We're trapped by fear | entertainment | Hindustan Times
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We're trapped by fear

... our biggest emotional handicap, says author Robin Sharma of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari fame.

entertainment Updated: Feb 25, 2011 16:45 IST
Rochelle Pinto

According to leadership expert Robin Sharma, the biggest handicap stopping you from achieving your life’s dream is fear: “It starts with ‘excusitis’- making excuses for yourself - but underneath that is doubt, which stems from fear. Fear of failure, of change and of not being liked.” In the city to announce the theatrical adaptation of his bestseller, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, which he admits is part autobiographical, Sharma admits that many of the values he endorses are becoming extinct.

“There’s a saying ‘show me your heroes and I’ll show you your values’. Look at some people who have a million followers on Twitter; they’re famous because they made the wrong type of video that leaked out on the Internet. I’m not judging anyone, but there is a difference between pleasure and happiness, and most people today chase things that only give them pleasure,” he explains. He also pinpoints society’s need for validation as a debilitating handicap. “Most people need to be stroked by the world, it’s like an addiction for them. But if you constantly need the approval of others, you’ll never be able to stand up for yourself,” he says.

Quoting from Harry Potter author JK Rowling (a favourite inspiration along with artist Picasso, politician Nelson Mandela and rockstar Bono), he adds, “She said ‘for most people to love you, some have to loathe you.’ People will dislike your best work because your genius threatens them. It took Gandhi 40 years and extreme opposition and ridicule to become the Mahatma.”

So who does the man who the world looks to for advice turn to when he’s in a crisis? “I go to the mountains, read my journals, and basically just allow myself to be confused,” he responds. “I have mentors too, but turning to solitude and nature usually give me clarity.”

Leadership 101
Your work is important even if you don’t receive an ovation.
Honesty is important. On your deathbed, you only have to reckon with yourself.
Authenticity: A lot of people are living their mother’s lives thought they’re 55 days old. Live by your own definition of success.
Compassion means you have to be courageous. Stand up for yourself and say whatever you want to people but with respect.