Self-Help | 21 Chapters
Author: Vikas Chadha
Mr. Sudip Bandyopadhyay—Group Chairman of Inditrade Capital & Stock market expert at CNBC, Zee Business, Bloomberg, Economic Times. “Excellent presentation makes this must read book, an absorbing and interesting read. All age groups should read this book to face challenges in life boldly. This story telling format used by the author to explain the secret of success is truly engrossing.” Chender Baljee, Chairman and Man....
“Dare to be free, dare to go as far as your thought leads, and dare to carry that out in your life.”
“Patience, Perseverance and Hard work are the keys to success”
– Swami Vivekananda
While writing the book my thought was what defines success. What are the parameters of success. What correlation does success have with happiness.
Will a person with wealth be considered successful. If that is the case then Mother Teresa would not be one of the most revered and successful people. Similarly would success be measured by popularity, in which case many of the movie stars would all claim to be successful ad happy, but many of them get momentary fame and struggle in the later part of their life. Would success be measured by power in which case the political leaders would stand as role models to the youth, but that does not seem to be the case.
Instead of getting philosophical about defining success, it would be a better idea to identify the qualities we notice in any success story or individual. We find these qualities worth emulating and hence the person becomes the role model.
This book has been written in a way that it is engaging and has short stories and examples including some through personal experiences which help understand the significance of some qualities which when found in a person lays the foundation for his or her success.
In India the most successful people we see all have their struggle stories and inspirations and character shown by them which has helped them to reach where there are today.
The biggest megastar of our time Amitabh Bachchan for example mentioned, “Bad luck either destroys you or makes you the man or woman you really are.” His hard work and determination are what worked for him. In his earlier days where he was rejected due to his height and voice today they have become the pillars of his immense success and glory. He accepted his failures and dealt with his health issues and which helped him to keep going, in one of his interviews he mentioned “Jo hogaya so hogaya. I am only keeping in my mind that I should not repeat my past mistakes now.” Here was a prime example of someone being pegged back repeatedly in life, personal and professional, and yet he fought back. He became a role model for all, not only to the ones who want to become movie stars but also for the rest of India to extrapolate the learnings and wear the same attitude to fight adversities in our own lives.
The God of Cricket
Successful Cricket Legend and Bharat Ratna Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar was born on 24th April 1973 in a Marathi Brahmin family of Rajapur. His father’s name was Ramesh Tendulkar and he named Tendulkar after the name of his favourite musician Sachin Dev Burman. The name of Sachin Tendulkar, who was one of the best cricketers in the history of world cricket, has many world records, making Tendulkar the world’s cricket captain. Born in a middle-class family, Sachin made his education at Shardashram University in Mumbai. His brother Ajit Tendulkar, knowing his talent, incorporated the qualities of cricket within his childhood and guided him through explaining the nuances of cricket. His father made his admission to Ramakant Achrekar, who was called ‘Dronacharya’ of cricket, who favoured Tendulkar’s cricketing talent well. The same Sachin M.R.F. Going to the training camp of the Foundation, where he was asked by fast bowling coach Dennis Lilly to pay full attention to his batting and since then Sachin started batting.
The way to train Sachin’s coach, Ramesh Achrekar, was absolutely unique. He used to keep a coin of 1 rupee below the wicket on the crease. If a lethal outsider Sachin was dismissed then this coin would have been that coincidentally and if Sachin did not get out, then the coin would have been Sachin’s. Sachin won 13 such coins from his master who still has Sachin. In this way Sachin’s master made Sachin the master of batting. After this, at the age of 15, Sachin shared a 664-run partnership with Vinod Kambli in the Harris Shield match, in which Tendulkar played 320 runs on his superb talent. Seeing such performance, the opposition stopped playing the match halfway and conceded defeat.
Sachin had become very popular with this performance, due to which at the young age of 16, he got a place in Team India and started his international cricket against Pakistan in 1989. Sachin had won the hearts of cricket fans from his humorous cricket.
Sachin scored his first Test century in England in 1990 in which he scored an unbeaten 119, followed by Tendulkar’s performance in Australia and South Africa Test matches, and he scored many Test hundreds. Sachin played his first home Test match against England in 1992–93 in India, which was his 22nd Test match Test career. Given Sachin’s talent and cricket technique, everyone gave him the title of Don Bradman, which later Don Bradman himself accepted this.
Due to Sachin’s excellent performance, he was given the captaincy of Team India but he could not succeed as a captain and his own game was also very impressed by this. Because of which he himself quit the captaincy position.
The worst phase of Sachin Tendulkar’s cricket career came when Sachin was quite untethered due to the pain in tennis and his shoulders in 2005–06 due to which his game was also affected. But unmatched talent and hard-working Sachin Tendulkar made a change in his game and proved himself in the 2008 tour of Australia.
Grief is a strange equalizer but it’s how we react, deal with the grief, and the personal setback that sets some apart from the others. An incident that sets apart the legend was on the night before India took on Zimbabwe in the league stages of the cricket world cup when a singular phone call would firmly cement Sachin Tendulkar’s place as a God. His father Ramesh had passed away in Mumbai. As he rushed back to be with his family early next morning and to say the final goodbye to his father, India lost to Zimbabwe. A lesser man would have taken time off to grieve, recover but that’s one thing that Sachin has never been accused of – being a lesser man. Three days later, Sachin not just showed up in India’s colours at Bristol, he also hammered an emotional 100 against Kenya to keep India alive in the 1999 World Cup. A legend crossed over to being a God that day. This innings at a time of personal grief is a testament to the man’s dedication. He knew the team needed him and decided to put his personal issues aside. It was clear from his batting style that day, the man was playing for his father. When he looked up there were tears in his eyes. By his own admission, every time he scored a ton he looked up to God, but this time he was looking up at daddy dearest.
Father of Indian Nuclear Program
One of the most successful scientists India has produced has been Homi Jehangir Bhabha. When Homi Jehangir Bhabha was working at the India Institute of Science, there was no institute in India that had the necessary facilities for original work in nuclear physics, and other frontiers of knowledge in physics. This prompted him to send a proposal in March 1944 to Sir Dorabji’s trust for establishing a school of research in fundamental physics.’
The trustees of Sir Dorabji Jamsetji, Tata Trust, decided to accept Bhabha’s proposal. Mumbai was chosen as the location as the Government of Bombay showed interest in becoming a joint founder of the proposed institute. The institute, named Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), was inaugurated in 1945 in 540 square meters of hired space in an existing building. In 1948 the Institute was moved into the old buildings of the Royal Yacht club.
When Bhabha realized that technology development for the atomic energy program could no longer be carried out within TIFR he proposed to the government to build a new laboratory entirely devoted to this purpose. For this purpose, 1200 acres of land were acquired at Trombay from the Bombay Government. Thus the Atomic Energy Establishment Trombay (AEET) started functioning in 1954. The same year the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) was also established. He represented India in International Atomic Energy Forums, and as President of the United Nations Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, in Geneva in 1955. This was the power of conviction, motivation, selflessness and vision.
These are just a few examples of people we look up to and emulate and are the role models of success.
Let me begin by identifying a common trend among all successful people and that’s the quality of perseverance. Perseverance means constant effort to achieve something. It is the best of all human virtues because it is the key to success. We can succeed in life with perseverance, steadfastness and determination. Perseverance implies a discipline of mind and body, constant effort, self-restraint, and self-sacrifice.
Perseverance is a miracle-working virtue; if you have it, you can accomplish anything. Success in any field is the fruit borne on the tree of perseverance. There is no single example in the entire human race that is an exception. All great personalities and personages, who have left indelible prints of their lives on the sands of eternity, are the men and women who converted their failures into success through perseverance. Perseverance actually is going from one failure to another without losing the enthusiasm to face more failures. All great personalities whom we adore as role-models of success such as Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, Socrates, Thomas Edison, Abraham Lincoln, Charlie Chaplin, Henry Ford, Bill Gates, Walt Disney, Helen Keller, Mahatma Gandhi, and so on achieved greatness through perseverance.
All the above-mentioned names share one common thing; they were not quitters; they were winners. They knew the secret to be successful. They faced myriads of obstacles and hindrances without compromising with their vision and mission. They were ready to face as many failures as were required in order to be successful.
Let’s see one or two life examples from the list. Helen Keller, who lost her hearing and seeing power due to a fatal disease in her early childhood, faced the darkness of failure on almost every step of her life! Did she give up? No! She diligently sowed the seeds of her hope and aspirations in the dark soil of failures! What a miracle woman she turned out to be! She is one of the most successful women the world has ever known! Not only did she learn to speak; she earned a degree for herself from Radcliffe College. She became a famous figure of inspiration and perseverance. She bettered and inspired many lives!
Abraham Lincoln failed approximately 12 times before he was elected the president of America. The biographies or autobiographies of each successful man or woman reminds us of the obvious fact that failures are inescapable and unavoidable part of the adventure we call success.
The one great lesson to be learned from these amazing personages is the lesson of perseverance, determination, and acceptance of failures without losing heart and the sight of our goal.
The following lines of a famous poem aptly describe the spirit of perseverance:
‘When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you are trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Perseverance is a virtue that is getting difficult to come across in this age of instant gratification, noodles and social media. Attention spans are limited and impatience levels are high. Every constraint is magnified in this day and age of Instagram and Twitter. Cricket is filled with examples of perseverance. When people give examples of Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar or Sachin Tendulkar you have visuals floating in front of your eyes of how these people persevered with their sports in the face of all adversities including physical, mental stress or personal losses.
At the same time, I firmly believe that there were many talented people who could not achieve their full potential due to a lack of perseverance.
This quality of perseverance was thought to me by my parents when I was a child. I remember distinctly a story that they used to narrate to me which has stuck on with me through my life so far.
I would like to share the story below:
An old farmer and his grandson lived on a farm. One day the grandson said, “I try to read the Bhagavad-Gita just like you but I don’t understand it much. And whatever little I understand, I forget it very soon. What is the use of reading this book?”
The old farmer quietly turned from putting coal in the stove and said, “Take this coal basket down to the river and bring me back a basket of water.”
The young boy did as he was told, but all the water leaked out before he got back home. The farmer asked him to try again, and again. But every single time, the water leaked out of the basket before he got back to the house. Finally, he said exhausted, “See Grandpa, it’s useless!”
“So you think it’s useless?” the old farmer said, “Look at the basket.” The boy looked at the basket and for the first time realized that the basket had been transformed from a dirty old coal basket to a new clean one, inside and out.
“Son, that’s what happens when you read a book like the Bhagavad-Gita. You might not understand or remember everything, but when you read it again and again, you will realize the benefit one day.”
At a very early age people from my generation got exposed to Ramayana and Mahabharata. We owe our gratitude to Mr. Ramanand Sagar and Mr. B.R. Chopra. They created an epic Television series for these two great stories which was followed by everyone in India as a ritual on Sunday Mornings. Now during lockdowns many of us especially the new generation has got an opportunity to revisit and see these stories on television re run’s.