Think of things before they fix you up!
Life is like a sprinting river and most people jump-frog on the river without ever deciding where they want to end up. They set off on journey without even a little spadework. In a short period of time, they find themselves caught up in the current: current events, current fears and current challenges. When they come to forks in the river, they don’t consciously decide where they want to go or which is the right direction for them? They merely ‘go with the flow’. They become a part of the mass of the people who are directed by the environment instead of by their own values.
As a result, they feel out of control. They remain in this unconscious state until one day the sounds of raging water awakens them and they discover that they are five feet from Niagara Falls in a boat with no oars. At this point, they say, “Oh Shit”. But by then, it is too late.
The phenomenon of jumping on the liver of life without any anchors or destination or desired outcomes in mind is called Niagara Syndrome. The term was coined by Anthony Robbins and he extensively written on the syndrome in his book “Awaken the Giant Within”.
Stephan Covey relates a similar analogy of the person who spends his entire life climbing the ladder of success only to realize, when he arrives at the top that his ladder is leaning against the wrong wall. The obvious difference between these two described analogies is, the Person in first phenomenon is “passive and lethargy” but the other is “active and with Perseverance” and so he climbs against the pull of gravity!
Throughout life, we are faced with choices that determine whether we flow in a different river or climb a different ladder. When we base decisions and actions on our values, we end up where we want to be!
Are we, the Medical Students, sure that we are not in the middle of the ladder of success that leans against the wrong wall?Do the sounds of raging water awaken us? Or still we need time to get them into our ears?
How to avoid or recover from Niagara Syndrome in our life?
Deciding upstream what to focus on.
When we are going to take a fall; it may be a financial set back or the breakup of a relationship or maybe even a health problem or even the carrier they have preferred, in almost all of the cases the fall could have been prevented by making better decisions up stream.
Developing proactive approach and fixing things before they fix you up
We need to act to control a situation by causing something to happen rather than waiting to respond to it after it happens. As We delay to act, we get a narrow spectrum of choices and we get fixed to take a particular decision.
Erecting second and third line of defense (Plan B & Plan C)
Forget not to include the failure of current strategy as one of the possible results and think of alternative approaches to get your goals
Value Clarification! – Have your own value of life
Finding out what is most important to us may seem like an overwhelming task because we have so many thing to consider. Value clarification – a process of clarifying and applying what we truly value –is helpful to reduce the stress that comes from making choices that are inconsistent with our values. Value clarification is a cognitive process that helps close the gap between what we value and what we actually do.
Clarifying and prioritizing values has great benefit. Many companies and corporations around the world have gone through the same process of finding what is most important to the company and then striving to live according to that understanding. The end result is commonly called a mission statement or a constitution.And it is true with individuals too. If we keep on striving without having an anticipated destination, we will end up in vain like the person climbing on the wrong ladder.
Actions are based, either consciously or unconsciously, on values. Our values become the basis for every decision that we make. By often reminding we of our values and thinking deeply about what they meant to us, little by little these values will become part of us.They will guide us to become the person we most want to be.
Inner Peace is the natural consequence!
This article by B. Paul Bright (33rd Batch), was appeared in the First MSU Newsletter published in September 2013.