30 January 2014

Champions.......Go, Get It.

We are often told, “Make a new beginning, each day”. That, as I perceive, is to emphasise the fact that we should not get bogged down by yesterday’s failures, and instead should start each day afresh, with a clean slate and ready to take on the world anytime. Well, if we take these baby steps, from one day to another, I feel we are aiming positively to achieve our short term targets. And, all these short term targets, when grouped together, help us reach our long term goals.

Well, by now it has become a well established tradition to set our long term goals at the beginning of each year, more commonly termed as making resolutions. By no means does it indicate that we are forbidden to set goals for ourselves during other parts of the year. Not surprisingly, as is the practice of making resolutions at the dawn of each New Year, so is the habit or ability to NOT being able to live upto and succeed in those resolutions made. Results thus are not easy to decipher. Since most of us fall in the said category, so are we together in this world striving each day or living from day to day. ‘Living’ is still a positive word, while most of us are only ‘surviving’ from day to day.

Why not sit down and analyse the factors or reasons which lead us to such a state of affairs? Okay, let me do my part. I feel that just these two following aspects are of concern in this regard:-
  • We are afraid to dream.
  • Even if we dare to dream, we are afraid to religiously pursue our dream.
Before we go into the details of why we are afraid to dream and/or pursue our dream, let’s see what someone has said in an effort to define DREAMS. “Dream is not what you see when you are asleep, but something which does not let you sleep”. Get the essence of it and everything falls into place.

Let us list the probable and possible reasons for our ‘being afraid’:-
  • We have no dreams at all. Meekly, we prefer to take shelter behind big misleading and misguiding words like ‘destiny’, ‘contentment’ etc, just to cover up our inadequacies.
  • We do not want to move out of the comfort zone. Maintain status quo.
  • We are afraid of failure and thus avoid challenging ourselves.
  • We get influenced by failures (which are larger in number) than the successes (which are lesser in number) around us.
  • We prefer (sadly) to stay with the majority.
This happens in spite of being aware that ‘to get what we have never had, we need to do what we have never done’. And, this in no way relates only to materialistic things. It is equally applicable to other aspects of life as well, or bringing about changes in our personality, character or performance.

This reminds me of a small anecdote which someone narrated to me. It goes like this. A person after hearing a religious sermon asked his Guru, “Sir, when you say that Lord Almighty has already written down our destiny, then what is the need for us to work, or for that matter pray to Him and make wishes?” The Guru gave him a very peaceful smile and replied, “My dear, this is because at many places while writing our destiny, the Lord has written ‘as he does’, ‘as he wishes’ and ‘as he prays’. I am sure you will realize the importance of that”

So, to bring about the change we want in our lives, we need to act. The first and foremost thing to be done in this direction is to let go of negativity and usher in positive thoughts in our life.

Are negative thoughts taking over your life? Have you ever noticed that when you wake up on the ‘wrong side of the bed’, everything during your day (from the people you encounter to the interactions that occur) seem to get worse and worse, as if a black cloud is floating over you and causing gloom to follow you everywhere you go? It’s not in your head. It actually comes from your head – your mind, and most specifically, your negative thoughts which are as real as anything else in your life.

Thoughts are real things, and if you want to increase your happiness, success, joy and the flow of money into your life, get into the ‘flow’ by finding it inside yourself first.

In other words, when you learn how to think positively – and it doesn’t stop there – you’ll learn how to program your mind to give you anything in life that you want, through a conscious and mindful mindset (with intention, gratitude and self-love), enabling you to become a magnet for the Universe to send you more of that good stuff you just don’t want to live another second without.

Putting it down simply, it means, master your thinking and master what you manifest. Master your manifestation power, and master your life!

I personally feel that the number of people who are ‘afraid to dream’ is significantly less, and actually not much can be done about them. It is rather more important to channelize energy of the majority of people who ‘dare to dream but do not religiously and aggressively pursue their dreams’. It is from this group that real winners will emerge. And what will separate the winners from the others is mere ‘action’. We must realize that there is a huge difference when we say, “how to pursue a dream” and “how to act to pursue a dream”. The latter is actually a pre-cursor to the other part, which rather becomes more technical and process oriented.

So, what are the actions we need to take to pursue our dreams?

To my mind, the following aspects related to our actions are important:-

  • First of all, believe that whatever you can dream of, you can achieve.
  • Have a sincere belief that ‘I can do’. Drop the ‘t’ from the can’t.
  • Be specific about your dreams. And more importantly, write it down. Call it a Dream Statement, and it should be a collection of all positive words. Write it down in a manner which suggests that it has already happened. So, it should be ‘I am rich’ instead of ‘I am poor no more’.
  • Make a Dream Collage, and put it up at a place in your living space so that you get to see it more often. Such a collage should comprise of only pictures which relate directly with your dreams. If you are on constant move, then make a Dream Journal instead and carry it with you always. Definitely look at it first day in the morning and then definitely before retiring to bed at night. Before you go to sleep, visualize of having achieved your dream and then be grateful to The Lord for having blessed you to reach your goals. This act of gratitude is very important. It is important this way because it positively affects our sub conscious mind and automatically the performance starts to follow.
  • Stay positive and convince yourself that your dream is achievable, so as to turn it into a burning desire. Here let it be more a matter of heart than mind. Do not let your mind take over the initiative now and start evaluating the pros and cons of your dream in the first place, and your related actions thereafter. Make it seem as essential as oxygen is for living.
  • Pursue your burning desire with utmost commitment, and turn them into goals. It is also essential to ensure that these goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Bound). Break it down into smaller targets, if feasible, and then move forward step by step.
  • Make a plan to achieve these goals and acquire sufficient knowledge and expertise, if it is required, to achieve these goals. Remember that learning is an ongoing process, and the more you learn the better you are equipped to speed up the process of reaching your goals.
  • Take action NOW, and stop procrastination. The well known author and motivational speaker Robin Sharma advises the following actions to beat procrastination:-
    • Stop being your own saboteur, and doubting yourself. Since our birth, the world has pulled a veil of doubt and fear over our eyes, and most of the times emphasised on negatives invariably starting with ‘you can not’. Get out if soonest.
    • Go on a 30 Day Procrastination diet. It entails assigning one task; which you are afraid to do, hate to do or think you cannot do; to each day. It can be as simple as making your bed, singing a song, emptying the dust bin, or helping your parents in gardening, etc.
    • Create a distraction free environment. When you are better organized in your way of functioning, you think and act better. Mess only creates stress.
    • Aim for an efficient management of your time. Learn to separate the tasks to be done under the headings which are a combination of urgents, importants, not urgents and the not importants. Preferably have them in a written form (more can be read about this methodology on net).
    • Exercise regularly and stay healthy. A healthy body carries a healthy brain, which is the backbone for clear thinking, right actions and motivation to succeed.

  • Review your progress regularly and check:-
    • If you have achieved your targets/goals/dreams earmarked for that time period.
    • If you have deviated from your path towards fulfilling these, and if yes, then initiate remedial action to correct the deviation.

A diligent effort and a strong will is what is required to finally succeed in fulfilling our dreams. Maintaining a positive attitude towards life with a never die spirit can help us achieve what we believe in. It is also a motivator for the people around us, and slowly we get surrounded by a group of successful people, who follow our example. A man is known by the company he keeps and in this particular case, it only ushers happiness and success all around, by making success contagious.

So, at the beginning of this New Year, let’s gather our wits and set out to demonstrate actions which will help us realize our dreams. We do not have to prove it to anyone else, except ourselves, because in the end it is only we as individuals who are going to enjoy the fruits of our hard labour. Now, let’s not procrastinate and leave it pending to be started the next, or may be next to next year. Let us also resolve to not set goals at the beginning of every New Year, instead let us treat it as a beginning of a New Year whenever we resolve to pursue any of our dreams.

I am happy to see you nod your head in affirmation. Amen. 

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