Look at the history of successful people.
There are many who have succeeded in life, without education, money and why, even arms or legs! There are such achievers; but no person has succeeded without self-confidence.
In Olympics, why do only a few countries win gold medals repeatedly? Many reasons can be given for this-availability of training facilities, professional coaching, basic infrastructure… but there is one very important reason. This is known as sports psychology. The Russians discovered it, but it has been well understood and developed by the Americans.
Sports psychology indicates that heightened physical activity is not sufficient to win any competition; but mental toughness is also required. That is to say, when an athlete is participating in a race, even if he thinks just for a moment that he might lose, it is enough to make him lose. He would not be able to perform with his full strength in the race after such a thought has entered his mind. So, not only while participating, but also while practicing, he must tell himself repeatedly with a strong belief- ‘I am going to win!’
Go on playing the mental video of you winning and position yourself powerfully. This is known as ‘Mental Rehearsal‘.
Recently one of my students asked, ‘Swamiji! I am not like others. I did not depend on a government job; I invested all my money in business. I faced a huge loss and now I am broke. Tell me how I can fill myself with selfconfidence ?‘
There were umpteen failures in the life of this person .
When he was 7 years old, his family was forced out of home on a legal dispute.
At 9, his mother died.
At 22, he lost his job as a clerk.
At 25, he was defeated in a legislature election.
At 27, he had nervous breakdown.
At 28, he lost his beloved.
At 30, he lost the election for the post of a speaker.
At 35, he lost the Congress election.
At 46, he lost the Senatorial elections- around the same time he lost his son.
At 47, he lost the Vice Presidential elections.
These failures could not shake his self-confidence!
At 52, he became the President of USA. And he is Abraham Lincoln. So, please do not allow the past to damage your self-confidence!
The essence of one of the letters I received goes like this, `Swamiji, I will be completing 35 years of age. I have changed many jobs such as an insurance agent, a cosmetics salesman, a field representative…. When I look back, I spent more money than I earned. I have become very depressed. What shall I do now?’ Anything material, money, car, house, position, etc. can be gifted to another, but there is only one thing that cannot be gifted to someone on a silver platter ‘Success.’ One can achieve it only if one works hard with smartness. I think it would be appropriate to share the life history of Colonel Sanders.
The fast food outlet of KFC has made its appearance in many Indian cities too. There are hundreds of such outlets all over the world. The yearly income of this fast food chain runs into several millions of dollars. The person who laid the foundation for this successful chain was one Colonel Sanders.
At an age when he should have been enjoying the relaxed lifestyle of a retired person-at sixty three-he could not live his life without a goal. He was neither a Harvard graduate nor came from a very rich family. He knew how to fry chicken that was juicy inside and crisp outside. He took the recipe and approached many restaurants. Several hoteliers turned him away, without even reading his recipe! But did not lose heart. He did not give up his efforts. He went to many cities and gave his recipe to other hoteliers. Aged as he was, he climbed the steps of many, many restaurants. The total number of restaurants he approached was 1,006!
He was the personification of perseverance. For two long years, he continued his relentless efforts and finally one hotelier evinced some interest in his recipe. The rest is history.
Today, the world over, Kentucky Fried Chicken- KFC is famous! Attitude is more important than mere dry facts. Colonel Sanders had an attitude of ‘I can’ rather than ‘I can’t’.
‘Cans’ create Success, ‘Cants’ create Failure.
Sir Winston Churchill had delivered a number of energizing orations. Once he was invited to deliver a speech to a youthful audience. He spoke only one sentence. That sentence today has become a quotation used by many others.
He said -‘Never, never, never give up !
— Swami sukhabodhananda.