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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Fortune Favors The Bold

By George Chingarande

There is an urge in this generation. It is an urge that is growing stronger and more insistent, and is indeed unstoppable. This urge stems from the realization that all men were born to win and not to lose, to be more and not just to have more, and above all else to live and not to merely exist. It is a powerful urge because for many people it is an idea whose time has fully come, and as somebody rightly said, "An invasion of armies can be resisted, but no force can defeat an invasion of ideas." It is this urge that has given birth to concepts such as renaissance, increased entrepreneurship and empowerment.

However, as this urge gets stronger and, stronger, there is also another phenomenon that is growing in tandem. It is frustration. Frustration is increasing because many people realize that the gap between what is possible and the reality in their lives is not small and is not getting smaller. This is the reason for the existence of this space-THE WINNING MANTRA. My mission is, to exhort, to encourage, to empower, to educate and to equip you whether you are an individual or an organization to win in life so that you can achieve your wildest dreams.

Fortune favors the bold. Now join me that we may together journey into a brave new world. Let us begin with a short story from the African village.

Once a wise old man asked a farmer, whose farm had the richest soil in the village but never produced a harvest, "Have you planted wheat?" "No, I was afraid that it might not rain,' replied the farmer. "Well, what about some corn?' continued the old man. "I haven't sown the corn seed because I am afraid the insects will eat the seed. I am just holding back waiting for an opportune time. You see I am playing it safe," replied the farmer. "Well, I am now eighty five years old and I have learnt a few things in my life. These are the lessons," responded the old man who went on to teach the undiscerning farmer on the following principles of winning in life.

Winners Focus on The Goals, But Losers Focus on What Could Go Wrong

Many people and organizations never achieve excellence and great success because their focus is on the wrong things. Like the farmer instead of focusing on and working towards a harvest, they concentrate on what could go wrong. To hide their weaknesses, they argue that they "would rather err on the side of caution." To be sure many things can go wrong in life, in relationships, with investments, in politics and in literally every facet of human endeavor. However, the fact is that whatever the mind of man focuses on will grow larger. If you focus on what can go wrong you nourish your fear of failure, consequently you hold back actions that have the potential to change your life. If you focus on your goals, your passion and achievement motivation will also grow. The winners focus their efforts on achieving their goals. When problems arise they engage the problems with the understanding that solving these problems is a means to the end that they have determined before hand. Losers on the other hand are paralyzed by their fear of what can go wrong.

Researchers have made some interesting discoveries regarding this. The first discovery is that the one, who focuses on what can go wrong, expends exactly the same emotional energy as the one who focuses on achieving his goals. Thus these two make identical emotional investments, but whereas the one reaps progress the other reaps disillusionment, discontentment and frustration.

The second observation is that for most winners at the very moment they decided to give it their all and began to move in the direction of their goals, the tide turned immediately in their favor. However, there is bad news for the fearful because the thing that he fears most happens to him all the same. It seems that the heavens are on the side on of the one who focuses on the goals.

The third observation is that both move with amazing acceleration one from a place of inertia, to paralysis and failure, while the other in the opposite direction from hope, to progress and success. This takes us to another key distinction between winners and losers.

Winners see the Prize, But Losers see the Price.

The winner is inspired by the reward that his actions are likely to reap. On the other hand, the loser is frightened by the sacrifice that success demands. If purchasing a commodity, the winner concerns himself with the value and benefits that the commodity brings. To the contrary, the loser concerns himself with the price tag. Thus one is value sensitive while the other is price sensitive. This seemingly small and subtle difference, betrays very deep psychological differences.

The winner because he is conscious of value and reward, will take the necessary risks to achieve his goals. The loser because of his obsession with price and the pain of sacrifice often disqualifies himself from endeavors that bring success. The winner calculates the cost so that he can prepare and act prudently, but the loser's decision to remain in the status quo is based solely on cost.

Now is the time to take a pause and answer the following questions.

What are you focusing on? Why are you holding yourself and your organization back? If you or your organization is not focused on anything, of all people you need to make a quick adjustment because life does not treat the wandering wanderer kindly. This week take a gaze into the future and see the possibilities. What one big thing would you try to become or achieve if all things were possible? Write it down on paper and make plans to achieve it. Do not hold yourself back, but whatever your task or calling immerse yourself in it with all your might. Stride confidently and boldly towards your goals.

Remember fortune favors the bold, and there is no crown for the coward.


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