Insight, Inspiration, Motivation


If one were to make a list of all the missed opportunities in this world – opportunities missed simply because of a failure to act – this list would perhaps be longer than Santa’s list of kids! How often do we fail to act on an idea and then almost want to hit ourselves when we see somebody else benefit from having done exactly what we did not? Everybody, even those people who seem perfectly self-confident, have their own insecurities and list of lost opportunities.

I listened to a speech by the great Randy Snow, who won the silver medal in the 1984 Paralympics for the 1500 metre wheelchair race, where he admitted to having listened to the inner(doubting) voice which said, “what if you exhaust yourself” at the most defining moment in that race. He said that to the end of his life, he would regret that he did not listen to the voice of the inner champion instead (which asked him to sprint ahead to the first spot) and would never know what could have happened.

The fear of failure is a very powerful deterrent that often stops people from doing what they want. The truth is that nobody is free of wants, and nobody could really be unafraid either. So, how is it that a few people are able to overcome the fear and go after their dreams, while most settle for less?

Different people perceive failure differently. Those who intend to succeed will not take failure too personally. Thomas Edison made the light bulb only after a  thousand attempts.  When he was asked, “How does it feel to have failed a thousand times?” he said, “It was a success with a thousand steps”. What a liberating concept! It was the attempt that failed – not the man.

Similarly, if somebody refuses to buy a product or service you are trying to sell – it could just mean that this particular product or service does not match their particular needs at this particular time. It does not have to mean that they reject you. You make the choice to think what you want – of yourself and of others.

Successful people also are very clear about what they want – whether it is a measurable goal (as in business or other achievements) or just the pleasure of doing what they enjoy (as in the creative pursuits like writing, music and arts). They do not think consciously of success, but on the contrary, they focus on exactly what they want, and go after it with a passion. Success, as the rest of the world perceives,  inevitably follows.

Ultimately, nobody ever became successful without having made mistakes. The smart ones learn quickly and try again – and again. It is certain that if you don’t try, you will never succeed. The only chance you have is if you try so there is no sense in not trying. If you do fail, “Join the club”! You’re all the better for trying.

As Randy Snow said, “There is nothing wrong with living a silver medal life if you’ve made a gold medal effort”.


January 15, 2011 Posted by | Self Improvement, Uncategorized | , , , | 3 Comments


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