It is believed that Abraham Lincoln always carried with him, in his coat pocket, some newspaper clippings that extolled his achievements. The most significant from the bunch was a letter written by the reformer, John Bright to an American newspaper editor, Horace Greely which spoke highly of Lincoln's leadership and his success in the re-election as President in the former year. It is believed that Lincoln used this as a tool of inner strength when things were looking dreary or when despair settled over his mind and he could reach into his pocket and find hope.
While none of us might be Abraham Lincoln, it’s fair to say that we’re going to have our dark days as well. So while we may not have newspaper clippings to tell us how good we are, what do we turn to? Here are a few pointers on how you can keep the faith:
Undying shadows of fear and doubt: Understand that shadows of fear and self-doubt are likely to lurk around often. But that doesn’t mean that you allow them to take over you or that they’re invincible. Like all of us have our strengths, so we have our weaknesses, shadows are just a reminder of the latter. So remember, don’t give them more importance than they deserve.
Embrace and accept: Want to get rid of your weaknesses? Start by accepting their presence. The more you try to keep pushing them away, the more they’ll stick like a gag around your ankles. Instead, watch them, learn about them and then decide how you can drive them away.
Conquer: Now that you’ve accepted your shadows, you’ll be a little at peace. But you still won’t be completely relaxed till you’ve overcome them. So get ready for the battle! Some people make up for their weaknesses by developing new strengths, while some people overcome them with courage, practice and perseverance. Decide which path you want to take.
Discover yourself: No matter whom you share your fears with - your shadows will always be yours alone. Understand that shadows are a kind of ‘rites de passage’ that will help you discover your black spots, vulnerabilities and weaknesses. So don’t see them as something you need to shoo away, see them as one of life’s many learnings that will help you discover yourself.
Your world view: The greatest mistake we can make is to let our shadows affect our world view. If a great disappointment came your way when you were 19 years old, don’t let it take over your mind and allow it to shape your world view when you’re 25. That way, you’re just getting stuck in the past and shutting out new things that come your way. Let it go so that you can grow.
‘When the going gets tough, the tough gets going’. It is easy to succeed and grow when the winds of change favour you, but those who flourish even under adverse condition are the true winners. So what if you lost your job, that isn’t the end of the world. If you happen to be one of the unlucky ones who have had to deal with the pink slip, read on to find out how you can handle the loss of job with grace:
1. Know that it’s not just you Although it might seem like the pink slip has just affected you alone, realize that this isn’t true. Today, there are a hundred other people in the world who are facing the same music. Even though it may seem like what happens in their life doesn’t concern you, you’ll soon begin to see hope in collective gloom.
2. Recognize the blessing in disguise As the saying goes, ‘When one door shuts, another opens.’ Look at the pink slip as your chance to explore something new; an unchartered territory perhaps. This may seem an impossible task in the beginning, but once you begin looking for new avenues, you might actually come across something you enjoy more and benefit more from as compared to your previous job.
3. Do not take it as personal failure It is very essential for you to understand that the action that your work place takes has nothing to do with your capacity as an individual. Know that your work persona doesn’t define who you are or what you can achieve. This job is probably just one miniscule aspect of your corporate life; hence avoid looking at this as a personal failure.
4. Analyze and think rationally Before you begin to think rashly, think rationally. Analyze the present business scenario and understand that the decisions that your company takes are solely based on global rules and regulations. It is often very hard for companies to work independently, so know that this is just one in the many forced decisions that it has had to comply by.
5. Keep the bitterness at bay It might be really hard to get back on track once you’ve been given the pink slip. Even more difficult will be maintaining a sane mindset. Try to keep bitterness towards your company and your superiors at bay. It’ll just occupy a lot of your mind space and keep you from advancing ahead. Instead, give yourself time to recover and start looking for new means to get ahead.
Sudha Chandran established herself as a reputed actress and a talented dancer, in spite of having lost one leg in an accident at the age of 18. She did the impossible - she made a comeback to stage and her dreams post the accident, by staying strong willed and determined about achieving her goals. Are you struggling to achieve your dreams and goals against all odds too? Here are some tips to help you fight your battle:
1. Eliminate Fear Do not allow fear to enter your system and eliminate it right from the root because fear isn't the solution to any problem. And when there is no fear, there is no need to conquer it either.
2. Chuck the Confusion Confusion creates doubts about your abilities and potential, and thus generates fear. They say never trust a second thought because then there'll be the third and then the fourth and so on. So steer clear from confusion by keeping no two thoughts about anything.
3. Be Stubborn on Your Beliefs Not passionate but be stubborn about your beliefs because passions may wax and wane, but stubbornness is as fixed as that mule standing bang in the middle of Street, unfazed by the honking traffic. The same way you must stand by your beliefs and have an attitude that says you are going to stick to your decision at any cost. Once you've made up your mind, no one can change it.
4. Don't be Afraid of Mistakes Fear and confusion mostly exist because we don't want failures. But what we don't understand is that each failure makes you stronger and smarter. With each failure you end up going to the next level in life - closer to success.
5. Stay Positive Just saying that I am positive will not help you much. You must get rid of self doubt to embrace positive energy. When you believe in yourself, you are positive about yourself.
6. Have a Clear Purpose Possessing all the above qualities without a purpose is like having a beautifully designed book cover with no content inside. Purpose brings performance and thus you must have a clear vision about the purpose behind your set goals as this also helps in channelizing energies to achieve your goals.
Very often we fall sick and we battle it out, without any rocket science effort. But have you ever thought of climbing Everest with a broken backbone? Things really turn out to be upside-down for people who meet with an accident or for people ailing with Cancer or for people who feel there is no treatment for their disease and left with nothing other than counting the last few days of their life. You can win against all odds. The most effective way to combat your physical problems is to ignore it like a piece of garbage. Rise up to the occasion; make the most out of your living.
So have you been just diagnosed with Cancer, have you just lost your eye-sight, or a limb in a major vehicle accident? Or have you just been told that you can’t lead a normal life-style because of the dreaded disease? Understand and accept the fact that nothing can be changed, but at least tell yourself that you can win against all odds.
There are many heart-broken individuals like you, suffering, dependant and getting prone to the sympathies of people, day after day. Wake up! No you don’t require an injection of adrenaline to walk on your feet; just a NEVER SAY DIE attitude will suffice in order to turn things around.
Lead by example; feel that you have to lead a normal life even after knowing you cannot. You have to tell your story to the human race and to the people ailing with their respective drawbacks and earning their daily dose of empathy and disappointment. Help your fellow beings, encourage them to live more, remember the trauma you have experienced, absorb it from those ailing in a similar fashion like you. So the objective is clear, you have to win the heart of your innocent fellow beings who are unaware of the extremities of satisfaction and bliss, life can ever lend them.
Living Example: - Seven times Tour de France champion, Lance Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular Cancer on 1996. Only with minute chemotherapy, his ability to fight back and faith gave him the confidence to combat the disease and today he is a living example of one who survived Cancer. Indeed he says, ‘Cancer is the best thing that could have ever happened to me’. He also established the Yellow ribbon Cancer Foundation in the heart of United States helping thousands of people each year.
Helen Keller was blind, deaf and mute. Today she is an icon of hope and joy to all the physically handicapped people. Learn from the extra-ordinary efforts of this ordinary people. You can be an inspiration to all those waiting for an angel to come and embrace them, absorb all the pain and sorrow. Let it be you, who make a difference.
Understand the depth and severity of your problem. Think what is achievable within your limits to bring a smile at least on the face of one person, brooding on a life threatening illness. Try to live for others and never give an opportunity to people trying to show some sort of sympathy towards you. Always remember, ‘when the going gets tough, the tough gets going’. This will perpetually help you to fight against all obstacles. As long as possible, make it a point that you are never going to be physically dependent on somebody. You don’t need mental support as you are a tough nut to crack. Whenever you feel lonely, speak with the nature and share all your grief and sorrow. If nature can tame, it can also console and offer you her most comfortable bosom.