Upon researching the life of Bangladeshi banker Muhammad Yunus, a powerful message was sent.
Public perception in today’s world encourages conservative efforts to minimize risks. This can be applied to individuals and organizations alike. While such an approach is believed to prevent one from failing, it often works to the contrary. By causing people to leave potentially wonderful things undone, desired (and possible) outcomes are left unfinished.
Yunus’ work demonstrates a contrary approach to this public norm. What began as a simple initiative to aid poor women in his village has led to a world-renowned organization dedicated to serving the needs of those in poverty. Yunus was strongly discouraged from speaking critically of the government even in a period of a famine. So instead, he took matters into his own hands. By donating $27 to 42 women in his village, Yunus was able to put a smile on the face of 42 human beings. The delight in this would have been enough to justify removing fear of failure from one’s mindset. However, Yunus was not finished. Recognizing he could assist those women, and many more, to an even greater extent, Yunus created the Grameen Bank, which loans money solely to people suffering in poverty. Yunus discovered that it is very possible to make a difference in the lives of others if one has a strong heart and a passionate drive to succeed.
As Marianne Williamson once famously wrote, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerfuly beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Let Yunus’ example be an example to you of what can happen when this fear is removed.