Over the last few weeks, I’ve had several close friends who have faced “Moments Of Truth” – job interviews, exams, personal challenges, tough decisions. We engaged in tremendous discussions on how to Seize The Moments Of Truth. Several of them asked me to blog about our learnings on how we maximize the powerful combination of Courage, Preparation, Purpose, Confidence Aura, and Faith.
Courage – The great Eleanor Roosevelt once said “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this….I can take the next thing that comes along’.” To burst through expectations and achieve success in critical situations, we must first acknowledge our concerns, our fears. I have often mentioned the “little voice” that serves to distract us and steal our confidence. Our fears must be flipped directly into positive action. Al Bru, former CEO of Frito-Lay coined the phrase”Adelante Con Valor” which means “Move Forward With Courage.” It is this type of Courageous Mindset that will serve to fuel your success. Imagine yourself in a positive situation. Think about how great you feel after the successful interview, acing the exam, and making a great decision. This visualization of success is very powerful.
Preparation- Along with this Courageous mindset must come a definitive effort to enable an Improved Skill Set, your capabilities, your knowledge. It is not enough to merely wish your way to a positive outcome. If you have a big presentation, know your content and practice your delivery. If you have an exam, study the material and don’t cram. If you have a big job interview, learn about the company, prepare your answers to tough questions, and craft meaningful questions. This preparation might even involve asking for support from others. The brave Cesar Chavez said “You are never strong enough that you don’t need help”. Prepare yourself for the moments to come. Knowing that you have done all that can to be “ready” will give you tremendous strength.
Purpose – Juan Lopez from Amsitad & Associates, a great friend and mentor, once asked me “Angel, why is it YOUR time?” Frankly, I had a very tough time with the answer. I did not quite understand what he meant by it. It was a sobering moment as I realized that I had no immediate response. I had not spent the time needed to define my purpose, the compass that I would need to achieve my potential. It was not until I crafted my Life Message, “Impact The Life Of Thousands For The Better”, that I began to embrace my destiny- to achieve success as I served others. Accepting why I am destined to succeed, has given me confidence during the great times and strength during the tough times. Knowing Your Purpose will drive you to effective decision making and strong actions. I specifically want to direct this point of feedback to our young people, those future leaders who are considering their possibilities. Be sure to ask yourself “what am I passionate about?”, “what am I good at?”, “who am I trying to please?”, and “why is this important?” If you have big decision like choosing where to go to college, analyze the pros and cons of the choice, think about how the school might open doors for the future. Think about how the choice enables your purpose – a purpose based on your passions and considerations. Give yourself the license to dream big, you have a lifetime ahead of you and many people who will celebrate your success.
Confidence Aura – In my opinion, the most successful people are those who are self-aware, those who are conscious of how they are perceived. It has often been described as one’s Aura, our image. Lucian Freud, the noted English painter, was quoted as saying “the aura given out by a person or object is as much a part of them as their flesh.” The ability to create your aura of confidence is critical to your success. As you approach your Moment Of Truth with courage, preparation, and purpose, you will give off a sense of confidence that others will pick up on. Stand Tall, look people right in the eye, smile at them, and be genuinely happy to have the opportunity to succeed. When you walk into the room, people will notice and will be drawn to your positive energy. Have your “mojo” at it’s best. I have been asked “what’s the difference between Confidence and Arrogance?” The fine line between the two is based on your Humility. A sense of humility acknowledges that you are indeed a work in progress. While you are confident in your skills and potential, you know that you are bound to get better. Also, practice maintaing an internal Peace in tough situations. Establish calming signals for yourself when you feel nervousness coming on. Physical cues like curling your toes, making a fist, or paced breathing are very effective. No matter what happens outside, stay cool on the inside. This will help you explain yourself better, avoid “fast talking”, and allow you to think more clearly. This insight is best captured by modern day philosopher and spritiual leader, Deepak Chopra, “In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you”.
Faith – Faith is the most critical building block. It is based on the belief that the Creator does not gives us anything that we can’t handle. We must savor life’s learnings on every level. The greatest performers know that they were placed in a Moment Of Truth by the Higher Power. Success which glorifies the confidence placed in them by the Great Spirit is the only option. They also perpetually “Give Thanks” for their success by acknowledging how Faith made a difference. This Faith permeates everything in their lives – how they impact others, how they lead, how they prepare, how they perform. Mohandas Gandhi, a historical leader of enormous significance, proclaimed “My Life is my message”. Amazing words to live and succeed by, all based on on a powerful Faith.
I hope that these insights are helpful as YOU Seize Your Moments Of Truth.
I appreciate the many of you who have made suggestions about the site. I pledge to make it more active and interactive.
Finally, thank you for inspiring me to serve. All the best to you and your families during the special days ahead.