Flights Of Fantasy
[ M Panging Pao ]
What is common between Tapi Mra, Anshu Jamsenpa and Taka Tamut? They are all Arunachalees who successfully climbed Mt Everest, the highest peak in the world. There is another aspect common to all of them: all of them overcame fear to successfully summit Mt Everest.
Similar is the story of astronauts, fighter pilots, submariners, commandoes, skydivers, and parachute jumpers. All of them experience fear: fear of height, fear of injury, fear of drowning, fear of the unknown, fear of death, etc. In all these cases, fear is overcome incrementally with training, exposure, and experience. All these persons learn to overcome fear with perseverance, grit and sheer determination to excel in their respective fields.
Most successful candidates of competitive exams like UPSC, APPSC, IIT, IIM, AIIMS, etc, overcome the fear of failure and the fear of ridicule by following a strenuous study/tuition routine. Likewise, successful writers, artists and singers overcome the fear of failure and the fear of ridicule by perseverance, hard work, and persistence. JK Rowling, the famous writer and author of the Harry Potter series, is a great example. Her novel was rejected dozens of times by many publishers before becoming the best seller in the history of fiction.
Similarly, many entrepreneurs and industrialists take great risks with big investments. Entrepreneurs and industrialists introduce new products and new ideas in the market with a fear that rejection by the public might lead to failure of the project. They overcome the fear of failure in business, fear of bankruptcy, fear of ridicule through detailed preparation, hard work and innovation to emerge successful.
There’s a fitting quote: “If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit at home and think about it. Go out and do it”. To be achievers, one has to step out of the comfort zone and challenge oneself. After we conceive a new project or plan, unless we take the first step towards achieving the selected goal and keep taking step after step, we cannot realize our dreams.
A group of persons saw a dream that humans could land on the moon. The group planned in detail, executed their plan, and successfully landed on the moon – not once but many times. Today, humans are planning to land on Mars.
Many successful persons in the world, like Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, APJ Abdul Kalam, astronaut Yuri Gagarin, Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary stepped out of their comfort zones, overcame fear to emerge successful, and became pioneers of human civilization.
Human beings are different from animals due to the fact that we can dream new ideas, think and plan logically, and innovate and persevere to overcome fear. Like they say, “Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.”
Do we have it in us to overcome fear and emerge successful?
Kyonki… dar ke aage jeet hai. (The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)