Inspirational Ateeq Hussain is a businessman who changed his mindset and changed his life. A former taxi driver, he now runs two successful ice cream parlours in Huddersfield. Here’s his latest Monthly Monday Motivation.
Did you know that once upon a time electricity hadn’t been discovered, neither had the automobile or the telephone, nor the lightbulb or the coal-powered engine?
Even the wheel began its life as nothing but a seed in someone’s mind. All these ideas were nurtured and eventually became a reality in our everyday lives through the labour, toil and experimentation of an untold number of individuals over the years.
I think it’s important to be constantly reminded that just as they have now gone we are not that far behind them.
Can you imagine how different our world would be if various productive thoughts and ideas were deprived of sunshine and water in their early stages of being formed?
And if people were too fearful of making mistakes in developing these ideas into a reality? Would you even be reading this, sat in your comfortable chair, with the digital world at your fingertips?
The author Oscar Wilde, in his controversial but popular 1890s novel ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’, writes: “Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one’s mistakes.”
This aversion to mistakes is clearly not a new phenomenon but is it healthy or productive for us as individuals or society at large?
Whenever I think back to my school days, I realise what a thoroughly complete job the system did with me in particular and, to varying degrees my fellow pupils, in creating a real and lasting fear of being seen as fallible or weak in any sense.
This then continued into adulthood and, for a lot of people, continues all the way through to old age.
Although it is a constant struggle, I think I’ve finally managed to break out from this thought pattern and in the process learnt a valuable lesson. I hope it will also help you realise a more rewarding and meaningful path.
I discovered that successful people set themselves goals consistently and constantly. They do their best in achieving the goal, boosting their self-esteem which in turn allows them to not only handle mistakes but welcome them as a surefire means of improving.
Successful people don’t hanker after perfection but rather chase after improvement. And that’s the best you can get in an imperfect world.
I like what Les Brown says on the subject: “Review your goals twice every day in order to be focused on achieving them.”
The first time I read this I remember thinking: “What goals?” The only goals I had ever really thought of up to that point were goalposts!
I was struck by the fact that I’d been scared of setting targets for a long time because the thought of not achieving them caused such a plethora of negative emotions and had a tonne of stigma attached.
It’s just a lot easier to drift. You can’t fail or make mistakes if you just do what you’ve always done and follow the status quo. Plus it’s so comfortable…no controversy…no stretching…no falling…no getting back up…no hurt…no pain…
On the subject of failure, Nelson Mandela, freedom fighter and the first democratically-elected President of South Africa stated: “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
Robert Kiyosaki, the author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, puts it this way: “Successful people don’t fear failure but understand that it’s necessary to learn and grow from.”
So I hope you’ll be able to see from these few examples that life isn’t about playing it safe, it’s about getting out there and fighting for what you believe in.
And if you’re not a believer, that’s cool too, just do your best and it’ll soon become so natural that you’ll do it without thinking.
Earl Nightingale calls success nothing more than the progressive realisation of a worthy ideal. This means any person with a goal towards which they are working is a successful person. Any person who is doing deliberately what they really want to do is a success. It means that anyone who’s on course toward the fulfilment of a goal is successful.
You’ll notice by this definition that success doesn’t lie in the achievement of a goal, although that’s what the world considers success; it lies in the journey toward the goal.
The journey will inevitably have its ups and downs if it’s going to be an exciting one. I mean, what’s the point of a boring journey?
Rudyard Kipling hit the nail on the head in his famous poem ‘If’ in which he expresses the following thought provoking words:
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster, And treat those two imposters just the same;
Set goals, do your best, welcome mistakes and enjoy the journey.