“The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence”, Charles Bukowski said, and I couldn’t agree more. Not only doubt, but fear, cynicism and numbness, plague the intelligent ones, while the others run amuck, with nothing holding them back.
This has to stop.
So, if you are one of those people who despite having all the best intentions in the world, despite having deep seated convictions of how things should be,despite wanting things to change big time, still find yourself doing nothing, then read on.
First things first, it’s time to OVERCOME DOUBT. There might be many reasons that we doubt ourselves and our abilities. It can be deeply rooted in something someone said to us once upon a time, or because we have failed one too many times or maybe even because we think we are not ready yet. Let me tell you something about your doubts. There will never be the perfect time. You will never feel ready. What people have said about you does not define you. In fact, what others say, does not matter at all.
What matters, and what will always matter, is what you believe in. If you believe that something needs to be said or done or created and you have the strong conviction to back you up, then you are what really matters. Doubt is crippling in its effects and has brought down many a great people. Let it not get a hold of you.
Secondly, we need to OVERCOME FEAR. Fear is often linked with doubt because most of the time we are doubtful because we fear. We fear failure, we fear criticism, we fear harm and therefore we talk ourselves out of doing something worthwhile because our fear seems bigger than anything else. I have quoted this about fear before, and I will quote this again-‘Courage is not the absence of fear but the belief that something else is bigger than the fear’. If what you believe in is more important, more relevant, and bigger than the fears that hold you back, fear can be overcome and courage can take its place, if you let it.
In such moments, any inconvenience, any sacrifice, any threat, becomes null and void because something else is more important. Something else warrants your attention. Something else matters above all. It is in such moments of risk, that great things have the capacity to flourish.
Next, it’s time to OVERCOME CYNICISM. Now you may not believe that you are a cynic, but if every once in a while, you mutter something about how things will never change, you probably are getting there. The world we are living in, unfortunately, makes it very easy for us to believe that everyone is selfish and no matter what anyone does, nothing is ever going to change. But if that was what everyone believed, the United States of America, India or for that matter, most of the countries of the world would not be independent separate states, our community would still be divided on the basis of the colour of people’s skins , some organizations would still have unlimited power over the world and I would definitely not be writing this blog.
The world is changed only by people who have hope, hope that whatever is true and good and noble triumphs even though it looks like darkness has won. So, be one of those people. Be hopeful, be driven, be positive and then, and only then, will things start to look up.
Another by-product of our messed-up world is our immunity to the mess. To stop being immune, we need to OVERCOME THE NUMBNESS. We are well past that stage when one disaster marred one generation of people and that was it. Today, so much happens every minute and we are very aware of it, regardless of where we live or where the disaster has happened. We know where children are suffering. We know where the environment has just given up. We know where wars are brewing. We know where injustice is taking place. We know, and we are not affected because it has begun to seem normal. Today, IF we wake up to good news, we either believe it is fake or we believe it is ultimately not good news at all. We read about the famines, the destruction, the exploitation and the stories with no reaction whatsoever because we’ve heard the same things before and we know for sure we will hear it again.
But, the numbness has to stop because without a heart, we cannot effect change in the world. If we cannot feel, we won’t do anything because it won’t matter anyway. So, open up your hearts, let the emotion seep in and let it fuel your convictions rather than make you feel helpless and vulnerable, and maybe things will change someday.
All of us have some desire within us, to start something new, to create something innovative, to drive change, to help others, to make a difference, but we have our mind holding us back, feeding us with doubt and fear and cynicism and numbness and I think it is high time we break down those strongholds and step into our destiny.
As I said in a recent YouTube video, today we have so many people shouting from the rooftops, screaming, yelling, getting people’s attention but all for the wrong reasons. Why can’t we then take the effort to give ourselves a little push and get out there and do what we need to do? Is that too much to ask?
When people with no values, no heart, no vision, no talent, no convictions, no knowledge whatsoever can take the effort to do things that takes up so much of public space, what is stopping you today?