All’s well above the storms of life

  • Col DS Cheema (retd), Hindustan Times
  • Updated: May 22, 2016 19:27 IST
Keep your ambition within reach by understanding what’s within your control and what’s beyond your ability, age and circumstances. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

All of us go through a stage when our efforts become stagnant, the progress of whatever we try to achieve is abysmal, and the persistent hard luck sucks the life out of us. In times such as these, we hear sounds of pity from the sealed lips of relatives and friends. The salt in my hair and the pepper in my moustache are the souvenirs of many ups and downs in life. I have suffered bosses who failed to judge my ability and harassed me with their crooked smiles. On occasions, I have had to put up a reluctant smile when, in my heart, I wanted to kick the fellows in the face. I know, thankfully, how the negative impulses can take me down, so whenever I feel all is lost, I reinvent myself and bounce back stronger. Here is how you, too, can do it.

You don’t have to be perfect

Life’s not over, if you can’t walk on water. No one expects you to be perfect. Keep your ambition within reach by understanding what’s within your control and what’s beyond your ability, age, and circumstances. We have about only a fifth of our life to achieve what we want, but we cannot push ourselves too hard towards goals. If all goes well and we hit the jackpot, we get the illusion of having learnt to walk on water. When things start going the unexpected way; we give up and blame others or destiny.

We lose the initial zeal and we fail. Attribute it to a poor follow-through, which kills brilliant ideas and enthusiastic beginnings. Golfers, especially, understand the importance of follow-through in the accurate execution of a shot — it’s one of the early lessons they get. What’s true of golf is true of life.

Churchill formula

Negative thinkers follow Murphy’s Law, which states: “Nothing is as easy as it looks; everything takes longer than you expect; and if anything can go wrong, it will.” Positive thinkers, on the other hand, follow Maxwell’s Law, which says: “Nothing is as hard as it looks; everything is more rewarding than you expect; and if anything can go right, it will.” The best policy is, perhaps, what then British prime minister Winston Churchill advised his field commanders during World War-2. He’d end every communication to them by writing: “KBO (keep buggering on),” meaning they must continue exploring and experimenting.

Small is big

Developing a small idea, making a humble beginning, and growing steadily after consolidating small achievements is a proven road to success. The baby steps to a giant achievement sure comes with some falls. you cannot plan to avoid failure, only learn to re-enter the game to succeed. As one great personality said: “It is a cliché to say that we learn by our mistakes; but I will say you cannot learn without mistakes.”

Remember that you are better than you think you are, your best is yet to come, and all’s well above the storms of life.

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