"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear." Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela was a nonviolence anti-apartheid activist, politician and philanthropist who became South Africa’s first black president from 1994 to 1999. Becoming actively involved in the anti-apartheid movement in his 20s, Mandela joined the African National Congress in 1942. For 20 years, he directed a campaign of peaceful, nonviolent defiance against the South African government and its racist policies. Beginning in 1962, Mandela spent 27 years in prison for political offenses. In 1993, Mandela and South African President F.W. de Klerk were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to dismantle the country's apartheid system. For generations to come, Nelson Mandela will continue to be a source of inspiration for civil rights activists worldwide.
Nelson Mandela is a Quester. Famous and regular Questers are described in the 6 ed, of the award-winning, Questers Dare Change Your Job and Life. https://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1508408963. Courageous Questers tend to have the following characteristics.
Self-confident. They know who they are and want. They're genuine, know their capabilities, and believe they can meet given challenges.
Integrity. They're tolerant, loyal, moral, principled, and follow the law.
Conviction. They have a sense of purpose and express beliefs consistently and predictably. They don’t follow the crowd or change opinions unless new facts are presented.
Leadership. Courageous leaders motivate people with personal charisma, expertise, and respect, rather than status or position. They're not deterred by what others think of them.
Courageous leaders embrace change. They know that change is part of life and many great technological and scientific advances have been realized by welcoming change.
Trustworthy. They understand the importance of honesty and full disclosure. They believe people will make wise decisions if their options are presented openly, honestly, and objectively.
Adversity. They're willing to challenge the status quo to resolve given problems or issues.
Integrated. They use intellect and intuition when making decisions.
Bold, confident, courageous leaders like Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela, who have guts to confront risks and lead their nations to peace and prosperity, are crucial in changing times. Who do you think is a courageous leader of a nation or organization today? What can you do to strengthen courage in your personal and professional life?
- Take responsibility for your life. Create new opportunities with your current or another employer. Consider time out, full or part-time study, travel or self employment.
- Know and accept yourself. Know your purpose. When you're true to your purpose, you experience harmony and stability. When you ignore your spiritual self, you experience indecision and doubt. Work at achieving goals that are compatible with your purpose. Believe you'll attain them. Don't try to live up to others' expectations.
- Identify personal and transferable skills. These enable you to perform in varied situations. Employers value adaptive skills like openness to ideas, persistence, critical evaluation, enthusiasm, helpfulness, patience, optimism and tolerance.
- Strengthen "meta skills." These skills for tomorrow can’t be easily automated. They include problem solving, research, judgment, inspiration, relationship building, ethical leadership, mental training and emotional intelligence.
Continuously update technical and professional skills and strengthen Quester qualities like authenticity, purpose, risk, confidence and resilience.
- Watch self talk. Keep a log to track the negatives you say. Each time you catch yourself saying something that fuels your fear, replace it with a more positive statement. Think "I can" instead of "I can't
- Cultivate and use intuition. Intuitive skills help you deal with ambiguous circumstances. Practice relaxation to slow your mind and listen to inner signals. Ask dreams for direction before going to sleep. Keep a journal. Pray. Communicate with nature.
- Continue to learn. Lifelong learning is the ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge for personal, interpersonal, leisure, health, spiritual or professional reasons. Workshops, online courses, night school, apprenticeship programs, and correspondence school offer programs. Some learning activities are recognized by traditional educational institutions and may be called adult education.
- Think critically. Critical thinkers ask questions, evaluate, categorize, and find relationships. To read critically, ask: What are main points? Can I put this into my own words? Is a bias apparent? Could a different conclusion be drawn? Are ideas supported by evidence? Do I agree with the author? What are implications?
- Strengthen creativity. Approach the problem from different angles. Ask for feedback from people with different backgrounds. Avoid negativity. View work differently. What would happen if you shrink, enlarge or change its shape?
Seize opportunities. Go beyond borders. Nothing is beyond reach! Follow the examples of the Questers in Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life.
Dr. Carole Kanchier, registered psychologist, career and personal growth expert, is author of the award winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life: Carole Kanchier inspires people to realize their potential and look at career growth in new ways to succeed. Dr. Kanchier pioneered the unique model of lifelong growth and decision making which she shares in "Questers."