Enter every activity without giving mental recognition to the possibility of defeat. Concentrate on your strengths, instead of your weaknesses… on your powers, instead of your problems.
~Paul J. Meyer (May 21, 1928 – October 26, 2009)
SUCCESS magazine refers to Paul J. as “more than a leader, an achiever, and a winner. He believes whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe and enthusiastically act upon must inevitably come to pass. And for more than five decades, by spreading this message, he has inspired millions of people around the world to become winners in every facet of their lives. Paul J. Meyer is considered one of the most influential people in the history of the personal-achievement industry. He is the No.1-selling author of personal-development materials in the world. He has sold more than $2.5 billion worth of materials translated into more than 60 countries worldwide. Just a single program—The Dynamics of Personal Motivation—has racked up more than $700 million in sales.”
We all want success, and why not? However, some get it while most others don’t; not even that, a few achieve astronomical success beyond anyone’s dreams. Why is it so? When God created us in His own image, why we grow up to be so different in practically every walk of life? Everyone would have a good reason that may or may not satisfy his/her personal ego. And yet, there remain hidden from public view individual facts that can assist us in noticeably rising above the crowds, provided we pay heed to them. We must bring about a change in our attitude, besides other functionalities. We need to start working from the ground up. There exists an urgent need in our lives to identify the catalysts that can help us develop the necessary skills for success. Once we reach that stage, a distinct transition in our attitude will be evident for everyone else to notice and appreciate.
“Every great player has learned the two Cs: how to concentrate and maintain composure.” Byron Nelson, the author of this quote, and the 20th-Century American Pro-golfer is considered to be one of the greatest players of the sport of all time. Naturally, he knew a bit about the power of ‘Concentration’ and ‘Composure’ to acclaim the glory. How else could he play the game with such excellence and win “11 consecutive tournaments and 18 total tournaments in 1945?” (Wikipedia)
Who can deny that we must first get into a state of absolute composure before concentrating on anything with certainty? The job at hand, no matter whether an easy fix or the one posing a grave challenge, demands 100% attention. Distraction can, and does often, result in disaster. Unless we put our mind at rest and banish other nagging thoughts out of our system, the result is much likely to be mediocre or, worse, an utter failure. As such, the power of composure towards achieving the goal of concentration can never be undermined. However, there is a crucial link that also demands our attention. Without making ‘contemplation’ an indispensable weapon in our arsenal to ward off distractions, we may never make use of the other two, period!
“Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them.” –David Hume. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy refers to this great 18th-Century thinker “as one of the most important philosophers to write in English, David Hume (1711–1776) was also well known in his own time as historian and essayist. A master stylist in any genre…. Charles Darwin regarded his work as a central influence on the theory of evolution.” I am sure the learned and well-informed readers can conveniently ascertain the reasoning behind such a robust assessment of David’s focus on ‘contemplation.’
On the other hand, contemplating negativity gives birth to destructive repercussions, no matter how genuine our intent behind an act. We can learn a lot from the following statement by Dorothy Gilman, an American writer. “Hell is more like boredom, or not having enough to do, and too much time to contemplate one’s deficiencies.” She earned fame for “children’s stories written under the name Dorothy Gilman Butters. From then on, she began writing adult novels about Mrs. Pollifax, a retired grandmother who becomes a CIA agent. The Mrs. Pollifax series made Gilman famous.” I guess the answer to most of our present-day troubles lies in her sage advice to forget about our deficiencies. Let us concentrate more on our strengths to keep away from the proverbial ‘hell.’
Here is a glimpse of what Aristotle, the 4th-Century Greek philosopher, and polymath, had this to say about the power of composure. “The beauty of the soul shines out when a man bears with composure one heavy mischance after another, not because he does not feel them, but because he is a man of high and heroic temper.” Do you know of any person alive or dead that never had a single mischance in life? I don’t! Given the fact we are all surrounded by an air of misfortune all around, we need an antidote to see us survive, and not just survive but also to thrive. The above words of wisdom that continue to influence mankind through millenniums continue to hold their sway in difficult times like the one entire humanity is phased with, bar none. Yes, it is true nobody has a cure for the raging COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, a large number of untiring heroes continue to put up one of the most courageous fights we shall ever witness in an entire lifetime. Isn’t it time we paused for a moment and appreciated the power of composure that fuels their generous acts day in and day out?
I humbly salute all the dedicated souls that have come out with incomparable zeal to the rescue of the vulnerable sections of our society.
Thank You All!