On risk-taking

3 05 2010

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out is to risk involvement,
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas and
dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return,
To live is to risk dying,
To hope is to risk despair,
To try is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken because
the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing,
has nothing, is nothing.
– William Arthur Ward (1921-1994)

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Stuck? 6 Keys to Breakthrough..

23 02 2010

How many times have you faced a situation or a time in your life where you just felt STUCK. In a rut, as it were. Here are some quick keys to breakthrough..

1. Get some direction. Ask yourself what you actually want – “what would you do if you knew you could not fail?” You’ll never get momentum without a sense of direction.

2. Realise you have a choice! You may not be able to control you circumstances, but you can control your response. There is a difference between responding and reacting. The difference lies in the seat of control – are you occupying it, or your circumstances?

3. Acknowledge the things that block you from responding. Fear of taking responsibility, fear of failure, fear of others’ opinions, fear….. The first step to beat any problem is to recognise its existence. “Know your enemy to defeat it”.

4. Share your goals with someone else (who will support you)! Accountability yields commitment. I was talking with some friends recently about why we don’t do this, and realised that either:

a. We fear falling short of others expectations (what-if-I-fail?) and so try to play down our goals or keep them private, or

b. We fear that the goal itself may be seen as too small (a bit silly or easy) – or too big (who do you think you are?) – in the eyes of others when we share it.

In short, we fear people’s reactions to the actual goal, and then we fear their potential reaction should we fail to achieve it. If it’s too small, they’ll laugh at us. If it’s too big, we might fail and expose ourselves to ridicule. Solution is in the next point…

5. Don’t let other people hold you back with the same reasoning and negativity that they hold their own lives back with! Realise that everyone has hopes and goals, but most people fail to achieve them – for lack of courage and lack of proactiveness. So don’t fear the critics! US President Theodore Roosevelt once said:

“…the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic – the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done.”

6. And finally, realise that the times where you are most held back from doing something (by fear, lack of faith etc), will often be the times where if you push through, you will experience the greatest reward and success!