During many international trips, I met a lot of ambitious and interesting people. It turns out that fear of failure is actually quite common among ambitious high-achievers as they all would like to achieve something great. Yet meanwhile, risks are definitely involved.

  • The biggest risk of all is not taking a risk.

You might fail if you start a business. However, if you do not even start a business, the failure rate is literally 100%. Period.

When the fear of not making it happen is louder, you will break from the fear of failure. Let’s say there are 2 choices: A) failure; B) not making it happen – Which choice do you prefer?

I guess a wise individual like you would know that you should at least try it!

Even if you fail, you still win. Let me explain.

Imagine a failing business…. You have to end it. But throughout this process, you have learned a lot of knowledge and skills. You have also met many great people and built a professional network. These connections are invaluable. Therefore, you are still a winner!

I would argue that even if you fail, the world moves on quickly anyway. I won’t sugarcoat this: The majority of businesses do not succeed. Failure is common everywhere. Nevertheless, if you have already tried your best, you will not have any regret. You don’t really have anything to lose.

  • How to remain positive even in difficult times:

During challenging times, it’s important to remain positive.

First of all, you should totally dwell on your past happiness. Yes, this sounds slightly strange, but here is the rationale:

Your mom told you not to dwell on the past. In effect, she is only trying to tell you not to dwell on your past pain.

Truthfully, many happy things also happened in the past if you carefully think of it, right? Therefore, you can totally dwell on your past happiness!

Still remember thatinternational trip in 2018? Take out those photos today and feel amazing feelings now!

Second, please appreciate things that are going well right now. Even though times are hard in 2020, you may still have a look at what’s going well in your life now. Maybe you are healthy. Perhaps your family members are fine. Do not take any of those for granted, okay? You are supposed to be grateful.

Next, it’s time to make some plans for the future. Most people stay home during the current pandemic, which is totally understandable. Now it’s the right time to make solid plans for the future. You may write down your goals, e.g. 3 goals that you’d like to achieve in the next three months.

international trip

  • Success and money aren’t always the answer.

Nowadays many people just focus on chasing success and money. I think we need a certain amount of wealth so as to be happy because without financial security, we wouldn’t want more meaningful things such as a sense of belonging and love, according to Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs. Having said that, health is more important than money and success. You can’t enjoy your wealth if you aren’t healthy, no matter how rich you are. Full stop.

That’s why everyone must prioritize their health.

Also, we shouldn’t underestimate the power of love. Celine Dion’s song The Power of Love is so powerful, even though it’s slightly corny. Here is the truth: You’re only human, so you have the need to be loved as well as the need to love someone. Without genuine love, your life can’t be truly satisfying.

Hence, success and money aren’t always the answer as apart from material gains, we need love and health as well.

  • The true value of really listening:

Listening skills are totally underrated as most communication books and courses simply teach people how to be an outstanding conversationalist rather than how to listen effectively and carefully.

Based on my observation during international trips, I’ve realized that an individual’s conversational skills wouldn’t work without great listening skills.

Some individuals are good at having impressive conversations. They are attractive, charming and charismatic. Unfortunately, if they aren’t good at listening to others, their conversational skills would be compromised.

A well-calibrated person can listen to others well.

I remember Don Draper once said, “People tell you who they are, but we ignore it because we want them to be who we want them to be.”

Indeed, when you don’t listen to other people, you won’t know who they really are.

Note that there is a difference between listening to somebody and hearing somebody. For example, in a challenging marriage, one individual tells the other person what they actually want. Nonetheless, the other individual just hears that without really listening to their partner.

Hearing something doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve fully understood that individual. You must proactively and effectively listen to that person, thereby truly understanding what they really want.”