Are You a “Scaredy Cat?” Pt. 1

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– ­By Thirumur David Kiran

 

A few months back, I reached a pretty alarming conclusion: I don’t like risks.

Scratch that…I hate risks!

In fact, I’ll say it again. I HATE RISKS!

I once maintained that “hate” was a very strong word and should only be used for things such as “crimes against humanity” or “cats” (yes, I am a dog person). Yet I came to see that for me, risks fall under this category as well. Do we not do everything in our power to avoid the things that we hate? If this is the criterion, then it is safe to say that I really do hate risks, for I do everything possible to avoid them.

I’ve not been a risk-taker in the slightest! I fear to take risks because of the logical danger that it holds:

  • I am scared of boats for fear of falling into the water and drowning.
  • I am scared of heights for fear that I might fall.
  • I am scared of trying new things for fear of failure.
  • I am scared of reaching out for fear of rejection.
  • In short, I am scared of taking risks for the fact that there is risk involved.

I guess that makes me a scaredy cat!—And I don’t even like cats! (Apologies to the cat lovers out there)

And I am not alone in this.

As soon as this realization set in, I determined to test it. I asked some hypothetical risk scenario-based questions to a group of students at one of my talks the next day. From the answers that I received from the 200 students in that room I realized that I was not alone in my fear of risks.

But that’s not all. Studies have shown that while the average adolescent may be psychologically predisposed to doing risky things, our desire for stability and safety and knowledge of responsibility kick in once we lose our pimples and our initial facial stubble. The average adult human is perfectly happy to go through life without ever having to take a risk.

In short, we are all scaredy cats as well!

But stop for a minute and think about a world without risks. It would be a world without adventure, a world without success, a world without progress, a world without growth, a world without fun, a world without—dare I say it—purpose.

The paradox of life is that, as much as we don’t like risks, taking risks is what brings about progress and growth in our lives. It is also risk that brings us adventure and joy. In fact, scientists have proven that risk-taking in small doses is almost universally beneficial for your brain and mental health.

Risk-taking causes real changes in the brain, which might account for why risk-takers quickly seem to become adrenaline addicts. Major risks release adrenaline, which can lead to a quick rush, and dopamine, which causes intense feelings of pleasure.

Novel experiences can help to ward off depression and reinvigorate a stale relationship. Risk-taking is often a necessary prerequisite for starting a new business or launching a new career, and the excitement associated with uncertainty can be a powerful antidote to boredom and even depression. Because dopamine produces a natural high, risk-taking behaviors can help you get a positive mood and a new perspective without the risks associated with drug use. [1]

Could that by why, at times when you are in a comfortable position in your life, that you feel a bit stagnant and perhaps a bit bored? I know this is the case for me.

Come to think of it, the few times in my life that I have encountered and faced risk, I will admit that it was not of my own choosing. Rather, I was thrown headlong into it—sometimes even literally!

  • I can remember the time that my father stayed back from a performing trip to another city with our show troupe and I was forced to emcee the performance before a huge crowd for the first time in my life.
  • I can remember the time that my performing arts mentor broke his leg a few days before a big birthday party for a prestigious client that we were organizing and I had to fill in as the host in his absence.
  • I can remember when I was a management understudy and my company was organizing a large nation-wide conference. My overseer—and the main manager of the event—pulled out abruptly due to personal reasons and I had to suddenly step up and manage the event without any prior experience.
  • I can remember the time that I was assigned to take a group of teenagers white-water rafting down the Kennebec River and I stood on the bank, white as a sheet and frozen with fear.
  • I can even remember that I had to be cornered for my first kiss…

And the list goes on and on! Yet, looking at these events now from the wonderful vantage point of hindsight, I see that through every enforced risk came incredible reward!

  • From my first kiss stemmed my first real relationship that taught me much about life and love.
  • From being tossed on stage—unprepared and frightened—stemmed a career in public speaking that I relish today.
  • From my first forced event as a host stemmed a foray in event management that led to the founding of two companies and also helped to kick off an event culture in that city that many people have benefitted from and are continuing to do so.
  • From my first stuttering experience at managing a nation-wide conference stemmed another dozen conferences in India and other parts of the world, enabling me to impact hundreds of lives.
  • From sitting paralyzed with fear in an air-filled raft in a foaming and churning river stemmed one of the most memorable and incredible experiences of my life!

And the list can go on and on… All this from risks that I was pushed into!

Now this makes me wonder, how many things have I missed from risks that I have avoided? How many opportunities have I passed up because they looked risky?

A toddler makes faces at the delicious food in front of them because it has green leafy “thingies” on it. They may stick their tongue out and squirm in their seats and profess that it is “the worst food in the world” and that they “know they don’t like it because they’ve never tried it.” But just as the child never knows what he is missing till he overcomes his fear of vegetables, we will never know the joy and success that we are missing until we overcome our fear of taking risks.

Next week, I am going to go a bit deeper into this subject and expose some negative mindsets that we take towards risk. And then I am going to give you solutions that can help you overcome them. I am trying a few of them myself, and I am seeing positive results already.

See you all next week!

 

[1] http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1869106,00.html

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The Two Falcons

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The Two Falcons

 

Once there was a king who received a gift of two magnificent falcons from Arabia. They were peregrine falcons, the most beautiful birds he had ever seen. He gave the precious birds to his head falconer to be trained.

Months passed and one day the head falconer informed the king that though one of the falcons was flying majestically, soaring high in the sky, the other bird had not moved from its branch since the day it had arrived.

The king summoned healers and sorcerers from all the land to tend to the falcon, but no one could make the bird fly. He presented the task to the member of his court, but the next day, the king saw through the palace window that the bird had still not moved from its perch. Having tried everything else, the king thought to himself, “Maybe I need someone more familiar with the countryside to understand the nature of this problem.” So he cried out to his court, “Go and get a farmer.”

beautiful-falcon-flying-wallpaper-1502In the morning, the king was thrilled to see the falcon soaring high above the palace gardens. He said to his court, “Bring me the doer of this miracle.”

The court quickly located the farmer, who came and stood before the king. The king asked him, “How did you make the falcon fly?”

With his head bowed, the farmer said to the king, ” It was very easy, your highness. I simply cut the branch where the bird was sitting.”

We are all made to fly — to realize our incredible potential as human beings. But instead of doing that, we sit on our branches, clinging to the things that are familiar to us. The possibilities are endless, but for most of us, they remain undiscovered. We conform to the familiar, the comfortable, the mundane. So for the most part, our lives are mediocre instead of exciting, thrilling and fulfilling.

So let us learn to destroy the branch of fear we cling to and free ourselves to the glory of flight.

 

If you are feeling like the falcon and would like help in “cutting the branch”, we are here to help you! You can sign up for our “Dream Coaching” here:

http://www.thirumurdavidkiran.com/dream-coaching/

Alternatively, you can choose to attend one of our “Be the Hero” Events and learn how to take control of your life and make it a successful one.

http://www.thirumurdavidkiran.com/be-the-hero-of-your-own-story/

 

 

Grow Anywhere!

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It’s amazing where you can find inspiration from if you are looking for it.

A few weeks ago, I was in Mumbai. My family used to live on Madh Island when I was a baby and so I took a ferry there on a Sunday evening track down my old living place. Although I couldn’t find it, I had the chance to watch the sun set on the beach. And since I’ve always loved beach sunsets, It was an opportunity not to be missed.

On this particular beach, there was no sand, only rocks. As I was walking towards the coastline, I noticed this small plant growing up between the cracks in the rocks. Here–in the most likely place where all conditions were against it–here was growth!

No matter what the condition are like around you, don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do your best to grow into your potential. You are destined for great things!

You’ll Never Guess What Tom Brady Just Did!

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Congratulations to the New England Patriots on winning the 51st Super Bowl. What makes the win so astonishing is the fact that they were down 28-3 in the third quarter of the game and came back to win it 28-34! It was a legendary game that will go down through the ages as a true example of the fact that it’s ALWAYS too early to quit.

Take a cue from Tom Brady and his boys for your personal success. Not matter what the score, no matter what the outlook,  it ain’t ever over till it’s over. You’ve just got to dig in and keep fighting–and you just might make history!

Life is a Voyage…

This is of my favorite quotes of all time. In fact. I’ve made it a mantra of mine and I advise the people who attend my “Be the Hero” events to do the same. In life, we have no control over where we were born, the way we look, our family, the place we grew up, etc. But we have absolute control over our choices and ability to use these things to have a successful life. Just because you were “born this way” (apologies to Lady Gaga) doesn’t mean that you are forever fated to remain in those same circumstances. In a meeting with the legend Brain Tracy last week, I learned that 87% of all billionaires in the world today came from poor or low middle class families. Life isn’t always about the cards you’ve been dealt. It’s how you play with them that counts. A person doesn’t have to be a victim of their circumstances. You can use your unique situation to your advantage. Don’t know how? Write me today and I’ll help you do it! Happy Sunday!

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“Reflecting on 2016” part 4: My Goals for 2017

(Note: For the past few days, I’ve been reflecting on 2016 and planning for 2017. Thank you for joining my thoughts and meditations. This is the final instalment. Hope you enjoy it!)

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Today is the final instalment of my reflecting on the year gone by and the year to come. I hope that you’ve enjoyed the journey with me so far and I pray that it has been a blessing to your life in some way. The things I’ve shared have been deep lessons that are very personal to me and it has taken a bit of courage to share them, as I generally tend to be a private person. But, as someone told me years ago when I was first starting out in my blogging, people want to see the real you. Everyone can relate to real stories of struggles, joys, and triumphs. And so I hope my time with you has helped you to not only know me better, but that it has encouraged you in some way.

Today, I am going to be tackling the final point of this series: my goals for 2017. This should be a fun one! Once again, this is in no particular order. Here I go:

 

– I want to take time to go through life slowly. I want to enjoy each and every minute of every day. I don’t want to be rushing down the street so fast that I can’t admire the sunset. I don’t want to be focusing so much on what I am going to say that I miss the beauty of listening to the person who I am communicating with. I don’t want to be so eager to reach somewhere that I miss the journey along the way. I don’t want to eat too quickly that I don’t savor the scent and the taste of the dish. I don’t want a day to go by where I don’t go slow at some point and just enjoy the simple joys of being alive.

– I want to be more grateful for each and every thing in my life–good or bad. I want to be able to go through life with a smile on my face and a praise on my lips. Sure, life plain sucks at times but it is also beautiful. I want to celebrate that.

– I want to show more love and care to the people around me. I want each person that interact with to feel genuine interest and care from me. I want every interaction that I have to have meaning and to leave someone feeling better. This, of course, will only happen if I am going slow enough to value these interactions and if I am living a life of positivity and gratefulness. It all ties in together.

– I also want to focus on my health this year. It’s been something I’ve let slide over the past few years and I can’t afford to let it slide any further. This year, I am going to focus on making myself better.

– I also want to get one of my books published this year. It’s been a goal for a few years now, but this year I will do my utmost to make it a reality.

– My final goal for 2017 is to not be afraid to step out and challenge myself to claim opportunities when they arise. I will be writing more about this in the next few weeks–please do join me for that–but I want to begin by setting the premise for a year of stepping out. I have always been a cautious person (more about this in my next blog post). I’ve let countless opportunities go by me because I deliberated them for too long. This year, I want to have the courage to chase things that I’ve been afraid to chase before. I want to look back at the end of 2017 with satisfaction and not with regret. Regret comes from knowing that we could have done something but we didn’t, or could have done something differently. This year, I want to my best to avoid that by taking chances as they come. As Celine Dion once said, “What do you say to taking chances?” This year, I want my response to be: “Amen and bring it on!”

 

Happy New Year to you all!!!

 

The Courage of a Soldier

Success is not for the faint of heart. Success is not for the pretenders. Success is not for the dabblers. Success is for those who give it their all. Success is for those who genuinely throw themselves headlong at their intended goal. Success is for those who are courageous enough to buck the tide and stand firm in the face of all obstacles. Blessed, therefore, are they who seize upon their dream and do not let go until they see it become reality. It will truly be a hard fight, but the courage of a soldier is what wins the war! Have a wonderful Friday!

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