WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF WE DROVE OUR CAR WITH THE BRAKES ON? IT WOULDN’T BE SMART, WOULD IT? WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO OUR CAR? IT WILL NEVER GO FULL SPEED BECAUSE THE BRAKES OFFER RESISTANCE. THE CAR WILL OVERHEAT AND BREAK DOWN. IF IT DOESN’T BREAK DOWN, THE RESISTANCE WILL STRAIN THE ENGINE. YOU HAVE TWO CHOICES. YOU CAN EITHER PRESS THE ACCELERATOR HARDER AND RISK DAMAGE OR RELEASE THE BRAKES TO MAKE THE CAR GO FASTER. THIS IS A GOOD PARALLEL TO LIFE BECAUSE WE GO THROUGH LIFE WITH OUR EMOTIONAL BRAKES ON. WHAT ARE THE BRAKES? THEY ARE THE FACTORS THAT PREVENT US FROM ACHIEVING SUCCESS. THE WAY TO RELEASE OUR EMOTIONAL BRAKES IS BY BUILDING A POSITIVE ATTITUDE, HIGH SELF-ESTEEM AND BY ACCEPTING RESPONSIBLY
1.Unwillingness to Take Risks
Success involves taking calculated risks. Risk taking does not mean gambling foolishly and behaving irresponsibly. People sometimes mistake irresponsible and rash behavior as risk-taking. They end up with negative results and blame it on bad luck. Risk-taking is relative. The concept of risk varies from person to person and can be a result of training. To both a trained mountain climber and a novice, mountain climbing is risky, but to the trained person it is not irresponsible risk-taking. Responsible risk-taking is based on knowledge, training, careful study, confidence and competence which give a person the courage to act while facing fear. The person who never does anything makes no mistakes. However, he doesn’t realize that not doing anything is his biggest mistake. Many opportunities are lost because of indecision. It is habit-forming and contagious. Take risks but don’t gamble. Risk-takers go with their eyes open. Gamblers shoot in the dark.
2. LACK OF PERSISTENCE
When problems seem insurmountable, quitting seems to be the easiest way out. It is true for every marriage, job and relationship. Winners are struck but not destroyed. We all have had setbacks in life. Failing does not mean we are failures. More people fail not because they lack knowledge or talent but because they quit. The total secret of success lies in two words, persistence and resistance. Persist in what must be done and resist what ought not to be done.
“A man is a hero not because he is braver than anyone else, but because he is brave for ten minutes longer”.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
3. INSTANT GRATIFICATION
We think short-term, not long term. That is a limited vision. We are living in an age of instant gratification. There is a pill for everything, from waking you up to putting you to sleep. People want to take a pill to get rid of their problems. When people want to be instant millionaires, they take shortcuts and compromise on their integrity. The desire to make a million overnight has made the lottery a flourishing business. Remember that instant gratification never thinks of consequences, only of momentary pleasures. Today’s generation defines the ideal diet as one that will take off five pounds for good intentions. These are people who don’t want any more birthdays but want all the presents.
4. LACK OF PRIORITIES
People make substitutes where they ought not to. For example, in relationships, they trade money and gifts for affection and time. Some people find it easier to buy things for their children and spouse to compensate for their absence. When we don’t have our priorities right, we waste time, not realizing that time wasted is life wasted. Prioritizing requires discipline to do what needs to be done rather than going by our moods and fancies. Too much emphasis is placed on success and failure rather than doing one’s best. How do you cope with defeat and problems? Your response to this question says a lot about your character. One of the keys to solving this mystery to success is understanding. Some people have their mind set on money, power, fame or possessions. We have to understand our priorities. Success does not come by reading or memorizing the principles that lead to success, but by understanding and applying them.
5. SELFISHNESS AND GREED
Individuals and organizations that have a selfish attitude toward each other and toward their customers have no right to expect growth. Their attitude is to keep passing the buck without regard for the welfare of others. Greed always wants more. Needs can be satisfied but greed cannot. It is a cancer of the soul. Greed destroys relationships. How do we gauge our greed index? By asking ourselves three questions:
♦ Can I afford it?
♦ Do I really need it?
♦ If I have it, will it give me peace of mind?
Greed comes out of poor self-esteem, which manifests itself as false pride, pretense or keeping up with the Joneses. The way out of greed is to learn to live within your means and be satisfied. Being contented does not mean lacking ambition.
Fear can be real or imaginary. It makes people do strange things and primarily comes because of a lack of understanding. To live in fear is like being in an emotional prison. Fear results in insecurity, lack of confidence, procrastination. Fear destroys our potential and ability. We cannot think straight. It ruins relationships and health. Some of the common fears are:
♦ fear of failing
♦ fear of the unknown
♦ fear of being unprepared
♦ fear of making the wrong decision
♦ fear of rejection
Some fears can be described, others felt. Fear leads to anxiety, which in turn leads to irrational thinking, which actually sabotages our solution to the problem. The normal response to fear is an escape. Escape puts us in our comfort zone and reduces the impact temporarily while keeping the cause. Imaginary fear magnifies the problem. Fear can get out of hand and destroy happiness and relationships. Fear of failure often can be worse than failure itself. Failure is not the worst thing that could happen to someone. People who don’t try have failed before attempting. When infants learn to walk, they keep falling; but to them, it is not failing so they get up. If they got disheartened, they would never walk. It is better to die on one’s feet than to live with fear on one’s knees.
7. LACK OF UNDERSTANDING OF NATURE’S LAWS
Success is a matter of laws and these are the laws of nature. Change is nature’s law. We are either moving forward or we are going backward. We are either creating or disintegrating. There is no status quo. A seed, if it is not planted in the earth to create, disintegrates. Change is inevitable. It is going to happen whether we like it or not. All progress is change but all change is not progress. We must evaluate change and accept it only if it makes sense. Acceptance without evaluation amounts to conforming behavior, a sign of lack of confidence and of low self-esteem. There is a lot to be said about tradition. Growth for the sake of growth is the philosophy of a cancerous cell. It is negativity spreading all over. That is not growth, that is destruction. Growth, in order to be meaningful, must be positive. Success is not a matter of luck, but of laws