Move over, sun, and give me some sky
I got me some wings, I’m ready to fly!
I may be unknown but wait till I’ve flown
You’re gonna hear from me….
Accept that some days you are the pigeon and some days the statue.”
(A well known quote! Author unknown! Attributed to many great sources including Scott Adams!)
There cannot be a greater feeling of exultation than to achieve your goals. People often give up their goals because the path to success is painful. However, as much as you try to eliminate pain in life, the fact remains that there can be no gain without pain.
Simply put, ‘pain’ is nothing but the ‘effort’ needed to surmount hurdles in pursuit of a goal.
Achieving all of life’s lasting pleasures – good relationships, successful careers, robust health – requires a lot of effort. The first step, hence, is the decision to get out of your comfort zone and take on the bull by its horns. Often, this means grappling with issues like resolving a conflict, gaining a necessary competence or taking on a physical challenge.
Here is a story.
One night, a marble tile started talking to the marble statue.
Marble statue: My dear friend, marble tile, do you still remember that we were actually from the same cave?
Marble tile: Yeah! That’s why I feel it is even more unfair. We were born from the same cave and yet we receive different treatment now. Not fair!
Marble statue: Then, do you still remember the day when the designer tried to work on you, but you resisted his tool?
Marble tile: Yes, of course I remember. I hate that guy! How could he use his tool on me, it hurt so much.
Marble statue: That’s right! He couldn’t work on you at all as you resisted being worked on.
Marble tile: So?
Marble statue: When he decided to give up on you and start working on me instead, I knew at once that I would be something different after his efforts. I did not resist his tool; instead, I bore all the painful tools he used on me.
Marble tile: Mmmmmmmmm…………
Marble statue: My friend, there is a price to everything in life. Since you decided to give up half way, you can’t blame anybody who steps on you now.
III——–“He who puts up with insult invites injury”.
Insult can be a cause of tremendous social anxiety, especially when someone in your personal environment has made it a habit to put you down repeatedly.
An insulting remark made towards you, especially in public, can evoke the twin demons, humiliation and anger, making your emotional equilibrium go to dogs! Your response might be to shrink inwards, wishing you could vanish from the face of the earth at that moment, or it could be a fit of angry incoherent stuttering! Whatever be your emotional reaction, you have given the insulter exactly what he wants- power! You have given him the confidence to insult you again and again.
If the insulter has the effect of causing you social anxiety, you need to do something about it as soon as possible.
Brace yourself- you’ve got some insulting to do too! Prepare some choice retorts. Nothing hits like comments on a persons personality. The more true to fact the comment is, is the more effective it is.
The next time your tormentor insults you, insult him back instantly, looking straight into his eyes. Show him you are not afraid, bullies are like dogs-they smell fear. Half the battle is won when your eyes lock, and you don’t look away. Walk away from the insulter as soon as you have retorted, thus leaving him no chance to carry the conversation further.
Some people insult subtly. A good way of countering a subtle insult is to rephrase the insult bluntly and ask the insulter if he meant what you thought he meant. This will put him on a back-foot and you will get some lame answer like, “Just kidding…”. You can then tell him calmly that you hope he was, because you have not liked his comment.
You might face a situation where the insulter tries to save face saying he’s sorry, he did not think you were so sensitive. Beware! It’s his way trying to emotionally overpower you by passing on the blame of your reaction on to you. Do not reply. Just walk on, and the game is over.
No one has ever escaped insult, not even very successful and confident people. The only thing is that they never accept an insult. They are either able to rise above being insulted at all or are able to nip the insult perpetrator’s audacity in the bud.
Winning is a worthy goal. But to win, you must first compete. You must put your heart and soul- your complete focus, energy and skill into the task of competing.
The challenge is to put it all in proper perspective. Taking a life-long view, the sum of your wins must exceed the sum of your losses, with the endeavour to maximise the wins and minimise the losses. Those who fail to take this long view may miss taking on each challenge with sportsmanship, fair play and personal responsibility, thus, missing out on the process of constant self-improvement, an essential ingredient in formulating long term success.
Turn defeat into a positive learning tool. Find where you fell short, work on your weaknesses, get the little things right, and, thus, increase the chance for success the next time you compete.
Tell yourself, you gave your best shot then, you will continue to do so always. You must refocus, re-energize and rededicate yourself to compete again.
Get accustomed to dealing with adversity and overcoming obstacles. Each experience will equip you to tide over future difficulties in the workplace and in life.
Nobody wins all of the time. It’s what you do with these losses and what you can learn from them that will create future wins. So, let there be no room for self-doubt. Cultivate the resilience required to come back stronger. Finally, it’s all in the mind!