Fear is not such a bad word after all. If it were not for fear, many things would stagnate and fall into the trap of the inertia of success. It is not what you fear that matters but what you do because of the fear. Fear can snare or preserve you depending on how you work with it. Use fear as a tool for personal change. Let it jolt you out of complacency and thinking that the past is permanent. Befriend fear, but never be fearful and timid. Your posture should never be that of a victim. Determine that you will survive and thrive despite all the fears around you.
Being mindlessly afraid and running senselessly makes you lose your bearings. Instead befriend fear, let it inspire you into action and learn to work with it to charge forward in your greatness journey. When fear is confronted it becomes a useful friend and a vital tool of progress.
In his 1996 book, “Only the Paranoid Survive,” Andrew S. Grove talks about how to exploit the crisis points that challenge ever company and career. He talks about how a health paranoia helped his organisation Intel to survive life threatening changes in the computer industry. Grove says: “Only the paranoid survive, sooner or later something fundamental in your business world will change.” Fundamental changes happen, will happen and continue to happen. Many times these big changes do not advertise their coming and find many unprepared or in denial. When change comes be afraid of being left behind and being irrelevant in the new order. Let fear prompt you to take action.
Nothing remains the same. Have a healthy fear of remaining in the same place, frozen, confused and immobilised. Change is the order of the universe. What has stopped changing has stopped growing. What you do when things change is important. Listen fearfully well to the changes taking place or those that you see in the horizon coming. Check whether what you are hearing is a signal or mere noise. The signals may be strong or weak. Fear the strong signals and take action. Fear that you will miss the faint ands weak signals and listen more. Take action when you sense a signal and keep alert when you hear noises. A healthy dose of fear will preserve you if you befriend fear and confront it with a set-up mind and resolute action.
There are times when big changes occur and your world is never the same afterwards. You may delay but ultimately you cannot stop change from happening. Do what you can at least prepare and tune your mind to survive whatever change happens. Keep sober and alert and be afraid that change will pass you by. Be vigilant and strategic and know where to play and how to play. What you should fear is that sometimes big changes do not make big noises and you therefore faith to make big moves and take big bets. Be afraid of standing still in the heavy traffic of life.
Change comes and becomes new reality. Play to your faith and not your fears. Use fear as a warning and faith as a torch. One is a brake and the other is an accelerator. You have every right to fear, but you must never become despondent or disillusioned. Do not lose hope and confidence. Fear faced frees you. Let fear jolt you from the inertia of success and the comforts of yesterday’s agenda. Befriend your fears, knowing that fear might not be an enemy, but a signal to prepare and do things differently. It is not what happens that matters but how you respond to whatever happens. Fear is not the enemy, but just a signal. It is how you respond that is the friend or enemy.
Coming to Your Area Soon
There are adverts that usually end with the words, “Coming to your area soon!” The same could be said of change. Big changes affects industries, suppliers, business models, products, people, systems, laws. Do not pine so much for the past it is not coming back. Never relax in your yesterdays because tomorrow will be so different. If you are stuck in yesterday be afraid. If you had banked on the past never changing be afraid. If all your references are to be forgone, be afraid. If your strategy is based on the good old days, you need a good old fashioned dose of fear to jolt you out of your complacency. Past success is not a guarantee for future success. Keep learning and growing. The proverbial cheese has moved and it is time to put on your running shoes again. Be afraid that someone could move the cheese yet again. Keep smelling and watching fearful what is happening to the cheese.
No one is insulated from change. It is coming to the arena near you soon. Fear the changes coming to your arena and fearfully prepare well. What things are today is not what they will always be. You may have travelled but you have not arrived. Be the change that you want to see. Work on yourself and make yourself change-compliant. It better for change to find you prepared than for it to find you complacent and complaining. You are not a victim. Be afraid to remain behind and to become irrelevant. Be afraid to remain in the past and start working on yourself. Do not fear change, welcome it as the new reality and learn to work with it.
Coming to Business
Do not take a narrow view to life and business. Changes taking place far could affect you. Be aware and alive to change. Change drives business forward and buries in the corporate cemeteries those institutions and people that do not want to change. Complacency kills that is why only the paranoid survive. New changes and challenges come. Be afraid and be determined to rise above the tide, face the storms and keep moving. Never allow any change to find straddled with the posture of a victim.
Joseph A. Schumpeter in writing about Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy in 1942 wrote: “But in a capitalist reality, as distinguished from its textbook picture, it is not (price) competition, which counts but the competition from the new commodity, the new technology, the new source of supply, the new type of organisation…competition which…strikes not at the margins of the existing firms but at their foundations and their very life.” Keep moving changing and improving. There is a new tide of change ever coming in business. Every day wake up to run and think differently. Challenge your model, review your strategy and upgrade your thinking.
In this day and age there is no reason why you should ever be content to know what you knew long ago. Be afraid to be guided by ideas whose time is past. Change is taking place all the time and the past is not the future. Be afraid of the snare of the familiar. Whatever you knew in the years past might easily be outdated. Be afraid of using antiquated tools, they make you inefficient and you appear lazy and unproductive. Keep learning and growing. Be afraid to remain unexposed and parked in the past. In times of change, fear being left behind and become irrelevant. Read like you have an exam tomorrow because you are afraid of remaining behind. It is the learned who are at risk and the learning who survive and thrive whatever the tide. The learned sometimes find themselves beautiful equipped for a world that was and not one that is or will be. Whatever you thought you had mastered is due to undergo massive change soon. Be afraid to be relevant and commit to learning as a life style. Be afraid to go to bed without having learnt anything new. What is your excuse?
Be very concerned when none of your friends ever shares anything about a new book, or new new concept. Be afraid and suspicious of friends that do not read. They likely belong to your past and not your future. Have the fear of any golfer. You do not want to lose your handicap through complacency. Train daily.
Order is what the past was, chaos is what the future looks like. In anything that looks chaotic there is an order that you may not be seeing. Be afraid of being blind to the underlying structures while you spend all the time frustrated by the fruits. Whatever you do not understand looks chaotic. Chaos means that there is a new way of organising things and information at play. Do not fear chaos, embrace it and change. Do not lose your edge, throw away your courage and hope. Fear losing your edge and wake up daily with the determination and focus to win.
There are no guarantees or security in life except the one you find within. As everything changes outside be anchored in the changeless core within. Fear remaining behind and keep running. Fear being blind to change and keep learning. Fear regressing and keep seeking a better way. Fear missing the way and keep checking your direction and bearings. Fear becoming a part of the dead past, and keep upgrading your software and expand the expanse of your possibilities. Your security is in embracing fear as a strategic weapon.
Committed to your greatness.