We all get exposed to intimidation from time to time. On the journey to success, you need to gain the strength, courage and boldness to fend off intimidation whenever it comes into your face. It is not easy to deal with intimidation. It is easy to be frightened and to coil up when facing intimidation. In particular, as you drive your personal agenda for success, many people will try to discourage you, and one way they will do that is by intimidating you. If you cannot master the art of ignoring or managing intimidation, you will rarely achieve big things.
This reminds me of an Australian friend I had at Hertford College, a constituent of the University of Oxford. His name was Tanzil. He would never entertain intimidation and was well known for countering intimidation. I remember a few incidents when Tanzil demonstrated special courage against intimidation. He was lucky that by nature of his approach to life, Tanzil had involved himself in many different things and he was well read and knew many things in general. As such, Tanzil knew a bit of everything and he was always up-to-date.
One time, there was an argument about the details of organising a party in the middle common room (the society of postgraduate students). Someone had a sharp difference with Tanzil and the gentleman tried to intimidate Tanzil by saying that he had been a Disc Jockey (DJ) for four years. Tanzil countered the intimidation by saying that he had been a DJ for not just four but eight years! Another time, there was an argument about aerospace and Tanzil was arguing against an engineer. Tanzil would not allow to be intimidated and said that he knew quite a bit of aerospace engineering because although he was a geographer, his brother was an aerospace engineer!
I also had a personal encounter with Tanzil. Our middle common room (MCR) needed to appoint a representative to the university-wide student union. Those interested to compete for the opportunity were required to apply with a covering letter demonstrating why they should be picked and attaching their curriculum vitae (CV). I tried my luck, as did Tanzil. When the executive committee for the MCR considered the applications, I was lucky to be picked. When Tanzil learnt about my appointment, he made out to meet me and he asked about how I managed to ‘beat’ him. I explained to him how I did it. In the end, Tanzil congratulated me, wished me luck and told me that I was very lucky to have been ranked ahead of him because he was so qualified for the opportunity. Basically, Tanzil did not get intimidated by the fact that I went ahead of him.
In fact, a year later, Tanzil stood for president of the MCR and won the election. The position of MCR was much bigger and more powerful than the representative to the university union. In doing this, Tanzil protected his self- esteem, self-confidence and self-belief. Tanzil would do anything not to fear or not to be afraid. Tanzil was ambitious and would achieve anything that he set out to achieve.
Tanzil told me how he had reached the finals of the Rhodes scholarship in Australia which is arguably the prestigious scholarship in Australia for winning admission for postgraduate studies at Oxford. While Tanzil did not get the Rhodes scholarship to Oxford, he fought hard for another scholarship, the Commonwealth scholarship and still made it to Oxford for the same course and in the same academic year he had planned to go there. The rejection by the Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee did not intimidate Tanzil from going to Oxford!
Clearly, Tanzil is a great achiever and he will go very far in life. One major key to Tanzil’s success is his outstanding ability to fend off intimidation. If you want to go far and to rise and shine, you need to borrow a leaf from Tanzil in fending off intimidation. Gather the courage and boldness not to be intimidated easily. When one door closes, look for a door to a better land and shame the ‘intimidator’ like Tanzil does. Good luck!