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The Irrepressible Mind: The courage to continue

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts said Winston Churchill”.


You have heard and read a lot about the power of positive thinking and the life doors it can help you unlock; things you never thought possible, things that were but a distant dream.

It’s true, the power of the mind – and thus positive thinking – is like no other. It’s immense. It helps us to our feet even in the face of the worst of adversity; from deep emotional scars we never thought we could ever recover from. Truly, it’s the stuff of inspiration.

Nothing can come in-between a man with the right mental attitude and his goal, Thomas Jefferson once said, adding that nothing on this earth can help anyone with the wrong mental attitude.

And this I speak not from heresy, not as just another online publication about the benefits of positive thinking. But as living testament to this philosophy. Because I have been there myself, I have endured the most negative of circumstances anyone of us could ever wish on another. This is My story.

But I rose from it all. I rose from the worst conditions anyone would want to find themselves in, let alone try stepping in those shoes even for a day.

And you know what helped me get through it? The mind. A positive mindset regardless of the negative adversity that marked my daily life. A positive mindset which gave me the hope that as long as I had air to breathe, my current situation and life was not cast in stone. To reject the idea that just because I was born in poverty I’d die in poverty. That just because I went for days without a decent bite to call a meal that I’d live the rest of my life this way. That just because I had no shelter I’d live the rest of my life as a vagabond.

And as I write these words, my dear readers, I can tell you for a fact that the secret lies in having a resilient mind. That if you constantly strive to be brain-fit, you will always find the strength to rise up whenever the rug of life is pulled so hard it seems like you’ve spent forever licking your wounds.


The Turning Point

But something you don’t often get to hear is that simply having the right attitude in life is not the end-all. Just because you’ve adopted a positive mindset doesn’t mean all your troubles will vanish overnight. No. It’s just the start. Being brain-fit – what I like to call having an irrepressible mind – is a process. A process best honed by negative events in our lives.

You read that right. It may sound absurd, but there is actually incredible power in hitting rock bottom, or having low moments in your life. As Tony Robbins once said, two things have the power to motivate people to make momentous changes in their lives – desperation and inspiration.

The beauty of being in this position is that there is nowhere else to go, but up. There are few things, if any, you have to lose. You’ve all heard of those rags-to-riches stories. And although you may not be in such a grim situation, these are stories that motivate you to push harder; that make you realize you have amazing power to transform your life if you just care to look and tap into it.

It’s easy to get caught up in our comfort zones when life is moving without hiccups, when we have not hit rock bottom, or had a taste of it. Low moments in our lives embolden our minds and force us to really push the realms of what’s possible – if we are willing to. They give us that grit that is essential to forge on whenever we face setbacks. And I can personally attest to this.

Perhaps it’s good to draw a line on what I mean by rock bottom. You don’t necessarily have to be poor, or into drugs, or living with childhood trauma. It can happen to anyone – poor or rich, top executive in a conglomerate or mailman, young or old.


Life Happens

With the dynamics of this modern life, life can deal us a bad card from time to time, or throw us a curve ball. You may be in a stable, well-paying job today, but you don’t know for certain what will happen tomorrow. There are so many threats to deal with – job loss, death of the dearest person to you, betrayal, kidnapping, terrorism, rape and all other manner of bad things.

In such situations, it’s hard to be upbeat and remain positive. It can be depressing. It can be scary. But somehow, you have to find it within yourself to rise up. You have a choice to let misery consume you, or build a positive mentality that can help you get up every time you face setbacks. Because it’s negative experiences such as these that help us grow stronger, that help us tune our minds positively to face up to any obstacle, to have that resilient mind – the “Irrepressible Mind”.


Finding Inspiration

There are many practical things you could do to build a positive mentality – surrounding yourself with positive people, reading the right books, watching the right movies and listening to the right music, meditation and more.

Another technique I’d like to draw attention to is the power of a motivational speaker. Whether it’s kids you want to inspire at school, or drive profitability at the workplace by inspiring your team to not just work harder, but also find meaning and purpose in their work and life, inspirational speakers are quickly gaining prominence.

Their first-hand success stories are a powerful way to breathe new perspectives to their audience. Just by revealing first-and how positive thinking could change things. Because to reiterate those words by Tony Robbins, all it takes is either of two things – desperation or inspiration.


Jillian Haslam Bio

Jillian is a qualified speaking coach with distinction, and has had a 20 year career in banking, including working with executives at board level. Barclays, Bank of America, and the Royal Bank of Scotland are some of the names on her impressive list of clients.

Born and raised in abject poverty in Calcutta – Jillian is a truly inspirational and professional keynote speaker. She uses her experience and motivational stories to inspire others to face their fears. With her motivational words and her warmth, she engages and empathises with you helping you to wake up, inspire you to do better and be more confident.

Aside from being a successful businesswoman, philanthropist, and conference speaker, she is a published author “Indian.English”. An inspirational story about her life, of finding the road to success, and how she utilises her wisdom and vision to help others.