Wednesday, October 22, 2008

At the Steering Wheel of Life

Life is a mixed bag.....
Yes indeed, life is a mixed bag. What we package
it with is what appears to the outside world as our lifestyle. Within the package, is what it really is. However, not always is the packaging distinctly different from the contents of life. The best wrapping is a transparent one which reveals the contents for what it is and the blend it forms as one contrasting colour or layer merges with another.

When we join our lives with another, as we do in marriage or at work in teams or professional partnerships, what we seek is a blend of lifestyles : of competences, of outlooks and approaches, where often one lifestyle leads another at different points of time, very much like rotating leadership. There are times when the blend is so good that it is hard to differentiate one from the other.

Yet the individuality of each lifestyle is what counts in differentiating key operational arenas to increase or maximize the probability of success.

Today we are faced with certain challenges and tomorrow perhaps with others. We have to look at each challenge separately and at how we handle them and which partner can handle it best. Once this is clear, then all that has to be done is to support the front line, in other words, actively support as one body , the person taking on the challenge directly.

Goals and dreams.....
All of us have our own goals and ambitions, dreams and desires, methods and means by which we want to go about achieving them. Some of them are in sharp contrast to the other. However the common thread in all we do, has to embody, the essentials of life – which are – a clear sense of self worth, courage of conviction, determination to succeed, honesty of approach, strength of purpose, responsibility for results and a sense of practicality to guide and harness these to achieve our objectives.

Yes, it is important to manage all these qualities such that no single quality exists at the expense of the others. Especially true, where the sense of practicality often overpowers the rest and seeks relief in manipulating the means, to achieve a rationalized practical end. Also true that courage of conviction should not bestow a blindfold on reality.

The balancing of life's imbalances........
As you can see, this is a balancing act. The Scales of Libra if you may ! Equilibrium is achieved only after the balancing beam has tipped on either side.

Each side is you and somebody else- in your personal life it could be your spouse or your parents or your children or in your professional life it may be your boss or your team; and the balancing beam of the scale of our life is poised on the fulcrum of matured sensibility that holds us on even keel.

And to keep this even keel, each of us have to put in the correct measure of weights against values , means for ends, efforts for results, in each pan.

Values and purpose .....
Values across life so far, for most of us, are attached to a very strong sense of purpose and strength of resolve to succeed against all odds. Many among us would have faced some of the worst nightmares, which have taken our entire reserve of courage in our convictions and determination to pursue our beliefs.

The task is to ensure that we do not abandon the struggle, but instead stare it in the face at frighteningly close quarters. We have had to ask ourselves very difficult questions and verify the “bonafides” of our own values. At the end, you would have found that the greatest comfort is in doing what you know is right even when this makes the terrain treacherous.

Winning with the right values ......
Winning is the right result, but, the means is very important too. And ever so often, you may find yourself at the non-preferred end of a rather discomforting duel to maintain Life’s precious balance. In a world that rushes you through life like white-water rapids, the struggle is to first keep afloat and somehow manage to steer your war clear of the dangers that present themselves at each churning twist and turn. Life is in today’s competitive world, an unsettling yet exciting experience ! The sheer thrill of being on board your own life is hard to be matched. Staying at the helm and steering your way through unchartered waters is a task that separates the strivers from the strugglers.

No successful ship laden with precious cargo is far from the radar of pirates ! Life has its share of buccaneers and pirates. Many successful lives have run aground for reasons ranging from being asleep at the wheel to the comforting swell of mediocrity in deep waters to arrogant navigation flying in the face of Life’s tempests to mutiny to hostile takeovers. Of all these, the worst would probably be the handing over of your wheel mid-stream success, at the sharp end of a sword !

Defending your rights against those who want to snatch them away, calls for but one answer. Active defense, and not meek conciliation.

Especially when a sense of practicality tells us that we are capable of mounting not just a defense but an offensive. Negotiation is the route of least defense, when there is no other avenue open.

Happiness and success are NOT NEGOTIATED.

They are fought for. They are worked for. They are earned and then they are DEFENDED and PROTECTED with all one’s might. This calls for an active engagement with one’s life, not a casual enquiry. Investigate, Illuminate, Initiate, Innovate, Integrate your skills, competences, resources, align every thought and feeling and put every fiber and sinew of your body into the task of retaining and rejoicing in your right to a vibrant life.

I do not sketch Life as one big battlefield, but it certainly is no rose garden.

The Big Question is : Are you WILLING to negotiate your happiness, your right to life, your future, your family, your marriage and your children and their future, with circumstance or worse, those who feed off the average man’s hopes, dreams and aspirations.

Shall you SUCCUMB to a path of least resistance and offer your hard earned present and your well deserved future , on a platter to circumstance or those who have the effrontery to malign it ??

Would you BE JUDGED by circumstance or those who have no right to judge you and will you rather CLOAK YOUR COURAGE with the mantle of meekness ??

Then you shall surely HAND OVER THE KEYS OF YOUR LIFE to such thieves of this treasury.
Success and the cup of life ....

But you must succeed as who you are and cannot succeed as who you are not. But first, you need to believe in yourself . And get a special someone else to believe in you. Happiness can be yours. Success shall fill your cup of life. Only when you are proud of who you are , what you have done, and to whom.

Phil Mc Graw puts it succinctly in his book “Life Strategies” in which he enunciates “The Ten Laws of Life” which makes a great deal of sense and acts as a great guide on steering your way to success. Take a look at these Ten Laws of Life and the accompanying strategies:

The Ten Laws of Life
From the book “ Life Strategies” by Phillip C McGraw Ph.D.

Law # 1 : You either Get it, or you don’t.
Strategy : Become one of those who gets it.

Law # 2 : You Create your own Experience.
Strategy : Acknowledge and Accept Accountability for your life.

Law # 3 : People do what Works.
Strategy : Identify Payoffs driving your behaviour and others

Law # 4 : You cannot change what you do not acknowledge.
Strategy : Get real with your life & everybody in it.

Law # 5 : Life Rewards Action
Strategy : Make careful decisions, then Pull the Trigger !

Law # 6 : There is no Reality; only Perception
Strategy : Identify the filters through which you view the world.

Law # 7 : Life is Managed; it is not Cured
Strategy : Learn to take charge of your life

Law # 8 : We Teach people how to treat us.
Strategy : Own, rather than complain how people treat you.

Law # 9 : There is Power in Forgiveness
Strategy : Awaken to what anger and resentment do to you.

Law # 10 : You have to name it before you can claim it.
Strategy : Get clear about what you want and take your turn

You owe yourself this. You owe this to your future. And to all those who are counting on it.

Decide today to take charge of your ship by being awake and alert …………..
At the Steering Wheel of Your Life !

No comments:

Post a Comment