“It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default”
– JK Rowling
Who does not want to lead a life of abundance, contentment, glory, and of course, all possible luxuries that wealth can provide? Given a choice, we would all want such plentiful life as a standard feature, right? So, let us just look closely at how many of us live a normal life, without the sudden spurts of changing moods, demands, dictates, and so many other unexpected behaviors from time to time.
One of the most successful writers of modern times, gifted with a special gift of creating spell-binding characters in her fiction, a Billionaire, JK Rowling, has some sound advice for all of us in the above quote. It is unfortunate so many of us live our lives in a happy-go-lucky fashion where struggle finds close company at all times. Such individuals prefer a life of resignation and compromise.
Then, we have those that enjoy life to the extent where one’s sanity takes a turn towards precarious living. Taking on inexplicable dangers, lining life like a game of dice where everything is up for ‘an all-or-nothing’ roll. They live on the edge, taking inexplicable risks in the name of a challenge where the loss is pre-written for any sane person to see. Would you rather live like that? Do I hear someone’s ‘yes’ there?
Not to get deterred by the above two examples, we also have another class of genius among us. Those proud of their own (purported) outstanding achievements love to live life vicariously. For these individuals, every other person is a vehicle to take them to their destination whether it is the question of their child winning the Junior Hockey or a major sales deal to boost their own career. This type of life can assume any number of different ‘avatars’ so long as he/she gets the glory. They love to live life through others, by pushing them, coaxing them, and if need be, even threatening them!
Well, let me assure you life is not just an amalgam of negativity all around. We do have outstanding personalities in our midst as well that make this world a better place. We have the selfless leaders and the unsung heroes that give away the supreme sacrifice of their own lives in the service of their motherland. And then there is another major source of inspiration in the saintly souls that look for volunteer opportunities. Their acquired skills, their spare time as well part of their wealth (and in some cases a fixed percentage of their already meager earnings) goes to tend for the needy, the destitute and the forgotten.
One cannot deny the fact that we are all born as learners. As we grow, certain skills keep coming our way either through parents, siblings, classmates, friends, relatives or so many other inexplicable sources. How we put these skills to use and what we make of our life depends upon our own analytical abilities. It is up to us, and no one else to dictate how we want to craft our future. Yes, guidance always helps but it does not equip us with all the tools for success.
Setting our priorities right could help us create an infinitely beautiful picture of our dreams turned into reality. On the contrary, we might end up blowing a perfectly blessed life to smithereens, throwing away the golden ladle from our mouth like it was a piece of junk or an unnecessary appendage.
Let us take a short pause here and try to visualize what could we change in order to have a better grip on our life. Is it our finances, or education level, our circle of friends, or children’s school that could bring us more recognition as the person on the right track? Can your membership in an elite Country Club help elevate your social status, yes, for sure! However, it depends on how long you may keep it secure unless you have all the other elements in order to reflect your pedigree.
Without going into great detail, gaining from personal experience, I can outline a few checks we can introduce within. Starting with your demeanor, wearing a calm façade of tranquility will attract a lot more attention than the face of a worried, harried, rushed and/or constantly distracted business tycoon trying to catch up on a million details at the same time.
Give respect to gain respect: one of the simple ‘mantras’ of great leadership, has never let me down. Bid a permanent ‘Goodbye’ to anger. It eats into one’s intellect with the speed of a catastrophic cyclone and uproots the very sensibility that you may always be very proud of. Keep away from this vice at all times and at all places from home to work and everywhere in-between.
‘Measure twice and cut once;’ it is the method my mother taught me when I was in the elementary school. She taught me the value of speaking with confidence, uttering any word out of my mouth after due consideration. Under-promise and over-deliver: never create high hopes for others where they start to expect the moon from you. Always try and give your best, but never promise beforehand how far you can or you would go.
Try to develop a magnetic personality where people get drawn and not put off. It may sound very hard in the beginning but as you keep going, rows upon rows of like-minded souls will come forward to welcome you into their fold. Join the nearest Lions’ Club, Rotary Club or the Kiwanis, SunYouth or Big Brother/Big Sisters. Connect with a respected social service club in your neighborhood. Give as much time and effort as you can, get involved, seek guidance and make your initial forays into a totally different world of accomplishment unlike any other. It will help you learn from others’ experiences’ as well since you are not going to live long enough to experience everything yourself.
Please allow me to sum it all up with a beautiful quote from Oprah Winfrey;