Tag Archives: Viktor Frankl

Mind Article – Courage to Change

Many times, be it in fitness or in life. We face uphill challenges, usually those that will uproot us and cause us to sell out our dreams for something less (and again in some point of time, to sell out for something lesser until our dreams are effectively and totally sold out ). Circumstances or people, tell us in our face that we should do this or that – that this job is the dream job or that we look good with the excess weight and should focus on more important things in life other than health and fitness. They have our best interest in mind and would want us to take the least risk adverse route in life. But the least risk adverse route is not always the best route (see previous article).

The direct relationship between Life and Courage

In the face of uncertainty, we always want to stick with the well trodden path that many people (who don’t know us as well as we know ourselves) think is right for us – and if we accept it, we will resign ourselves to limits that circumstances and people impose on us.

I always remember this video by Victor Frankl – a powerfully motivational man who says that “If you take man as what he really is, we make him worse. But if we seem to be idealist and overestimate him and see him for what he CAN be, we promote him to what he really is capable of. So we have to be idealist in a way, so we can be the true realist and unlock the potential of man.” Goethe also quotes that “When we treat man as he is, we make him worse than he is; when we treat him as if he already were what he potentially could be, we make him what he should be.”

In order to go where we need to go, it requires a lot of trying and not settling for things that are not in line with our purpose – it requires COURAGE.  When we try to change something, there is always resistance -strong resistance. When we try to start a fitness routine, we have to deal with major muscle aches, time reschedules, lack of instant results, pain of not eating whatever we can. Likewise, be it a career move or decision to study something you want, we will always face major obstacles.

We need the courage to not back down and somehow bite down hard and keep trying all avenues. Change is never easy, but neither is life. If we aim for an easy life, we would find out that we never truly achieved anything. If we never struggled, we would lose that fighting spirit to really go out and get what we want, instead of relying on our own personal power, we would then be relying on sifting through whatever life throws at us hoping it would be a piece we want. Which is not how we would want to live.

I believe that to change, we need courage, not excuses. If Thomas Edison accepted when his teacher told him he was too stupid to learn anything where he was counselled to go into a field where he might succeed by virtue of his pleasant personality. Would he end up where is was ?

Limits are what others and circumstances impose on ourselves. Creatively limits have been constantly erased by people who believed in themselves (rather than circumstances or other people).

Nick shows us that its courageously possible to live life fully if you don't limit what you are capable of.

Nowhere is  this more true than in Nick Vujicic, who was born with no arms and legs. He has gone on to skydive, surf, play golf and soccer, achieve a university degree and even win a fight against a school bully (by launching a flying head butt) and is one of the best motivational speakers in the world. If someone told him that he could not achieve anything in life without limbs, where would he end up ? If he did not believe in himself and things that he can accomplish , where would hthen end up? Always have the courage to stand up things you want to change and with conviction it is possible to find a way.

We all have a choice, to choose a better life (or bitter life). Have the courage to choose a better life.