Keep your crown on your head
Most of the time we are always thinking about what people will say if we fail in our examination; if we are badly dressed; if our hair is not combed well and so on.
What does one do? Well, nobody except ourselves can do much about it. Let me help you.
Visualise Ganeshjee. Ganeshjee has a crown, which as you know was part of our dress centuries ago… it was replaced by the turban, the hat, and so on. Well, it signifies self-respect. In today’s world, we must wear our own crown … be it of gold or of silver or of paper!
Never lose your self-respect because if you lose it, you have lost all. One, who cannot respect himself, cannot expect to be respected by others.
For a wise man, failure is not falling down but staying down. Failure is not the end of dreams; it is only the beginning. Failure teaches success if you are open to new ideas and consider failures to be stepping-stones to success. A man can fail many times, but he is not a real failure until he begins to blame someone else.
There was one man in this world who believed in all that has been said above, and who has become a “lighthouse” for millions of people who followed him. His name was Abraham Lincoln and he became President of USA when he was 51, after a string of failures. His resume is as follows:
Age 22, failed in business.
Age 23, ran for legislature and was defeated.
Age 24, failed again in business.
Age 25, elected to legislature.
Age 26, sweetheart died.
Age 27, had a nervous breakdown.
Age 29, lost in the election for speaker.
Age 31, lost in the election for elector.
Age 34, lost in the election to the Congress.
Age 37, elected to Congress.
Age 39, lost in the election to the Congress.
Age 46, lost in the election to the Senate.
Age 47, lost in the election for vice president.
Age 49, lost in the election to the Senate
Age 51, elected President of the United States of
Abraham Lincoln did not bother about what people said about him when he failed. Even when he became the President, people still criticized him but instead of becoming disheartened, he said, “No man is good enough to be President, but someone has to be.”
Lincoln would certainly have believed in the fact that a failure is an opportunity for a man who has kept his self respect intact. Thinking the Lincoln way and trying to be happy will give you happiness while you are going about achieving it. You do not have to worry about what others think about your failure; they are too busy thinking about their own failures! Each step towards success can give happiness if you try to do creatively. Never forget that happiness is always short-lived unless you can make it long-lived! Achieving your small goals by thinking innovatively leads to happiness, because you don’t have time to be too self-critical.
Creative thinking can be done when your self-esteem is intact. You can then face people as well as your other auditors in life. Your self-image is in your mind. Your self-image improves when you have good family relations, good moral standards, good friends, enough cash, when you love what you do for a living, follow the essentials of your religion, and so on.
Nurture your self-esteem by helping other people. Whenever you are rejected, it is not you who is rejected but it is your action or activity that is rejected. Analyze each rejection. I can, I can… will always improve your self-image. You cannot do it overnight; it is a very s-l-o-w process, but never give up. No one can make you feel inferior without your permission. There may be a hundred ways of improving your self-image and reducing your stress levels.
My self-esteem is very important to me. I make sure that I feel good about myself… most of the time. I achieve it by reminding myself of my own successes over the years and keeping a list of my successes handy!
I use a mood-o-meter all the time. It is a simple device which indicates moods going up (positive) or down (negative). You can prevent yourself from going down by refusing to entertain negative thoughts and seeking opportunities in adverse conditions.
I speak to myself. If I have nothing good to say about myself, I keep my mouth shut! It is not easy, but it is better that way!
Please remember that when you feel good about yourself, you improve your self-image and it is a fact that it reduces your stress. Why? Because you can hold only one thought in your mind at a particular time. Try! If you are thinking about Taj Mahal, can you think of what Ramesh said to you tauntingly at lunch? Years ago, I took a motorcycle accident victim to Holy Family Hospital. Whenever I think about it, I feel happy to have done a good deed.
You too can do it by doing some social work in your neighborhood. It will work.
Years ago, my wife used to fret and fume about streetlights, the pigs on the street and the watchman. I encouraged her to become our lane’s block representative. On an average, she now spends an hour every day by making several calls to get things done. She has been able to reduce her stress by 30 per cent! She has that much less time to worry and to nag me and our daughters! Believe me, if you have a strong self-image, your stress levels will be lower.
Do what you think is right. Do not bother about what people will say … what the auditors will say… what colleagues will say… what neighbors will say. These are immobilizing thoughts. Remember the story of the father, the son and the donkey going to the market. They got so influenced by what people thought of them that neither of them could ride the donkey. Do what you think is right, what you think is proper. Remember, you can always rectify your wrong decisions the moment you find them to be wrong. On the other hand, if you do not take any decisions at all, how will you ever be able to improve your future decision-making?