I have to rise to the top in the corporate world. I can choose to let fate take its own course. I can just slog around and crawl at a snails’ pace. Instead, I can choose to write my own destiny.
What should I do? What would you do?
Dear reader, there are some people who have achieved something that you and I could hardly even dream of. These are people with foresight, the ones who succeeded because they chose to keep fighting till they beat their own expectations, and expectations of others from them.
One such man is Sachin Tendulkar – a legend in the game of cricket. He set his own standards and beat them consistently. When he was young, Tendulkar would practice for hours in the net. If he became exhausted, his coach, Archekar would place a one-rupee coin on the top of the stumps and the bowler who dismissed Tendulkar would get the coin. If Tendulkar passed the whole session, Archekar would give him the coin. Tendulkar now considers the 13 coins he won then as some of his prized possessions. On 11 December, 1988, aged just 15 years and 232 days, Tendulkar became the youngest Indian to score a century on debut in first class cricket. There are many other notable achievements to his credit. He succeeded because he challenged and exerted himself. Today, he is a Legend.
Let’s take another example, this time of a poor kid from Calcutta, India. His name is Avijit. For him, it all started with the filming of an Oscar-winning documentary, Born into Brothels, which dealt with the lives of the children of Indian sex workers.
Avijit Halder was one of eight children of sex workers who featured in this 2004 BBC documentary. Life in Avijit’s home was in disarray because his father was a drug addict while his mother was constantly ill. She died when Avijit was barely in his teens.
As part of the documentary, children were taught how to take photographs to document their lives and their surroundings in Sonagachi – Calcutta’s red light district. The objective was to show how art could transform their lives. The film-makers also set up a charity called Kids with Cameras, and this helped the eight children who featured in the documentary with their education.
Along with their schooling, the children were encouraged to develop a passion for photography. Their photos received a lot of attention and exhibitions were held in Calcutta and in New York. Auctions were even held at Sotheby’s to raise funds.
Avijit was the star of those exhibitions and was soon invited to participate in a photo talent contest in Amsterdam, Holland. When he was given the opportunity to study in America, he immediately grabbed it and departed for America in 2005. In 2010, the 20-year-old was pursuing a degree at one of the top film schools in the US.
For Avijit, what happened was an unsettling change from the harshness of Calcutta. But he accepted the challenges and through his hard work, achieved that he himself could have never imagined.
Dear reader, when we meet an opportunity, when we experience something new, we can either give it a pass or chose to delve into it. Leaders do the latter…they forge on with courage by setting their own expectations and by winning over them. These are people like Sachin Tendulkar, like Avijit. To be one of them, we just need to exert ourselves, forge ahead and get through the obstacles that come in our way.
I believe that with sincerity, conviction and honesty, we can make a difference.
I believe that with selfless desire to serve, we can contribute to the development of our community, and need not ask for anything in return.
I believe that all of us can become honorable leaders of tomorrow, the stars of future with zeal, enthusiasm and passion.
Join me and believe in yourself to create histories.
Sources: bbc.co.uk, deepakpanigrahy.wordpress.com