Be Courageous


My first taste of positive thinking comes from reading Norman Vincent Peale’s books.  I still remember how tall I suddenly stand and everything becomes possible for me after reading his books.

That was over a decade ago.  I took on a job that required me to create a database and I knew nothing of database much less creating one.  I did however knew my sister was dabbling with it a bit and thought it could not have been that difficult.

Then I realised that she was only using the most elementary commands to filter queries, processing simple sorts and performing straight data entry in Foxpro which required some computer programming language knowledge.  What had I got myself into?  I started to sweat inside and not daring to show my discomfort outwardly.

It was around this time that I have decided to broaden my reading materials and picked up “The Power Of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale where I have gained my determination and focus to succeed.

It was in those days when Lotus was leading the market in desktop applications while Microsoft was furiously catching up fast.  The company bought me Lotus Approach but I found out later that Microsoft was more user-friendly and much easier to learn and develop databases with.  I managed to convince the company to invest in the software and I ploughed through the entire instruction manual from sun-up to sun-down, often forgetting to eat and drink.

I focused all my energy to get it right and right I did get.  The database was up and running.  My bosses thought the wonders of me (I guess it would not be too difficult since all of them were over 50 years old and their IT skills were a lot less than mine).  The database continued to run for the next 5 years before it was replaced.  It was not a super application by any standard but it was a significant achievement for me.

I took a chance – the possibility of failing that could land me out of the door or at the very least lost my credibility.  I did it anyway.

Was that courage?  Maybe.  Was that self-confidence?  Perhaps.  Thinking back, before and after this incident, I have always been daring in committing myself to projects that I know little about and I have this little inner voice pushing me forward.  More often than not, I end up finishing with relatively good results.  I do not know whether it was courage or fool-hardiness though I would like to think it was the former.

I got a lot of self-satisfaction out of that exercise, boosting my self-confidence no end.  It took me to other places higher up the ladder simply because I would not allow myself to say “no, I cannot do it” to anything thrown my way.  My personal mottos become “until I try I will never know” and “what do I have to lose?”.

Since then whenever I have a dilemma and starting to tread down the road of negativity, I would recall my past victories to hold up as examples to remind myself, to give me the strength and courage to climb and scale once again.  Now, isn’t that what it means to think positively?

I will leave you this quote from Norman Vincent Peale to ponder:

“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”

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