“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light and not our darkness that most frighten us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It is not just in some of us, but it is in all of us. Ad as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people the permission to do what same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others”.
Yesterday as my wife and I and our 2 month old baby boy were watching ‘Coach Carter’, I found myself repeating the part containing the above excerpts again and again. Of course in my reading, I had read something about our light scaring us more than our darkness, so definitely, I was hooked.
This post is necessitated by that movie as well as is this morning’s excursion as I was setting up the ‘My Jog To Success’ Project.
I have been teaching of late about the Comfort Zone. We all love it. In fact, someone said that our present day comfort zones were at some point unconquered frontiers. Therefore, to me, success would effectively be defined as a continuous state of mastering challenges. Finally that word appears. Challenges. The whole post today is about challenges. By different mindsets, that word Challenge will receive varying reactions and responses.
For those who are passionate about making a change in the world and being successful, that world of challenges is a beauty. It forms the very rungs that help elevate the climber to personal success. However, to those who love their conquered frontiers and comfort zones, that word challenge denotes distress, unpleasantness and uneasiness that comes to interfere with the status quo.
The why of this post is that I will embrace and take to challenges like a fish takes to water. They are what will shape and mould me not just to be good, but be great. Someone said “Good better, best, do not let it rest until the good is better and the better is best”. This happens in the zone of Challenge Mastery.
Some might think that the measure of success is the size of the dollar account you have. That is partly true. The whole truth for me is the measure of your mastery of challenges that inevitably makes one to continuously grow to the highest state of being-the good of others.
Challenges will always be there. In fact the moment you realize that you need to get out of your comfort zone…you already are up against a challenge. From the two events that I mentioned earlier, I came to realize that the greatest defeats are faced in the confines of our ‘conditioned’ state. For Example, when I for some reason, decide that I cannot become much, the result is inevitably dictated by that belief system and way of thinking.
One of my goals this year is to run the MTN Kampala Marathon (10km) under One Hour. Of course talk is cheap. I can affirm that I will make it as much as I want, however if I do not go out there and PREPARE then most probably, that goal will not be a reality. So in my preparations, I have been running a stretch of seven kilometers every other morning. When I got started, I was doing that stretch in 41 minutes. Over time, I was able to cut that to 35 minutes, then few weeks ago, I have been steadily maintaining 33 minutes. Now, any athlete out there knows how crucial a micro second is in a race. Records are normally broken at hundredths of seconds. However, do not under-estimate the work behind breaking a record in fractions of seconds.
Today, something happened that made me change my philosophy. In my developing the My Jog To Success Framework, I have been encouraging people to ‘run their own race’. That my own success cannot and should not be judged by the yardstick of other people’s races. That is absolutely true. A great visionary sits down and DECIDES their race, and the terms of their race. I have come to believe that this is one of the greatest ingredients of progress….starting with the self, and racing against yourself. In fact, if you can race against yourself and make it, you are well on course to making an impact in the global ‘race’.
So today morning, as I was sweating it out in the last stretch of my race, something new happened. From nowhere, I heard footsteps, as if someone was running after me. Then I learnt something in that instant. The moment a challenge is presented to the human soul, there is this automatic tendency to raise the bar and maintain your place of supremacy. This guy came from nowhere and zoomed past me as if he was riding a motor bike. Inevitably, my pace increased. The bar had been raised. You see, every other day as I run that stretch, there is this belief that that is the home stretch and that I need to keep my reserve energy in place. That belief was challenged right there and then. Was I able to keep up with this new comer in the race? Yes I was! And guess what? Few meters ahead, this guy got tired and started walking. I maintained my PACE, albeit increased and overtook him.
When I got back home, I had hived off a whole ONE MINUTE of my normal routine in jogging. Ladies and gentlemen, a challenge arose…a man raised the bar…and a man improved. I submit to us that challenges are a welcome ingredient to Transformational life. They should be taken positively. They come in all shapes and sizes. A new recruit at your workplace who is a wizard in what he/she does threatens your existence…a new business empire in your own niche that is doing revolutionary stuff in the market…new dispensation or technology that your ‘competitors’ are leveraging to the full… and so on. Whichever way, a challenge once taken it will leave you a better human being. It will help you post a new personal best-something that you had up to now believed was impossible.
Challenges will help you get out of your comfort zone and conquer a new frontier. It is William Gladstone, the former Prime Minister of Great Britain who said: No man ever became good or great except through many and great mistakes. My parting shot is this: Are you facing a challenge? Good! You have an opportunity to post a personal best. Are you comfortable in your conquered frontier? That is a major threat to you. You need a challenge.
You see, winners do not wait for challenges to come find them….I have learnt that to be above the pack, you take action on your ideas and let the challenges find you while you are at it. Have a challenging week, wont you?