January 28, 2008

Be Fearfully Courageous

Being courageous does not imply being fearless. Fear and courage go hand in hand. Fear is necessary for survival, whereas courage is required to succeed.

Fear is the acknowledgment of potential danger and the stimulus to take action for protection. It sets you in action for facing danger or fleeing from it. Fear may result from actual danger, e.g. facing a tiger in a jungle. Or, it may result from imagined danger e.g. fear of failure. In either case it sets you in action for protecting yourself. If you are fearless, then potential danger is not likely to generate protective reaction. A fearless soldier is likely to get shot easily. A fearless investor is likely to lose all his money and a fearless boxer is likely to get punched on his face.

Courage is the ability to persist with your objectives and take action even in the face of fear. Being courageous forces you to pursue your objectives despite fear. Fear helps you protect yourself from danger, whereas courage helps you take action despite being fearful. A fearfully courageous soldier would do everything to save his life, at the same time take advantage of each opportunity to take a shot at the enemy. A fearfully courageous investor would cover his risks and invest judiciously. A fearfully courageous boxer will cover his face with one hand, while hitting his opponent with the other.

Do not be afraid to be afraid. Fear is necessary. However do not let fear immobilize you. Be courageous and take action. Take on that big project that you are afraid to take on. Make that commitment that you are afraid to make. Take that first step that you are afraid to take. Be fearfully courageous.

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January 23, 2008

Do You Really Want Freedom?

Freedom is the right to choose. It goes hand in hand with commitments and responsibilities. Freedom itself is also a matter of choice.

You are free when you make your own decisions. With decisions, comes responsibility for outcome of the decisions. With responsibility comes commitment to generate the desired outcome. Freedom takes away the luxury of being a mere observer and going through life mechanically, letting someone else take the decisions and the responsibility for your actions. Freedom brings you out in the open and puts the burden of responsibility on you. Freedom forces you to come out of your comfort zone and take control of your life, situations and circumstances.

It is glamorous to talk about freedom, but how many of us really want to be free? Being free is difficult, painful and hard work. How many of us want to take decisions, commit ourselves to the decisions, and take responsibility for the outcome? In my understanding, all of us want to be free, but most of us shirk away from the responsibilities and commitments that come with it.

If you want to live a great life, I invite you to embrace freedom and accept everything that comes with it.... the commitment and the responsibility.

January 20, 2008

Adversity Breeds Creativity

We are at our creative best in adverse situations. Each one of us is very capable of finding innovative solutions to face any challenge that life throws at us.

In adverse situations we are under pressure to change something in our lives that is not working. We are forced to look at ways in which we can overcome adversity. Adversity puts a strong demand on us to innovate for survival. It forces us to be different than what we have been being. Some of the most successful people and businesses that the world has seen have grown out of adversity.

Wal-Mart is one of the best examples of how adversity can force you to innovate. Wal-Mart started operations in isolated Bentonville in Arkansas. They did not have any advantage over their competitors in terms of location, resources, manpower or suppliers. The only way they could compete was on the basis of lowest prices to customers. To achieve this objective, the entire organisation got creative around reducing cost and increasing efficiencies. So much so that, today, Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the world with the lowest cost structure and the most efficient supply chain. Some of their methods are highly criticized, and rightly so. However, it does not change the fact that their innovations in reducing cost and increasing efficiencies has revolutionized the global economy.

If you are faced with an adverse situation, be creative.

January 15, 2008

Take Risk: Be Open To Losing

The winner is a person who took the risk of losing and participated in the race.

Most people do not participate in the race simply because they are afraid of losing. They are waiting for a favourable situation where winning is guaranteed or highly probable. They do a lot of planning and analysis to determine their odds for winning the race. Some "ready-to-be" entrepreneurs have not yet launched their venture because they are waiting for an idea which is a sure winner. Most of us prefer taking "calculated risks", i.e. risks where the risk of risk is very low. Your chances of winning are almost certain if and only if you are running alone. I wonder if you would enjoy winning such a race.

To win a race you need to participate in the race. Participation puts you at risk of losing, but it also provides you the possibility of outrunning others and winning. If you do not participate, you cannot win. So take risk; be open to losing; and jump into the race. Losing is fine, at least you participated.

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January 13, 2008

A Question Of Perspective - 1

[A Question of Perspective does not have any right or wrong answer. Each answer is a perspective that may be unique or shared. I invite you to share your perspective with all readers]

You run out of gas (petrol) just 10 meters from the gas station (petrol pump). Are you lucky that you ran out of gas so near the gas station and you can easily push your car in? OR, are you unlucky that the gas didn't last just a few more meters which would have enabled you to refill gas without any trouble?

January 7, 2008

Leaders Create More Leaders

Successful leaders create more leaders, not followers.

Leadership is a way of being that generates passion in others for your cause or project. The bigger the cause or project, the higher the number of people you need to influence. For really big causes or projects, you need to be able to create leaders who would further influence others. The number of people you can influence has no limit, if you can create leaders who could further create more leaders such that they can further create even more leaders, and so on....

If you want to be a leader for a large cause or project, stop trying to find followers and start creating more leaders.

January 5, 2008

Creativity Is Not A Gift

You are creative when you continuously try to innovate and find new ways of doing things better, efficient or more beautiful.

Creativity is neither talent, nor a gift. Creativity results from your decision of being creative. Creation is normally based on a combination of what already exists. Sometimes, it might be something completely new. If you decide to be creative you will find yourself thinking of innovative ideas on how to make your offerings better, how to have happier customers, or how to do interesting things with your family and friends. Working on these ideas will make you feel very successful and powerful. It would fuel your success.

Being creative helps you break away from your regular way of being. It challenges you to innovate and generate ideas. It forces you to create.

January 2, 2008

The Law of Decreasing Marginal Utility

Moderation is one of the keys to enjoying your life and having magic in your relationships.

The law of Decreasing Marginal Utility is one of the basic laws in economics. When applied to us, it implies that the additional pleasure derived from each repetition of any activity is less than that derived from the previous repetition. To put it simply, if you have a bag of chocolates to eat, the additional pleasure that you get from eating each chocolate is likely to be less than that from eating the previous chocolate. The pleasure keeps decreasing till you stop enjoying the chocolates. If you were to continue eating, you might actually start disliking chocolates, and eventually throw away the bag

This is true for most things in our life, be it watching movies, traveling, reading, partying, eating out or socializing. If you really want to enjoy these activities, do them in moderation, and give sufficient gaps in between repetitions. Even in your relationships, the magic would last forever if you give each other time away from each other.

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