Befriend Uncertainty for it’s certain!


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Uncertainty is your friend, a friend you fear. Moreover, you might not see it as a friend at all.

Uncertainty is such unpredictable territory. What will happen next? What will tomorrow shape up to be? What does the future hold? The anxiety these questions set off and sustain in the background is what most people experience. Once in a while, this anxiety flares up to disrupt life, as you know it. Eventually, you learn to tame it, to be just that little flame flickering away in the background while you anxiously act to keep it from flaring up again.

That’s how many have come to accept and treat uncertainty. As a result, we are cautious with what we do and live in the light cast by our yesterday. Generally, many are risk averse, play out their fears and live within the confines of their comfort zone. As a result, there is not much to expect in terms of change since comfort breeds stagnancy. Over time, it dawns that there is not much excitement and zest for life when it’s the same old life day in and day out.

Uncertainty has turned into something we are fearful of, avoid in all circumstances and cannot image to even skirt with it.

A cautious approach is good but to the extent you can see it. Being prepared is a virtue, but you can only be so much prepared.

Hence, learn to embrace uncertainty. Probably, cautiously at first! But, do give it a try. I assure you, you will be addicted to the fun and excitement that you experience along the journey. It’s exciting to not know what’s around the corner while you toil away at what’s in your control. You follow through logical steps to complete tasks, execute plans and then, do enough to assure yourself of the outcome you desire. Sometimes, you confront unseen roadblocks that you have to work around; at other times you come across unsurpassed surprises that galvanize the outcome way beyond your expectations. And, at other times, you simply get just what you expected. However, you feel more in control, as you no longer fear the outcome.  You feel more confident and self assured, since you put your best leg forward. The rest just follows through as an outcome of your actions. Life will feel richer and well lived when you look back; no regrets or should haves, could haves staring back at you. What you do will be worth the effort. Among other things, you will discover a nugget or two of your own innovative and creative capabilities.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Have you failed enough?


As an old familiar saying goes, “Failure is the stepping stone to success.”

Everyone fears failure. Yet, it is an integral part of our lives, be it personal or professional. And failure gives way to frustration, despair, doubt and so many other emotions; more, from the perception the world around has of it than from the failure itself.

Failure is not something to fear or abhor. Failure teaches important lessons in life; lessons around what doesn’t work, what not to do and also who to truly trust and partner with. You do not come out of a failure with nothing, but with invaluable lessons which if applied on the next attempt, take you closer to your goal of success.

In order to succeed, it is not a must to fail every step of the way before you reach your goal. Lessons from failure do not necessarily need to be your own. You can learn from others’ experiences too. This will keep you on the fast track to success.

When faced with failure, it’s crucial to not give up as well as not to worry and get anxious. What is important is to stay calm, remain stable and have a coherent thought process to analyze the failure. Learn from the mistakes, take lessons from the experience as to what not to do and how to alter path to achieve success.

Taking risks is vital in the competitive times we live in. As another old saying goes, “No pain, no gain!” In order to grow and excel in your personal and professional lives, there is a need to take calculated risks. Else, stagnancy breeds in and one tends to lose the zest in living. Another important prerogative of growth and excellence is innovation. And again, in order to innovate, one needs to be open to risks and failures.

Not all failures are worthy. There are some that can be just termed as foolish and probably should not have happened at all. Then, there are those that are intelligent failures, those that occurred in spite of prior planning and execution per plan. These intelligent failures occur early enough in the process and provide new insights to alter course and continue towards success. Failures are truly valuable when they have a lesson to convey, are not repeated after the lesson is learnt and take you closer to success. Once you have faced failures, you are a much more valuable professional and a better human being.

Plan your work and work your plan. Do not fear failure. If it crosses your path, analyze it, learn from it and apply these lessons to change course and continue towards success until you achieve it. Once you succeed no failures matter at all!