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Want to succeed? Run towards fear

Last updated on: December 11, 2012 09:01 IST

Want to succeed? Run towards fear


Courtesy Careers360
The story of the Zen master and the dogs in the temple has often been told and the message is that it can and has changed lives, writes Prakash Iyer.

The story goes that while visiting a little Himalayan kingdom, the master decided to visit the temple there.

As he walked in with his local guide through the temple gates, he saw two large, ferocious dogs chained to the iron grills at the entrance.

Their tongues were wagging, the saliva was dripping. And they were barking non-stop. Just the kind of sight that could instil fear in anybody's mind!

"Don't worry, master!" said the helpful guide. "I know they look really scary. But the chains are very strong, and there is no way the dogs can break free!"

The master continued to walk through the long courtyard, towards the main temple. Even as he tried to concentrate on the temple's history that the guide was narrating, he kept looking back at those dogs. And his ears seemed to be echoing with the noise of their barking.

And as he looked back one more time, he could not believe what he saw. The dogs had broken free from their chains, and were running towards him. Instantly, the master started to run too.

Directly towards the dogs! Yes, he began to run -- not away from the dogs, but towards them!

And guess what happened? The dogs were so surprised to see the master running towards them that they quietly turned and went back towards the gate!

The author is MD, Kimberly-Clark Lever and Executive Coach. For more inspiring life lessons, read Mr Iyer's new book The Habit of Winning.

Photographs: Dominic Xavier/


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Think of those ferocious dogs as symbolising the biggest fears in your life. What do we all tend to do? We tend to run away from our fears. And hope that they will go away.

May be a good idea to take a leaf from the monk's book and run towards your fears. Confront your fears – nay, embrace them – and you will find that you will conquer your fears!

Many of us go through our lives with a constant fear of failure. So we live a life of unfulfilled potential. Break the cycle. Face your fear.

Scared of water? Join swimming classes!

Scared of public speaking? Grab every opportunity to address a gathering.

Afraid you might fail in your dream entrepreneurial venture? Well, give it a shot, get started. Never mind the outcome – one thing is guaranteed. The fear will vanish.

Someone once said that FEAR is really an acronym – and it stands for 'False Expectations Appearing Real'. And once you understand that, you could take a big step towards achieving your dreams.

Think of your fears as a wall ahead of you. Your success and happiness lie on the other side of that wall. And yet, what do we do? We run away from the wall, away from our dreams. To find success, you need to get to the wall, and scale it. And as you get to the wall – to your fear – you will discover that it was no wall really, just a little hedge that you can easily jump over!

Cricket fans will probably remember the Lord's Test between India and England in 1990. Replying to England's first inning score of 653 for four declared, India were 430 for 9, when the last man walked out to join Kapil Dev.

India needed 24 runs to avoid the follow on. With just one wicket left. The pressure was on. Tension, fear, anxiety filled the air.

And how did Kapil Dev respond?

He hit four sixes in a row, and knocked off those 24 runs needed to avoid the follow on. Just like that! That's the way to deal with your fears. Run towards them. Or as Kapil paaji would advise you, hit them for a six.

Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/
Tags: India , FEAR , England

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