I have the unique habit of checking myself in comparison with what i used to be couple of years ago. Like a YoY performance analysis. Be it about the way i look now, or the attitude i carry, the financial stability i am in, or the general theme of how i lead my life. This uniqueness has given me one edge over the normal people whom i used to know, never happy and cheerful as i am, over my teenage peers half of whom are married & have kids and god knows why still unhappy. They carry an entirely different perception of life, they all with an exception of few sensible people who i know, have problems on hand and never a solution. From my view, they do not see the solution even while it is with them, right in their hands yet they do not feel it.
This is the state of the people, who do not have enough challenges in their life. They live the very same life for their entire age, doing probably things that doesn’t give them enough challenges, or changes in simpler terms. They live their life for the sake of surviving and not for living completely. They do not value the life around them, but their only purpose is to carry on their miserable lives to an end when they would have achieved an entire age.
They fantasize on things like a decent bank balance, a posh house, a luxury car and such things as their milestones in life. But they take minimal risk, they run away from their own fears, they avoid challenges whenever possible and take the safe route to home as their feeble soul cannot take another failure.
In turn, what they fail to realise is the fact that there is no better milestones than failures and challenges themselves. They fail to realise that it is failure that creates enough pressures to strive hard towards success. And they do not imagine what each challenge does to a human being. In his book “The Greatness Guide” the leadership author Robin Sharma observes : Nothing Fails like Success. But i would repeat this in a different way – “Nothing Succeeds like Failures“. True indeed, isn’t it ? Atleast in my own experiences of life, i have always been threatened by Failures & Challenges, until i went through one of them and then many of them until i got the experience of facing each one of them.
My dad always tell me this little story of his as a young boy when my Grandpa kept on repeating to him that he would end up becoming a bus conductor or driver and not a white collared person. This had been repeated so many times that it became the most dreadful thing for my dad. This challenged him to work harder and live his dream of a White collared employee status when he eventually became a banker. Though he became one, he never forgot that little story that kept him pushing to his best and he became the best banker i known in the country who managed his life’s entire challenges like yet another milestones in his career.
I myself have witnessed these challenges as he was posted from down the south of India where we belong to an alien place in the North of India. He was posted as the Branch Inspection Manager and this job was tiresome as he had to travel the entire district and the villages around covering not less than 40 branches. He has travelled in Tractors and local buses and even in bullock carts at times. Nothing has turned his confidence down or his willpower to be a successful man. What is more interesting to note here is the fact that these challenges came almost during the concluding years of his career. Yet he was stubborn and uncompromising in his focus on quality of job no matter what it demands to achieve that.
Those days i was awestruck by his energy levels to complete his routine for the day managing both work and home. These became a drop in the ocean when his beloved wife, my lovely mother, fell sick with artheritis and was dragged to a stage where she could not move even a spoon. Coming from an orthodox middle class south Indian family where the rule of the day for a wife was to serve her husband and children dutifully at all costs. And a normal husband would have been shattered and helpless with such state. But what we witnessed was the Champion in my dad, when he quickly jumped back after a short disappointment at his wife’s health condition, he took the entire responsibility of sustaining the house hold chores in the same pattern as my mother would do. He was at his best when he spent his day doing all the necessary things for the house, my mother, and to all three of us. Such was his will power and confidence on his own abilities. He is the real “Man of Steel”, the real superman in my life, who showed the most positive energy and positive attitude any man can display at such a juncture in life. He was 51 years old then.
Now it does not surprise me, when people call me a man of great will power as the seeds were sown by my Superman, my Dad. I really pity those people who did not see the Superman in their own Dad or Brothers. I pity those people who have no skin to sense the amazing power of will power and what challenges could do to a human being, what better could be a source of motivation for them.
I have read various books of personalities who had the amazing gift of facing challenges positively and had the courage to move straight towards them. In his autobiography, “My Experiments with Truth” Mahatma Gandhi writes about the various challenges he faced right from his childhood when he had to face the challenge of being truthful to himself till the biggest challenge of giving a enslaved nation the beautiful feeling of Freedom.
I have read about the challenges that Martin Luther King, Jr. faced to empower not just an entire race but the entire nation by giving the wisdom to see beyond the skin color. To achieve his goal, he travelled more than 6 million miles, gave more than 2000 speeches, was arrested atleast 20 times, assaulted more than thrice and finally even was assasinated. Such was the power of this man’s generosity that he gave away his prize money of Nobel Prize for his social cause that he supported. Such men are rarely born in this world, so why do people see just their skin and not what lies deep inside it.
I have read about Mother Teresa, Jack Welch, Nelson Mandela, APJ Abdul Kalam, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Narayana Murthy, Jackie Chan, Pete Sampras & more. The list is endless. But there is something that is truly common between each of them. The same power to run towards your fear, the ability to meet challenges eye to eye, like my Dad did. You do not need the power to fly or laser eyes like the real superman, but a strong belief in the fact that failures are indeed the stepping stones towards a successful life, and then you shall truly become a Successful Man.