep belief that we can do anything and achieve anything. We will be singing and dancing and showing the world just what a great nation we are – far away from the edge of the cliff. 

I have no doubt that we will find ourselves back there at the edge of the cliff at some point – I suspect our need for imminent danger to inspire action and solution is built into our DNA and we somehow struggle to effectively mobilize without it. However, I, for one, have no nails, no voice and no will post the past three weekends to go anywhere near the edge of that cliff for a while – and truth be told, there is no need to.

The Springboks have taught us some very powerful lessons that I believe are far more effective in mobilizing action and achievement than imminent danger. They’ve shown us the power of two people blending care and respect for each other (just listen to Siya talk about Jacques). They’ve shown us the power of family – our own (there is a good reason for wives and kids joining the tour), but also equally important, the power of having a family that isn’t your own blood. They’ve shown us the power of understanding and acknowledging history, but being motivated by the future. 

Perhaps most importantly, they’ve shown us the power of positive intention. 

This team came into the Rugby World Cup to win. They came to prove a point- even if it was just one point! There is nothing more powerful than living life with intention. It’s the difference whether you choose to snooze or seize. It’s making your bed, it’s shining your shoes, it’s standing up straight, it’s starting, it’s staying, it’s an attitude that says: I’ve got this, look at me, I’m already winning. I could see it from the very first time the Boks ran onto the field in this World Cup. They were on it; they were in it – you didn’t need to know the score to know that they were winning.

Like rugby, in the game of life, the way we show up largely determines the outcome. A wise friend of mine has this beautiful saying: he talks about solving in the positive. I think it speaks to positive intent and the winning energy that it brings. Put differently, the powerful Under Armour brand advertising line reads: I will what I want. 

So, what do I want for 2024? 

For us all to live life with intention. To get up in the morning knowing that we are a winning team, to know that we are all family, to show up with respect and care for each other, to see the upside, to stay the course, to be committed to a better South Africa every day, no matter what the score board might say. 

To stay far away from the edge of that cliff. 

Is jy bok?

I am.