The ‘flip side’ of Life! It is the ‘Blessing’ that I received when I came down with cancer at the age of 13. Throughout my life, I was constantly reminded that ‘osteosarcoma’ was so lethal that odds were I should have died. Constant reminders throughout my life that I was living beyond expected survival rates. And, the result, I lived it LARGE! I didn’t wait to live. I did not postpone much. I grabbed and lived what I could and devoured it all. I realize more and more, that there is nothing to fear, especially when you are willing to embrace the inevitable- DEATH! And so daily, I perform a personal ritual of being ‘willing to die’.
“Courage is something acquired! We are, all of us, not merely liable to fear, we are also prone to being afraid of being afraid and the conquering of fear produces exhilaration.” Gadwell then gives examples of feelings of courage from survivors of the Blitzkrieg of London. “The contrast between the previous apprehension and the present relief and current feeling of security produces the self confidence that is the very father and mother of courage.”
“Courage is not something that you already have that makes you brave when the tough times start. Courage is what you earn when you’ve been through the tough times and you see that they are not so tough after all.” What the Germans didn’t realize that their theory that the bombings would frighten the British into acquiescence were wrong. Instead of producing fear, the result was the British emerged more courageous than they were previous to the bombings.
The setbacks/handicaps/roadblocks are barriers mainly in our imaginings! As water consistently applied to stone, Determination and resolution of will, assiduously applied, can and will shatter the illusion, revealing that they never existed in the first place.
Just downloaded this from Audible.com Gadwell does it again. His proposition is that size, power, might are all illusionary in that, individuals and societies have mistakenly perceived ADVANTAGE for just those things. In fact, it was David who had all the ‘Power’ and advantage. He was an expert ‘slinger’ who could take down the slower and ‘weighted down’ Goliath with speed, distance and accuracy. Goliath didn’t stand a chance!
So what is Malcom saying? It is what I learned years ago: “Take a ‘perceived’ liability and convert it into an asset or advantage.”
A case in point. Years ago before the idea that I would ever be able to do stand up comedy, a client in a local hospital changed the direction of my life and career with comment that she had witnessed a movie over the weekend and noticed that the ‘star’ reminded her of me. I blushed (she was gorgeous). Flattered and shocked, I asked, “What kind of movie was it?” She laughed and howled, “A Woody Allen movie!” I was crushed! I didn’t ‘SEE’ it. I decided to test her hypothesis. I got a pair of ‘Woody Allen’ glasses and looked in the mirror. Damn! She was right! Now my dilemma was how to deal with this. I decided to convert a ‘perceived’ liability into an asset. I bought a copy of ‘Stand Up Comic’- Woody’s Best Album- and memorized it. I was an instant hit at cocktail parties, etc. In no time, I was hurled into the world of stand-up comedy! Voila! Perceived Liability = Converted Asset!
Perceived advantage does not account for sheer will, determination, creativity, steadfastness or any other ‘imperceptible’ advantage you may have to make it in a ‘Giant World’. In short, there is no such thing as ‘IMPOSSIBLE’!
I came across this book while shopping on Audible.com. I read the description and realized I do not need to read the book. Rather, I should have written it or, at least, a chapter about it in a larger treatise about management or leadership. As the sales trainer/manager/executive of a large multinational corporation, I had the task of instructing not only the neophytes of the medical sales game, but also the ‘about to be ‘canned” salespeople. It became obvious that the successful were separated from the ‘failures’ by one main ingredient…”Why”! There were numerous books/audio tapes/videos about goal setting and planning, blah, blah, blah to fill libraries but not one about “Why”. In other words, all other motivational techniques were focused on “What” as opposed to “Why”. Corporations, leaders, managers all focused on “What” was to be accomplished while not examining the “Why”.
Hence I began an earnest program of encouraging sales staff to focus on “Why” they were doing their jobs rather than the “What”. Goals, plans, objectives, outcomes took a back seat to “Why’ they were selling. Whether it was too express themselves in a profession they loved; help others to solve problems in their lives, jobs or careers, or just to provide a great living for their families; those that understood “Why’ they got up out of bed in the morning were far more motivated and successful than those driven by “What”. You see, “Why” is the answer to “What is your purpose?” And purpose is a far greater motivator than ‘plan’ or objective. Clearly, if you were to oppose an opponent driven by an objective rather than a ‘mission’, your chances of victory are far greater. It is quite easy to dissuade or discourage someone from an objective or plan (the ‘What’) rather than someone obsessed with a ‘Why’. That is the reason, it is almost impossible to defeat someone intent on a mission- whatever it is; rather than someone who is simply focused on a ‘What’ with no REASON behind it.
So, whether your ‘mission’ is professionally, family, or personally driven, if you want to succeed by yourself or through others, you had better start focusing on the ‘Why’ of it all.