Lack of Courage 01

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As the title suggests, this negative habit puts specific types of fears in your mind due to which you only want to engage in things or activities which look absolutely safe to you and you don’t want to engage in things or activities which have a percentage risk factor of 30, 20 or even less. I know that safety and security should be a major concern for all of us but there are some things in this world which can’t be achieved without taking risk and surprisingly most of the biggest and greatest things fall into this category and hence you need to start taking calculated risks if you want to achieve big, bigger or the biggest things in your life.

Look at the history of mankind and you will find that the very existence of a human being on this earth starts with a big risk, the risk which a mother takes by conceiving a baby even after knowing that such conception may cause many health problems for her and in some cases, it can take her life also. Though medical science has now become advanced enough to make sure that in most cases, the mother as well as the baby is safe, but even when no medical science was there to start with, all mothers took this risk of their health and their life in order to bring us to this earth and into existence. The reason why all these mothers took this great risk was that all of them knew that greater achievements need greater courage and accordingly greater risks need to be taken. Always remember that the greater are the risks the greater are the rewards, or the same can be quoted in the words of Thomas Jefferson, one of the great founding fathers of United States of America who said, ‘with great risk comes great reward’.

Do you know that the survival rate till the age of adulthood is low or very low among many species of animals, sea creatures, birds and other such species but even then their mothers conceive the babies and give birth to them, knowing well in advance that many of them will die young or very young in front of their eyes. As these babies come to the real world, many of them and in some cases most of them die young or very young while their mothers witness their deaths and before you can even start to wonder, these mothers are ready to do it again.

The reason is that even all these species among animals know that there are no rewards without risks, there is no success without failure and there is no life without death. Hence they only do what is required of them, they try to do it in the best possible way by providing the safest atmosphere to their new born babies and they are then willing to take a calculated amount of risk. No mother wants to see her babies die in front of her eyes even if it is an animal or bird mother, but they watch all such things and they keep doing it again and again after watching it again and again as they know that there is no reward without risk.

There is nothing bad in learning from anyone even if that anyone is an animal or a bird as learning is invaluable regardless of the source it comes from. So disregard the fact that the ability to take calculated risks is being taught to us again and again by animal kingdom and other such species, and grab these pearls of knowledge and wisdom. And if this much motivation is not enough for you, look at the history of mankind and try to find even a single great achievement accomplished by a human being, which did not involve risk or to be more precise, which did not involve great amount of risk.

Alexander the great took 40 thousand men with him to invade, attack and win one of the most powerful empires of his times called Persian Empire and he did so successfully. Even though he may have been a skilled warrior and a great leader, he must have known from the beginning till the end that his adventure comes with a great amount of risk; the risk which he calculated, the risk which he took and the risk which rewarded him in such a big way that even till this day his name is mentioned among the greatest, the most courageous and the most successful warriors and kings, the history of mankind has ever witnessed. He took an army of 40 thousand Greeks with him and he kept conquering whatever and whoever came in their way, which is one of the biggest examples of the greatest of the courage that a human being can exhibit, and courage as you should all know, is nothing but the ability to take risk.

In the history of mankind, you will find that Alexander the great was not the only one to exhibit such great courage and there were many other courageous and brave people who took great risks during their times and in their respective fields and who not only left their permanent mark on the pages of history, but who can still inspire us enough to take risks and be courageous, hundreds or even thousands of years after they died.

This much motivation from various spheres of life should be enough to inspire courage among all of you and now coming back to the main topic, if you have this negative habit of taking no risk or taking little risk, it is the time you should start doing conscious effort to get rid of it and replace it with the exact opposite habit which is called courage. Many of you may already know by now, when lack of courage leaves, courage checks in or in other words, when courage arrives it is check out time for lack of courage. Moving ahead with this topic, I will tell you easy and very effective activities through which you can get rid of this habit of lack of courage.

Looking at some basic practices which can help you win this battle at the first level without much effort or difficulty, once again start engaging in small acts which need you to take small amount of risk and which at the same time are not very difficult. This is the first level and you don’t want to engage in activities which may be too difficult for you at this level as such activities may drive you away from this whole practice. When you start putting your conscious efforts into these activities that require a certain amount of risk, your conscious mind starts sending signals to your subconscious mind, saying that you can take risk. As these signals keep repeating themselves, the quantum of resistance that you face from your subconscious mind when you attempt to take risks will start decreasing with time. This is when you will find that you are getting rid of this habit of lack of courage as more and more courage is coming to you now with each risky activity that you engage in.

It should be noted that even though you need to win in most of your activities which have been suggested for the treatment of other types of negative traits of your personality, it is not important for you to win in most of your activities in case of this treatment and all you have to do is to engage in activities that demand risk. Take that risk and your job is done. It may seem strange but in this case, the message that you are supposed to send to your subconscious mind through your conscious efforts of engaging in such risky activities is the one that says, “I can take risks now”, and it is not the message which says that “I can take risks and win at the same time now”. Hence whether you win or lose in these risky activities is secondary and the fact that you are engaging in such risky activities without much fear or without any fear, is the primary objective of engaging in these activities.

And even though you should still try and succeed in most of such risky activities as that will give a boost to your confidence, but it will be even more helpful if you lose or fail in some of these risky activities. The root cause of this problem of lack of courage is your fear that if you engage in risky activities, you may face failure, defeat or loss and hence when you engage in these activities and you win or succeed in all of them, your fear starts getting weaker and though it is a good thing to happen but this is not a complete treatment of your fear or your problem of lack of courage. This is due to the reason that the boost delivered to your confidence by each success or win that you register, is not the permanent and correct solution for this problem as sooner or later you have to lose as everyone else in this world does, and when that happens, your fears will gain much more strength and they will once again start troubling you.

Real courage does not lie in taking risk when you are already certain of your success or victory, because what is the whole point of taking risk if you are sure to achieve success or victory. Real courage lies in taking risk even though they may be well calculated risks, and giving it your best whether you succeed or not and if latter is the case which means that if you don’t succeed, real courage inside you will motivate you to accept that failure or defeat and try harder and smarter next time. Real courage takes you to a point when trying a risky act and giving it your best is the only thing you have to do and not bother about the results. You may win many times but even if you lose, you don’t have to take it as a loss and you have to keep moving forward after learning important lessons from your failure or defeat.

Success can’t teach us much and most of the time it is the failures that teach us the most important lessons of our lives! For this reason, learning to lose or fail and then moving forward with the courage to register a victory is one of the most important things you have to learn if you want to achieve big or very big things in life. Look at the lives and achievements of the greatest people in history and you will find that most of these great people did not earn their title of greatness by winning from the start and by winning most of the time, instead they earned this title of greatness by trying again and again, taking risk again and again and not bothering whether they are winning or losing.

Real courage does not lie in trying difficult tasks and winning them every time. It takes even greater courage to attempt a difficult task, fail and then start trying the same task or any other such task of difficulty, without much delay and without any regrets. For example, if you are on a winning streak and you keep winning everything and everyone that comes your way, the risk factor does not remain much as you are already sure that you are going to win or succeed at the next task also and accordingly, you don’t need great courage to attempt the next task.

Now consider a situation where you attempt something big with all your courage and ability but you fail and you are then asked to attempt another difficult task right away. Now, you know that if you attempt this second task, which is equally difficult, you may lose like you did in the first task. This is where the fears and real risk comes into play. You have recently taken a big hit on your confidence by losing and are now expected to try another task with a similar level of difficulty or even more. Now imagine how much courage will you need in this case as you know that you have a difficult task at your hand, you have recently failed at one such task and you can fail at this one also, but you still go ahead and give it your best shot, not worrying about winning or losing.

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To be Continued

Lord Shiva Bless You

Himanshu Shangari