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Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Spirit of Success

Chennai Speakers Forum
CC Project 10
The Spirit of Success

Toastmasters, what do you define as a successful meeting? One that fills us with happiness? One that gives us some learning? One which helps us become better? All this is possible only when everyone has been successful in doing their own part in the meeting.. isn’t it?

Call people on mobiles? Every time each one of us use these items, we all pay tribute to the success of not just one person, but several people, men no different from us, raised in the same environment as us, who achieved success due to their hard work, aspirations and perspirations. 

We are surrounded by the success of ordinary men doing extra-ordinary things. Bulbs, telephone, watches, mobiles, glasses, currency, air-conditioner, CSF – Creating Success Forever!!!, all are examples of a person’s grit and ability to do exceptional things.

But how would you define “Success”? What criteria would you use to measure success? Money?fame? status? Degrees? ...... They all are the outcome, not the measure. It all lies in a Spirit and I am going to tell you the tale of this spirit in one person.

He was born as the first son of the eldest son of the family. Naturally the entire family had high hopes from him. But right from the time he was 2 hours old, he was declared to be ill and has since been poked, prodded and been tested upon for the rest of his life. He was suffering from a rare genetic issue .The doctors had all given up hope of him having a normal life.

That person had a very different childhood. One filled with medicines, syringes, tests, hospitals, sickness and what not. He used to stay at home, read books, play video games all the time, not so socially active, shy, average minded.. in short-sheltered from the world. No one harboured high ... no...any hopes from him. All they wanted was to keep him happy and safe.

As the years progressed, the issue got worse. So much so that he had to stop going to school and put on a strict diet..... Boiled vegetables and bread. Can you imagine a 10 years old, so fond of chocolates, burgers, chaats and fried items suddenly being asked to stop it ALL??  Asked not to go out and play, take several medicines every day, spending half his childhood waiting outside the doctor’s cabin, just so that he can have the toy his mom promised him??

He got a hearing impairment, visual impairment, bp, kidney failure, weak bones and several other problems.

Do you think he had a bright future? Would you expect him to achieving something important in life?


He then moved to a different city, got treated by the best doctors and resumed his journey. He went on to become the topper of his school, became the best orator of his school, an officer in the school committee, won awards and accolades for himself as well as his school, joined a top ranking University of India and graduated with Distinction. He did not stop there, but went on to experience corporate life, become the best team member, and then went on to his post graduation degree after gruelling rounds of tests, interviews and discussions. But that was not enough. He got recruited by the one of the world’s leading banks for Summer Internship as well.

He has climbed the Great Wall of China, went to the world’s tallest building, travelled in world’s fastest train, has done white water rafting, open jeep safaris, writes poetry, fell in love and has a lot more to live for.

Today people come up to him as say “You have a bright future... you will go a long way.....tell me your mantra of success....You are an inspiration for me.....”.

The same person whom people had given up hope had now achieved something he could be proud of and make others proud as well. From hopeful, to hopeless to hopeful again, all because he truly believed that “Life is not because of.... it is Inspite of..”

He still has to take medications and precautions but now he sees them as a way of life, than as a drawback. He has achieved some success and continues to achieve new milestones, taking on more challenges, tougher ones, higher ones ...not because he has anything to prove... but  “Because it’s there”. J This spirit is what drives him to succeed in whatever endeavour he takes up in that stupid head of his to achieve. The Spirit to overcome challenges, pluck up the courage and struggle, strive and excel is what keeps him going.

If this spirit can make a medically challenged child like that... me.... to grow up to be a successful adult ......go from hopeless to hopeful, IMAGINE what powers it must have.  Keep alive the “Spirit of Success” and understand that no failure is the end of Success as well as no success the end of failure.

One thing that life has taught me is that “In life, there is no Dead End, there are only U bends and this spirit of success will help you navigate those bends and show you the path ahead.

There are innumerable quotes and phrases over success. Take up one quote which suits your life and attitude and always follow that as a guideline for success.

For me it is a poem I read long ago when I was in school and which still inspires me and motivates me.

Success comes from a fellow’s will
Its all in the state of mind .
Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man.
But soon or late the man who wins,
Is the man who thinks he can.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Nature's Fury

The petrichor is in the air,
The dark clouds shielding the glare
A string of pearls are being poured on earth
Giving rise to Hope, Nostalgia and a new birth

Wind is gushing and rushing
Knocking out all in its path
Mother Nature is showing us her Fury,
Anger and Wrath

Beware my fellow comrade
Cower under her tirade
Take solace wherever you can find
She flows and blows with her own mind.