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Friday, September 28, 2007

The Language Of Failures

By George Chingarande

There is a language that is peculiar to every group of people. This language is a unique and integral part of their identity. The English have the English language; the Africans have a variety of Bantu languages, the Maoris have theirs and the same is true for every tribe. Language is important because it helps us communicate with one another, and achieve an overlap in our understanding of issues. This is shared communication which is the bedrock of dialogue. However, the most important communication you will ever have in your life is not a dialogue but a monologue. This is the conversation that you hold with yourself. The truth is that each one of us and every waking moment of our lives we have running commentaries on our minds. We are continuously speaking to ourselves; and our conversations with ourselves are made up of a collection of words and phrases that form our own unique language. There are words and phrases that are commonly used by winners in their monologues and sometimes also in their dialogues. This is the language of winners. Similarly failures have their language. Phrases like, you win some and lose some; it can not be done, and I will try are recurring phrases in a loser's language that we explored in the last issue. Today we explore a few more, the import being that the language with which you speak to yourself is a very important sculptor of your destiny. Losers lose partly because they misfire in their monologues.

It is too late

One of the hallmarks of a mindset of failure is found in the expression, "it is too late." The old believe that it is too late to change the courses of their lives. The middle-aged man trailing behind his peers believes that it is too late to catch up. Many people believe that it is too late to restart and pursue their original dream. Once one believes that it is too late, he is automatically discouraged from making the necessary effort. Too late is always an excuse for not beginning because beginning is then judged as a waste of time and effort. "Too Late" assumes that no effort no matter how heroic can produce the desired results. It is another way of saying that it is impossible and it cannot be done.

Many people unwittingly mistake late for never. It is better to achieve a million late in life than never. It is better to die having achieved your dream late in life than to die having not tried to reach your ideal. It is better to settle out of court on the eleventh hour than to suffer the ignominy of an embarrassing litigation. It is better to do a u-turn late than to continue along the line of destruction. It is always better late than never. Life has many variables. Time is one them, yes, but not the only one. Who knows whether the other variables will not conspire to give you the victory?

Well, you believe that it is too late but give me an opportunity to ask you a few questions. Do you know what twists and turns hide behind the corner? Do you know what tomorrow will bring? How many deadlines are extended everyday? How many front-runners have changed tack leaving the late starters with a chance they never countenanced?

The truth is that most people that say that it is too late fear that by entering the race they will be conspicuous by their presence. The seventy year old who decides to go to medical school will certainly be conspicuous by his presence in a class with a preponderance of young people. However, if he persists on graduation day he will become the purple ice flake- the ultimate distinguished achiever. It is never too late to become what you want to become in life. No excuse not even time nor age should deter you from achieving your goals.

• I am just an ordinary person.

The words that we use to describe ourselves to ourselves are very important. They are a representation of an image of ourselves that we secretly harbor in our minds. This picture that we hold of ourselves determines what we do and how we do it. The average person thinks he is just a person and thereby relegates himself to the league of the mediocre. The word just and its various translations are very common in most languages. When used with the first person it betrays low self-esteem and false humility. Many people engage in self-deprecatory attitudes by assuming that they are just ordinary people and no more. Those that call themselves just ordinary see themselves as belonging to a class of human beings that is slightly above 50% in capability. Consequently their lives hover around the mediocre. They also disqualify themselves from most excellent opportunities. Their expectations are often small. Since expectations help to shape behavior, they behave in ways that repel success and attract failure.

The winner knows that there is no ordinary individual. All individuals are unique. The winner therefore sees himself as the special one and constantly engages in monologues that reinforce this self- image. Other people may not agree with him, but what matters most is the opinion that he has about himself and his abilities. The one who describes himself as the Iron Duke will seek to behave as an iron duke in real life. The one who describes himself as useless will show signs of impotence in all his endeavors, and the special one will also produce special results. The fact is that we intimidate or encourage ourselves more than any situation will ever intimidate or encourage us. Jose Mourinho was derided for calling himself "The Special One" when took over as coach of Chelsea football club, but after three years in charge he has broken all records and has indeed proved to be the special one.

Take heed how you speak to yourself. The language of failures produces failures. THE LANGUAGE OF FAILURES 2

A mindset of failure is the arch nemesis of success. Confucius was once asked what he would do if he were the ruler of the world. His response was, "I would first change the language." He was spot on the mark. One of the proven panaceas to failure is to change one's language from that of failure to that of success. Language coupled with strong belief has great power. Perhaps one of the greatest illustrations of the transformational potency of language is that of Swiss doctor Emile Coue. In 1895 in Geneva, Switzerland, Dr Coue's clinic was recording recovery rates way beyond any other clinic. His methods were as unique as they were simple. He taught his patients to confess everyday that, "Every day and in every way, I am feeling better and better." He also taught his associates and all his staff to greet the patients every day by saying, "Every day and in every way you are looking better and better." The language and beliefs of the patients and their doctors, in this example, was instrumental in reversing failing physiology. Of course, it would be naïve to attribute the superior recovery rates solely to the confessions and discount the contribution of other agents.

However, the transformational; power of language is not confined to physiology only, it so pervasive as to reach out to every man's condition and circumstance. It is important to be aware of the language and vocabulary of your own life, and to consciously remodel it replacing negativity with positivity, and pessimism with optimism. In this installment we continue to explore some of the phrases in contemporary language that betray a failure mindset. The objective is to identify them and then erase them from your deeply held beliefs.

I Haven't Got A Chance On Earth

It is very common to hear people say that they do not have a chance on earth of succeeding. Sometimes they even go beyond and declare that other people do no have a chance. Of course, they are often proved wrong. When George Stevenson completed his work on the steam engine, it is said that his sister laughed and said that it had no chance of moving. However, when it started moving, she screamed and said it would not stop. Of course, it stopped.

What then is the truth? Everyday is like a fresh and blank page in a diary on it you have the opportunity to begin the magnificent story of a glorious life or continue the dirge of a dreary existence. Every minute, every meeting and every interaction represents an opportunity. There are no small moments in life, but often great moments pass unnoticed by the unsuspecting majority. Winners seize their opportunities and make the best of them. However, losers because of their obsession with the negative will not notice their opportunities even if they come wearing a red suit and a green hat. The simple truth is that those that seek the positive will find it in every situation and those who seek the negative will also find it. Don't you ever deceive yourself, or let anyone deceive you. Time and opportunity occur to all men. The fact that you are alive is enough evidence that you have got a chance. You have got a chance to succeed. You have got a chance to recover from the setbacks. You have got a chance to upset the formbook and tear it to shreds and in the process prove the skeptics wrong. It is achievable and you have got a chance on earth to achieve it.

It's Not What You Know, But Who You Know.

This is another example of classic failure language. By accepting this thought and this saying, you are abdicating your throne to another. Implicitly you are pronouncing that your success does not depend on you, but it is determined by the people that you know. If the people that you know are inadequate and confounded then you are also doomed. Nothing can be further from the truth.

It is important, desirable and advisable to have an efficient nexus of friends, colleagues and associates. Life is rarely a solo flight. Having said that let me hasten to underline that in your own journey to success you are the most important role player. You know yourself, so if it depends on whom you know you already know the most important role player. Ultimately man is a creator and author of his own fortunes and misfortunes. No one can put him down the gutter without his co-operation and none can install him on the pedestal of glory without his consent.

There Is No Way Out.

Yes, there is a way out of every predicament. Where there is a will, there is a way. There is a way out of the rut. There is a way out of the oblivion. There is a way out of trouble and the doldrums. There is a way out of debt and poverty. Your responsibility is to find that way. It is there already. If you seek it and dedicate yourself to the process with all your heart you will find it.

The first step is to believe that there is a way. Armed with this correct presumption, set out and find it. The universe makes a way where people say there is no way. The lazy and the failing believe that there is no way, but don't you ever buy their lie. For every man who will seek, there shall be a way. There is a way to the top. When you come to your wits' end, rest if you may but do not quit because there is a way. This week take time to sketch a road map to your desired goal, and begin moving confidently towards it.


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