Had an awesome weekend with some of my work colleagues. Off Site training programs are always fun. Among the many activities we did, white water rafting and paintball shooting stood out.

Paintball reminded me of how tough it is to survive in a battle field (even a mock one!) if you’re not aware of your surroundings. And, I think the best strategy is to pull of of your cover and attack. Yes, you may get shot, but then you may not.

The most important learning from that activity was how good is your strategy. Preparation is the key. Just like it is for almost all the important things in life. There are no second chances in a battlefield. One bullet and you’re dead. You need to think — but you need to know how you’re thinking. Are you thinking like your enemy or yourself?

I realized that the best way to beat the enemy is by thinking like them. It helps you analyse yours and the enemy’s weaknesses and prepares you for the worst.

As much as I would have liked to, what I mentioned above did not happen. My team lost, by a whisker. But I wouldn’t have learned what I’m sharing here if I’d won. Failure is a great teacher!

Speaking of failures and learnings — the best I’ve had was from white water rafting.

Picture this — you’re all set to do something that you’ve never done before. And you’ve got a couple of team members who’re phobic and didn’t like the idea of rafting in the first place. Sure, it does sound like trouble… but I had a fantastic experience. Insightful and lifechange (for the two colleagues at least).

With some encouragement my colleagues contributed as rafters and also jumped into the river! A life changing moment — if they value this experience at all.

Conquering fear takes a lot of courage and great deal of persuasion. And sometimes even pushing — as last resort, of course! Yet, at times, all it takes is leading the way while holding on to your own nerves.

I was a nerve-wreck too! I hadn’t done it before. But someone told me thinking can be a HUGE waste of time when under pressure. I rowed and paddled like crazy. I jumped although I didn’t have a clue how I would do it! And so did they. And that’s all that matters now.

Conquering fear is just another choice that you make.