Fail and Succeed

Orders of Cpl Campbell to his section, WW I.

The current health crisis across the globe has given each one of us ample time for self analysis and helped in self awareness. I, personally, got loads of time for self-development; pursued a number of online courses through MOOCs, read amazing number of books and currently pursuing learning a foreign language 😉 I believe, it is up to each one of us to g . R . O. WWW … grow to our true potential.

Marianne Williamson oft repeated quote “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world … We are all meant to shine.

During these times of introspection, I realized the one thing that always helped me grow were my failures. “Failure is only the opportunity to more intelligently begin again.” – Henry Ford. Each time our patrol had an encounter and we returned from a fire fight with casualties, it taught us what not to do the next time. Each and every engagement is a lesson for the next time; as the next time there may not be another chance. After the IRA murdered five people in the Brighton bombing, the organization expressed regret that it did not kill the PM, “Today we were unlucky, but remember we have to be lucky only once, you have to be lucky always.”

How do you fail and have the strength to keep continuing? Well, persistence and sheer repetition certainly and the desire to want the result badly. “Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill. Becoming proficient at any skill requires time, effort and discipline besides the willingness to persevere through whatever it takes attitude.

“The greatest mistake a person can make is to be afraid of making one.” – Elbert Hubbard. Well, think of the best basketball player of all time. Michael Jordan? He has a career shooting percentage of 50 percent. In other words, half of the shots he took in his career were “failures.” If you think of it, success, to a large extent, is a matter of persistence. Keep trying, keep developing yourself and implement the learnings , you’re going to succeed.

Fact is, there is no such thing as failure. There are only results; some more successful than others. In effect, there’s success and then there’s learning. Failure doesn’t mean that you’ve reached the end of the line and that success isn’t possible. The only time success is impossible is when you quit. Quitting is final. Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.

In my professional life, each time I encountered ‘failure’, it was an opportunity for another success to happen. And I truly believe, when one door closes, four windows open. These trying times. Quite a few amongst us have suffered personal loss & grief. Do we have any other option besides grieving? This one decision will decide your future. Answer this one question, “Will I come out stronger or will I come out weaker?” And this response will drive you forward to your glory and success.

Be safe . Stay safe .

Watch YOUr Words

Make the Change. Make a Difference.

Watch YOUr Words” : Repeat anything enough and it starts to become YOU. The words you consistently select will shape your destiny. People who feed themselves with a steady diet of negative words are destined to have a negative attitude and vice versa. 

A number of us react by saying that we’re “angry” or “upset” or even “furious”, “livid” and “enraged”. Your physiology and subsequent behaviour would dramatically alter. Your BP would rise. You’ll feel tense all over. On the other hand, if you spoke of the situation as “annoying”, or “I’m peeved”, you’d feel much more relaxed.

Change ‘I’ve been destroyed’ to ‘I’ve had a setback’ or ‘I prefer’ to ‘I hate’ .. instead of ‘I’m determined’ to ‘I’m unstoppable‘ or from ‘feel okay’ to ‘Feel phenomenal’ or ‘I feel awesome’ rather than awful. Each time you say, ‘I’m not good at maths’ OR ‘I can’t remember names’ – you’re programming your mind for failure. It all boils down to your attitude. You have a choice. Consciously choose words that will point you in the direction of your goals.

How are YOU?”: How many times in a day you are posed this question? It’s a significant part of our daily conversation. Negative responses: lousy, terrible, I’m tired, Don’t ask … Passive responses: I’m okay, not too bad, same old same old, fine … with both the above responses; a. How do you feel? b. How does the listener feel? Does it excite you, NO? Then how can it excite the listener? Do you want to spend time with someone who thinks that life is ‘not too bad’? People who use mediocre words will develop a mediocre attitude AND get mediocre results. 

POSITIVE responses: Terrific, Fantastic, Great, Excellent, On top of the World .. You already feel better, feel energized, feel excited. JUST FOR THE COMING TEN DAYS USE THESE RESPONSES and note the difference. You’ll start feeling ON TOP OF THE WORLD.

Your words are a self-fulfilling prophecy. You repeatedly state that our life is wonderful, you start attracting and begin to move in a positive direction. Remember: You don’t need talent, money or good looks to have a great attitude. You just need to get in the habit of using a high-energy, positive response, and you’ll get the same exciting results.

After my stint in the uniform, I joined the corporate where I earned a sobriquet: Passionate Prabir. Each time I use my name now, how do you think I feel? Get/ give yourselves a name .. something that goes with your character or personality … think this through and then with your NEW name. Make sure the adjective rhymes with the first alphabet of your name like Vibrant Vishwas, Kind Kushal, Radiant Roopam, Joyous Jit, Spectacular Sanjana or Motivated Meeta. And all this … SAY IT WITH A SMILE and a sparkle in your eyes. It doesn’t matter whether or not you completely and totally feel … but soon, you’ll start living your name. People will notice the difference and YOU will be surrounded by positive people.

Make the change! Make a difference. 

What Ever It Takes

Focused Persistence

The second wave of the ongoing pandemic has impacted everybody, more so in our country, as the population is huge. It has been singularly responsible for the anxiety it has caused to our near and dear ones.

But then we know certain things for a fact. Like the Sun coming out of the East. How many times, if at all, do you speak about that. Zero. Cipher. Nada. Then why are we speaking about the V****, Pa******, Lock**** … these are given. When we were growing up, there was this new killer disease: AIDS. It was such a major scare that we, in our all boys boarding school, avoided even touching each other. Then there was the SARS, Ebola and a stream of such killer diseases. Each one predicted the doom of mankind. We, the people, are much more resilient than these strains of virus or any other so called ‘killer’ disease. Sooner rather than later we come out with a vaccine and Voila!!!! We are Winners.

Have faith. Remember, mankind will survive this too .. and the signs of recovery, the rays of a new dawn are already shining through. Work around these ‘killer’ issues buddy! YOU are much stronger than what you think. That is acme of Leadership – your control over your mind. Let not the social media & its messages upset you. Work around the issue.

I read this amazing line: The “guest” has impacted your LIFESTYLE – not your LIFE. LIFE is precious; Change your Lifestyle. The main issue here is that some of us, got used to our lifestyles. We found our comfort zones and now making changes to our lifestyle is what we are resenting or feeling uncomfortable about.

All those people who wanted to change their present situation, all those in pursuit of a goal, all those who had a dream to fulfill. What ever you were pursuing OR doing .. Well here is a piece of advice. Make a Commitment. (If possible, read the book: Ultimate Secret to Getting Absolutely Everything YOU Want) Commitment is the essence to the Ultimate Secret. A willingness, a Mental Attitude which says: If it takes 50 steps to reach my goal, I’ll take those 50 Steps. If it takes 500 steps to reach my goal, I’ll take those 500 steps. If it takes 5,000 steps to reach my goal, I’ll take those 5,000 steps.

To succeed, all that’s necessary is that you make a COMMITMENT to do whatever it takes. Remember Ben-Hunt Davies, a former British rower and an Olympic champion. He competed at the 1992 Barcelona Games and the 1996 Atlanta Games in the ‘coxed-eight’ event. The team stood sixth and eighth respectively. The British crew had never won a rowing event since 1912.

In preparation for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, as a member of the British rowing team, he directed his team to ask just one question: “Will it make the boat go faster?” Anything you do, run it through this one question. We would like to go the the pub? OK, will it make the boat go faster? NO! Then the activity is out. Could we re-design the oar? Will it make the boat go faster?.. Well you get the idea, right? With this single minded focus, The British rowing team won the Gold Medal.

We are reminded of the interaction between Krishna and the Pandavas/ Arjun in The Mahabharat. “Arjun, What do you see?” While his other brothers had replied differently, and Krishna didn’t give them permission to shoot the arrow; Arjun replied, “The eye of the bird”. Krishna nods his head sagely and says, “Shoot”. Single-minded focus. In these trying times, hone this one quality and success is bound to be yours.

Will it make the Boat Go faster? Ask yourself this one question? Persistent action follows commitment . You first commit to something and you persist to achieve it. Let not an iota of doubt creep in. Let there be no duality in thought OR action. Any reason is an excuse. Pandemic – so? It affected everyone. Come on .. YOU ARE MADE OF STERNER STUFF!!!!!

Tough Times Don’t Last; Tough People Do

Siachen Glacier: The average winter snowfall is more than 1000 cm (35 ft)
and temperatures can dip to −50 °C

The present situation has been singularly responsible to re-look at our priorities. It has forced each one of us to introspect. Among my family (and friends) we’ve started a game, these three words will not be used in our vocabulary: Virus, Covid, Pandemic … use any other word for reference (atithi or guest – atithi tum kab jaoge? Guest, when do you plan to leave?)

The lockdown had eight major takeaways: one. Let’s be humble. We are not indispensable. There are greater forces than us. two. Let’s take care of nature. There is just one planet earth and it needs to breathe. Our actions have to be considerate towards nature. three. Frugal living is beautiful. It helps us connect with ourselves better. four. Flexibility is a virtue. Keep an open mind. What brought you here, may not take you there. five. Put health first. It has to be a priority. six. Success or failure depends on extraneous factors. Chill. seven. Connectivity is a necessity. and eight. Last but not the least. Being is more important than doing. We are human beings not human doings.

A number of people, once they hear that I’m an infantry man, have walked up and asked me this one question: “Sir, how did you face bullets?” (Qs could also be like, how did you control your emotions? Were you scared? so and so forth).

Where did we get the confidence to face oncoming bullets? The foremost confidence building measure is TRAINING. Training instills confidence. Training is assuring; you are better than your adversary. Training prepares us for adverse situations. Situations where your amygdala takes charge and prepares your body for the ‘fight or flight mode’. It prepares your muscle memory. You don’t think. Your body moves on auto-pilot and all you see is like Arjun; ‘the eye of the bird’. In all our training, the one things that stands out loud and clear is the re-wiring of our brains. The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.

Train, Train and Train some more

We know these times (tough times) won’t last. We have to be stronger and we will last. We will come out winners. Success (whatever your definition of success is) is the direct function of training (deliberate practice) and sustained effort; lage raho munnabhai.

How do ordinary people, people like you and me, people from all walks of life – join the forces and perform extraordinary feat? If you pin it, it all boils down to: a. Develop your muscle memory. Your life could be dependent on it. b. Discipline. I cannot harp more on the importance of self-discipline. c. Live a healthy lifestyle/routine. Have a good nights sleep (7 hours) and wake up before the sun peeps out. Eat healthy. Live healthy. d. Physical fitness must be a priority. Give 45 to 60 minutes daily for fresh oxygen to travel through your billion cells. e. Mental robustness. Nothing can affect my positive attitude. My life; my choice. f. Be a team man. Camaraderie. Team player. one for all and all for one. g. Have pride in the organization you work for. Don’t like it, then quit. It’s your choice BUT once in, unflinching loyalty. These help you making good choices for life. Our lives in the uniform is dependent on our buddy. He covers your back.

Of course there will be failure enroute? Its only natural. You’re not KOed in boxing so long as you get up. Have faith in yourself. Have confidence and trust the plan. The divine plan. Don’t turn around to ask, ‘Why me?’ Like this guest that’s visiting our planet – it has impacted everybody. Just like you don’t question the rising sun from East – its bound to happen. It’s a given. Come what may. Take it that failures (guests) are bound to happen. Come what may. So be it. Work around the challenge. When one door shuts, five windows open? See which one suits you and and take the plunge.

Remember, your experiences define you. Make memories. Look for opportunities that help you build your repertoire. Each year take it upon yourself to take on something new. It will help you focus. It will help you achieve. It will help you enhance your skill set. It will help in your life with a direction. A motivation. It builds your self esteem, your self belief and your self motivation.

The one question that you need to ask during these times: Will I come out stronger or will I come out weaker? This is the time to ask: What is my statement? If I had to describe myself in ONE sentence, what would that be?