August 2009

There was a man who lived every day with one dominant dream – to become an actor.

Undaunted, his dream drew him to write his own script and write his role in the movie. He now began looking for a producer. He went from agent to agent, studio to studio; but no matter what he did, nothing happened. He was turned down over a thousand times!

Even if he had have given up here, most people would have still called him courageous because he kept searching for opportunity in spite of all the rejections. But, that’s not where this story ends.

Finally, somebody liked his script. He was flat broke and the producer offered him $100,000 to buyout his script because they didn’t think he was appropriate candidate for the role he wanted to play in the story! His dream was big, he turned down the offer.

He kept searching until he found exactly what he wanted; he eventually starred in the movie he wrote and won an Oscar. It was then followed by four sequels! For holding onto his dream even in the times of trouble and turning down the initial $100,000 buyout offer, he now gets several million dollars per picture.

What would have happened if Sylvester Stallone had let his dream die when things were not going in his favor? Nobody would have ever known who “Rocky” was !

Every lasting success involves overcoming rejection. Submitting to fear and avoiding rejection takes away our freedom to dream.

Many of us keep working at the jobs we hate for the same exact fear of failure even if we have dream to achieve something bigger and better. Most of us are so comfortable working in the same rut doing same thing for money for years that anything new makes us uncomfortable and threatens us! We are very comfortable being part of the crowd, remain comfortable and stay in the rut for rest of our lives.

Fear of failure stops many people from doing anything new. As a matter of fact, if you are not preparing to be successful, you are preparing to be a failure anyway!

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Fitness people use this phrase, “No Pain, No Gain” often almost as mantra. It has been found that when we push our body beyond its comfort limits, there will be some temporary pain, but that is how body gains toughness, strength or growth. If we aren’t experiencing some discomfort, we are not going to realize any growth.

Mentally we need to do the same thing. To develop ourselves as people, we need to experience some discomfort. We need to go through some emotional pain, discomfort, distractions on the journey, but these will prove to be temporary if we don’t quit and keep the focus on the goal.

If you are working out to prepare for an athletic competition and you feel pain, would you automatically quit? No! You would probably take a break to heal to prevent further injury and then get right back to regular schedule and make some adjustments in your routine to prevent the same injury from happening again. Likewise, we sometimes need to take a mental step back and make some adjustments in our thinking as well when we face temporary setbacks on the path to attain our goals and dreams.

The life itself is our own competition. Yet many times people get discouraged and quit doing what they believed in once when they felt discomfort in doing it in initial few attempts. The distractions, rejections, discomforts do cause emotional pain, but they are temporary just like physical pain. They would go away and with little adjustments in the way we conduct ourselves will prevent the same thing from happening again.

It is better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing flawlessly. If we just believe in our dreams and we are willing to fail but not be a failure, no distraction, no rejection, no challenge can come on our way. Success principles are same in all walks of life and success means that you get up one more time than you fall down.

“Be like a postage stamp – stick to one thing until you get there.” – Josh Billings

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Everybody wants to be successful in life. Having a dream, a desire and willingness to work to achieve is the key to success, we all mostly know. We all have desires we work towards or at least we think we are working towards.

Success is great thing to have and nobody wants to fail! The goal could anything from loosing little weight, stopping smoking, getting a good high paying job, buying a good house, financial freedom or anything one can set. We take resolutions to meet some of these goals, but not many people hit the target. Setting resolutions is great, the decision is taken with all heart and soul, but what causes the setback?

In previous articles I have written about people who don’t take action due to fear of failure, fear of criticism, lack of vision, average thinking, negative attitude etc. But let’s think about some of us who don’t have any of these, we want but still don’t succeed.

I read this puzzle with a lesson in a book and I would like to quote it here that puts things in perspective on this topic today:

There were 5 birds sitting on a tree. 3 of them decided to fly.
How many of them remained on the tree?

At first my answer was “2” – A wrong answer!

The correct answer is 5!  The author said that deciding is not doing. Taking decision to do something doesn’t mean anything until the appropriate actions are taken towards achieving the goal. A dream without action is nothing more than a fantasy!

Many of us fall in this category! Resolutions are taken; few initial steps are taken too! But due to lack of consistency on action side of the coin, resolutions fail. If we are not working towards success, we are obviously working towards failure, reasons could be many to justify why we did not succeed when opportunity was in hand, but those are only excuses!

If we read and listen to the success stories of people who made their dreams come true, there is one thing common. All great leaders and successful people have had dreams. They also believed that God wants to see you happy. He has given you the best gift of life. All great leaders had strong faith in this very fact and took action consistently.

My  great friend and mentor told me this recently, “Loosers and winners, both don’t like to work, but winners take action on the path of success anyway! They do not let distractions come on their way and stay on course until they arrive.

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