No PAIN, No GAIN

August 29, 2010

“Wherever you see a successful business, someone
once made a courageous decision.”
-Peter Drucker

 One potential negative consequence of a prolonged economic downturn is a shift toward conservative decision-making. Experiencing loss can make us tentative, less willing to take chances. We tend to avoid risks that may result in additional losses. The problem with this reaction can be found on the walls of just about any weight-lifting gym in America:

No Pain, No Gain.

More elegantly stated:

“We learn wisdom from failure much more than success. We often discover what we will do, by finding out what we will not do.”
Samuel Smiles

If we act only when success is assured, we lose one of our best sources of growth and knowledge – failure. As Henry Ford said:

“One who fears failure limits his activities.
Failure is only the opportunity to more
intelligently begin again.”

Those who turn adversity into success will be those who are willing to accept the possibility of failure and take those actions they believe will lead them to their chosen goals.

“Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortunes; but great minds rise above them.”
Washington Irving

Dare to be GREAT!!!!!!!!


Expand your “Fear Zone”

March 21, 2010

“Comfort Zone” is a dreadfully inaccurate term, the product of a mind in denial.

“Fear Zone” is far more evocative of the self-imposed prisons in which most people choose to hide. 

 

You tell me: is it comfortable to live within boundaries fashion by fear and self-doubt? 

All but a small number of fully enlightened humans live without a fear zone. Within the zone are all of the experiences you are willing to incorporate into your life. Perhaps you are willing to swim in a fresh water pool but would never swim in the ocean (you know, sharks, jelly fish). You may be comfortable calling friends but become anxious and physically ill at the thought of calling strangers. Swimming in the ocean and calling strangers are activities that many people do in complete comfort but they are simply outside your fear zone. 

Every fear zone is different, molded by complex combinations of beliefs we’ve accumulated since birth. These beliefs are neither right nor wrong. They are simply decisions we have made about what we can and cannot do. 

There is good news: Once we understand how we constructed our fear zones, we have the power to adjust them, to expand our boundaries to incorporate activities, relationships, experiences that we previously considered unimaginable. 

Transformation of what is possible begins by knowing that you can change. Once you have that down, create a blueprint of what you want your life to become—set goals. Then, using tools such as affirmations, visualization, meditation, whatever works for you, convince yourself that you are transforming into the new you. When you reach the point of knowing that the process is irrevocable, it will happen. Your new, expanded beliefs will allow you to participate more fully in the world. As a consequence of completing this process, you will notice a dramatic improvement in your self-esteem. Recognizing and moving beyond fear is one definition of bravery. And, man, does it feel good.


On the Necessity of Failure

February 28, 2010

           

Half of the failures in life come from pulling one’s horse when he is leaping.” Thomas Hood

“Failure,” if understood and appreciated, is a critical step in the growth process. It allows us to hone our skills, test our assumptions and find our true paths. Not understanding the benefits of failure can lead to a life filled with lost opportunities. 

Here is my concern: The current market can present more rejection than some of us are used to. When failure becomes something you strive to avoid at all costs, it can actually attract more failure. Fear of failure can keep us from taking risks, force us to play it safe or not get into the game at all. Or, after taking the leap, it can cause us to pull our horse in mid-air.    

Embrace failure as a necessary step on life’s path. Plow forward, test your limits, act in the face of fear—grow.


Risk – The Greatest Security

November 10, 2008

Quote of the Week

 

“The greatest security is to plan and act, and take the risk that will ultimately ensure your personal freedom and independence.” -Denis Waitley

 

 

This is what great quotes do: they encompass profound, complex, often life-altering concepts or processes into succinct, one line instruction manuals for living.

 

Here we have the nearly universal human goal of freedom and independence, the prerequisite of a willingness to take risks, and the essential two step procedure – plan, then act. And each component of this procedure is absolutely indispensable to success.

 

Assuming the goal of freedom and independence, planning is a useless exercise without the willingness to take risks. Implicit to the achievement of any life-altering goal is the requirement to take new actions, to stretch beyond previous boundaries. Since new actions will likely create new, unfamiliar results, it is natural to experience a certain amount of trepidation. This is where willingness enters the equation.

 

You must be willing to step into the unknown and trust that you will survive. Do that and you’ll be amazed by how well you adapt. Looking back, you will say to yourself: “How could I have been so concerned about that. I did great!” “I wish I had tried that sooner.” “What was I afraid of?”

 

In the end, doubt is the greatest boundary to success. Suspend doubt, be willing to enter the unknown and freedom and independence are within your grasp.