I have often heard people remarking, “Look at him, what a magic in his personality! Everything that he touches turns into gold… but poor me, condemned to crawl along all through life!” Sounds very convincing, though far from being true!

I strongly believe that no one is born with a silver spoon in his mouth. But, the truth is that all of us are created to be winners and achievers. It is all a matter of perception – how we look at life, and what we want to make of our lives. Self-pity and negative thinking have no place in the life of an achiever. Instead, belief in one’s potential, a clear vision, ability to dream, and willingness to work hard till the goal is reached are qualities that go to make one a winner, an achiever.

Here is an interesting story that I read recently in an old book: Once upon a time, a farmer found an eagle’s egg in a nearby bush.  He brought it home, and got it hatched along with his hens’ eggs. The young eagle grew up with the chicks in the farm, doing exactly what they did. He got into scratching all around, looking for worms; chucked and cackled like the chicken, and once in a way attempted to fly a few feet towards the sky when really excited…. That was all that he could do at his best, he thought.

One day, he saw a bird-like thing floating in the sky. “What’s that?” he asked his friend. “Oh, that’s an eagle, the king of birds; but forget about it, you can never be like him,” his friend advised him. The poor eaglet believed his friend, and never gave a second thought to it, all his life, and finally died thinking him is a chicken!

Quite many of us do exactly the same with our lives. We go through life, fully convinced that we are really chicken, while in reality we are eagles, equipped with the power to fly high up in the sky and be achievers!

Abraham Lincoln was one of the greatest Presidents the United States of America ever had. His unique contribution to abolishing slavery in the US, and across the whole world, can never forgotten. I believe that whatever Lincoln achieved in life was the result of his firm faith in himself, and in his dreams, even in the face of numerous failures that he encountered in life.

Lincoln became the President of the United States at the ripe age of 60. But, before he finally realized his dream, he tasted failures all the way. Lincoln failed miserably in his business at the age of 31; was defeated for the Legislature at 32, once again failed in business at 34; the very next year he lost his wife. He had a nervous breakdown at 38, tasting defeat at the election once again, the same year, and again twice for Congress at the age of 43 and 47. Yet again, he was defeated in the election he ran for at 56, but was finally elected President, four years later, at the age of 60, paving the way for the historic declaration of the abolishment of slavery.

A young College student facing some serious problems once approached a well-known psychiatrist for advice. He poured out all his woes to the counsellor, and told him that he is thoroughly frustrated that no one could help him to date. The psychiatrist looked at the boy with empathy, and consoled him saying: “I know someone who can help you; in my opinion, he is the only person who can do something for you in the present situation! Would you promise that you will listen to him and do what he asks you to?”

“Yes, sir, for sure,” the boy replied sounding quite hopeful.

The psychiatrist now led him by the hand to his inner chamber. Keeping up the suspense, he told the youngster to face a curtain. He then slowly drew the curtain aside to show the young man his own image in a full-length mirror. In a flash, the boy understood what the psychiatrist was trying to impress upon him. Beaming with joy at the new discovery, he told the psychiatrist: “I now understand that having faith in myself is the only way to solving my problems. I know what I NEED TO DO, NOW.”

Abraham Lincoln had full faith in himself, and he was truly convinced that in spite of all the failures he faced in life, he would one day reach the goal that he had set for himself. Nothing would really stop him from going ahead, as he was fully convinced that every defeat/failure he faced was only taking him one step closer to the Presidency!

On the contrary, the young man above suffered, and possibly reached the point of a breakdown, because he underestimated himself and his real potential, failing to look at the way Lincoln looked at life and the bitter experiences that he came across in life.

A year ago, I went visiting a cousin of mine, a retired bureaucrat who likes to spend most of his free time at the computer his son gifted him on his retirement. He would sit down for hours at a stretch, trying to discover the many special features of the new computer. So, I was not surprised to find him at his computer, even this time around. He promptly called me to his side, saying, “Look at this computer; it’s such a fantastic thing! We should consider ourselves really fortunate to have a computer in most of our homes now. It is a pity though, that most of us make use of less than 50% of the features the present-day computers have!”

This reminds me of what Thomas Alva Edison once said, “Very few of us know what we are really capable of doing (achieving); we have never pushed ourselves hard enough to find that out!” The number of discoveries that Edison made clearly proves how true this is! This is equally true of each one of us.

If you really search well within, you are sure to discover that treasure (jewel) within you: the great person called to be an achiever. You will surely realize that you are better than you think you are, and this is the first step you need to take towards becoming a winner, an achiever!