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.
The path to success is often a hard, toiling one. And needless to say, not all who walk it reach their final destination. So how is it that these success stories are penned? And what are the habits that these people stay away from? Here’s a quick look at the pulse of those riding the wave of success.
1. Looking outwards for strength As far as winners are concerned, the concept of inner, and not outer power, holds very true. Most successful people don’t seek support and acceptance outside. Instead, they take a critical look at themselves, analyse their strengths and short comings objectively and strategise towards working on them or making them work to their advantage.
2. Self Doubt leads to downfall If you want to make it big, do away with this itch by assessing yourself thoroughly. This will help you figure out your true powers and help you understand your capacity better. Once you comprehend this, set your goals within those capacities and make sure you achieve them.
3. Impatience is not a virtue There are no established barons whose success came overnight. So no matter how much effort you put in, you’ll mostly always be waiting for results. In some cases, you may not get it right the first time. This means, a lot more waiting and watching to figure out what really strikes gold. None the less, be assured that if you’re working hard and smart, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
4. Failures stop only losers If you have a dream, you can’t give yourself just once chance to make it come true. Success stories are often a result of mistakes that made way for new learning. So, put the hours in and be ready to work and re-work things from ground zero to pen your story.
5. Procrastination Often guised as advanced thinking, procrastination is nothing but a mighty waste of time. Why spend your time thinking about an issue so much when you could use that time in actually going through with it? That’s the difference between dreaming of success and achieving it.
There is actually quite a bit of truth in the ancient adage, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” Several studies have drawn rigorous connections between dreams and success. Listed here, are a few starters:
1. First step to success: Dreaming of success is often the first big step ahead for most individuals. A dream is a seed of thought that opens one's mind to new avenues. If you dream big, the next step is to make a path for yourself to get there!
2. Valuable insight: Dreams can offer you a lot of insight. They tell you about your state of being and are a much needed reality check about the present. They help you understand your own mind and its wants and needs better, preparing you for the success chase.
3. Key into the Subconscious: Dreams often represent thoughts that are brewing in our subconscious. If you dream about something that you aren't currently doing, it is often considered an indication about an underlying unrest and a latent desire in you to engage in something you haven't had a chance of doing. This way, dreaming can push you closer to success.
4. Motivation: Dreams can be an enormous motivating factor for many people. Champion athletes have often mentioned that they have dreamt about big victories before accomplishing them. In the same way, dreams can boost your morale too and push you to work harder.
5. Staircase to happiness and achievements: Most people don’t know this, but dreams really have the power to elevate your spirits and leave you with a sense of well being. In other words, dreams have the power to make you happy. This happiness usually enhances confidence, taking you much closer to achieving your targets.
Therefore, pay a little more attention to your dreams. Daydream about success and fall asleep with a success plan on your mind. You are likely to dream about it through your sleep. And if you learn to master your dreams, you may even be able to make them work for you!
If there's one evil that claws its way into everyone's life and their success path - it's Procrastination. There's no why or how about its occurrence, just the fact that once it makes its way into your mind, it's bound to stay for longer than imagined. Here are a few reasons why you should make sure it doesn't stay with you for too long.
1. Wasted time When you procrastinate, you essentially buy more time to think about your actions, its consequences etcetera. What you don't take into account is the amount of time you lose in the process. Thinking can always be justified, but time that's lost without yielding any results can't be justified.
2. Testing the worth Take a step back and think about whether the task at hand is really worth pondering over for so long. It may be a quick task requiring quick action and may be even rendered useless if not done in time. So, think over what the task deserves and get done with it.
3. Dive in It is often said that you won't know what something feels like unless you actually do it. So, why spend time contemplating? If there's merely a set of unstrung thoughts and words that are stopping you from doing something new, put them aside and take the plunge!
4. Learning lessons What is the worst thing that can happen if you don't procrastinate? You'll probably do something and not have such a pleasant experience. But at least you'll learn from it! The harder the lesson, the deeper it'll be engraved in your mind.
5. No choice, no procrastination The worst kind of procrastination is that which takes place in full purview of the fact that we will, must, have to do something. Why then spend your mind space in putting it away till tomorrow and feeling guilty about it? It's not like you have a choice. If you find the task boring today, you will find it equally boring tomorrow, so you might as well get over with it.
Often by delaying tasks, we unintentionally ban the opportunities from entering our lives. Remember, a lost opportunity is usually lost forever so kill the thoughts of procrastination and start your journey towards success immediately!
Words can influence opinions, people and most importantly, mindsets. That's why, you must be careful about the words you hold close in thought, value and action; they play a larger role than you can imagine. Here are some words that can spell a lot of damage for you and are best removed forever from your vocabulary.
1. Words that spell self-doubt Failure just needs a seed; and very often words are those seeds! Many a times when you think that you aren't as good as another, you reinforce your thought through words like, "I don't know", "I'm not sure", "I am incapable of", "How can I", and so on. This constant insecurity then spreads to all aspects of your life and before you know it, your self confidence is diminished to the size of a pebble.
2. Words that provide an easy refuge Many a times, we seek refuge in words to stay away from doing things we don't want to be confronted with. This gives rise to excuses that begin and end with ifs and buts. When you really want to do something, there should be nothing that stops you from doing it.
3. Words that ooze negativity Some sociology and psychology studies often categorize subjects into 'Yes' and 'No' people. While the 'Yes' people are the ones with the positive approach looking out for new things in life, the 'No' people are the ones with the doubtful mindset. With words such as I can't, NO, not me and so on, the 'No' people close doors for themselves. Also, as the words you use represent your worldview and vice versa, using the 'no' word too often will portray you as being narrow minded, restricted and non-experimental.
4. Words that portray you as a weakling "If only" I had the support of, "If only" I knew how to, "If only" I had the opportunity to... "If only" you didn't use these words that paint the picture of a person too desperate to shift blame on other people and circumstances, you would emerge stronger. Don't hope for things to be better, make them better by using words such as "Because I can".
5. Words that indicate you've already accepted defeat "I probably won't", "it's beyond my control", "I will try but i am not sure" are words that indicate that you're OK with the idea of success not coming your way. In other words, this means that you're OK with losing. Once you have already left this option open to yourself, how will you push yourself to give your hundred percent?
So, if you want to ace the game, banish these words; they serve no more than as mere roadblocks on your way to the top.
Very often a lot of our successes and failures are governed by our primary approach to things. When we choose to accept situations and challenges with a mindset to fight them out rather than give up before we begin, we increase our chances of a win. Here is how saying ‘yes’ positively affects not only your mental make-up, but also those of the others around you, thus, helping you win battles and attract success:
1. It changes your perspective When you say ‘yes’, you automatically change your perspective. You flip over from the negative or the undecided to the positive, seeing new possibilities.
2. It allows you to learn something new A 'yes' is the first step of learning. Only if you agree to go through a new process or a new route will you give yourself the opportunity to learn something new. Who knows, you may even discover things that you really enjoy doing or paths that you may love to explore further.
3. You win the admiration of others When you adopt the 'yes' attitude, it doesn't just pertain to the case at hand. Your outlook towards life becomes much more positive and the more you implement it, the more it becomes inherent in you. This clearly does not go unnoticed and hence makes you popular amongst not only those directly associated with you but even amongst those who are superficially connected with you.
4. It has no negatives The ‘yes’ attitude aids in only gains and makes you lose nothing at all. It may involve taking risks and exploring the unexplored but more often than not, you have nothing to lose.
5. It puts you through a self-test The reason a ‘yes’ attitude is the first step of success is because it allows you to test yourself and your capabilities. Agreeing to do something you haven't tried before or something that does not come easily to you lets you gauge your strengths and weaknesses, helping you discover more about yourself.
So go ahead and say ‘YES’ to challenges. Say ‘YES’ to success.