Now why would I start this post by making a statement that has got two beautiful words, comfortable and successful, but not in a complementing way but by juxtaposing them! Well, that’s the way it is. This morning I was remembering an incident which happened way back when I was a child but somehow struck me today while I was just... let’s say relaxing. About of age 8 or 9, I was in car with my mom & dad in my home town and there on our way came a big store – which was closed permanently now. Dad told me that he used to know the guy who opened this store and that he belonged to a well-to do family, a standard that guy achieved on his own not having any kind of pedigree with him. Dad added that this is what happens when you take unnecessary risks or be too ambitious. Now this is what most of our parents would have said coming across such a story, called it a “failure”.
And here it was, a failure that should have been celebrated, for the sheer entrepreneurial spirit and unborrowed vision of a store that has never existed in the city, being called a failure and looked down upon. But why did it happen so? The answer lies in having a sense of comfort in your life. That day my parents, or most times most of the people in life want to live in a false sense of being comfortable. To them, being comfortable is more important than to win. They do not want to take risks, partly because they are scared of winning, of the mind boggling success that could blow their minds off, but most of the times to continue being comfortable, not to come out of the shell and feel the pulse of the world because that little shell is “good enough” to carry on rest of the life. And so by looking down upon and enjoying such failures of others, everyone gains a false sense of complacency that their way of life, of not taking risks and being comfortable is after all the right way to live. May be this is a kind of thinking which happens as a result of the collectivist and socialist culture our Indian society has been through for a long time. But whatever may be the reasons; this needs to change for good.
I see young people, teenagers in schools, and I see a spark in them. The same spark that Chetan Bhagat referred to in his famous Symbiosis speech. The same spark that Kareena Kapoor had in Jab We Met in its first half. Those teenagers are passionate about their lives, about what they want to do in the days ahead and they are not scared of taking risks. But as soon as they are about to end their graduations and post-graduations, move into jobs, the spark starts withering away. The first big decision is the kind of job people take. Many of them while very excited in the school and college days, end up taking just a comfortable job, good enough to live on, then get married, and slowly getting entrapped in the day to day fights of the life, completely forgetting the whole excitement life was about. Another poor soul gets trapped in another shell. This story continues till death.
If in the same life the focus is on winning and feeling the exhilaration and not on being just comfortable, the entire life will be different. The spark, the excitement you have during your school and graduation will be always inside you, you will do things that really make you excited, you will work to learn new things and not just to earn and sustain yourselves and your dependents, you will come across spectacular successes and shattering failures, but in the end your life will be one big achievement, A BIG WIN, which will be much richer than a comfortable life. Now this is a fete not everyone is able to get and this is also the only way that life can come full circle and anyone can complete the journey of learning and living, of having experiences. Otherwise life becomes like the second-half of Jab We Met, living a comfortable life without the spark and excitement of being alive.
Living life like this is way too much fun but also you will have days when you will feel down and beaten and that is the time when your support systems come into place. I recommend having a list of 10-15 people whom you can always bank upon, who will stand by you no matter what, with whom you have always shared your life, your true friends and well-wishers. And whenever you feel lost, take a look at the list and as you go along, you will remember the times spent with those people, the amazing moments shared, you will remember how beautiful life actually is and slowly you will start coming back to what you are supposed to be, bouncing back with full confidence and enthusiasm.
And on the guy on whose story I started this post, I don’t know him personally, maybe he went broke for some time after that store, but one thing I am sure of – This kind of a man can go broke, but can never go poor (to use the words of Robert Kiyosaki) and there is a big difference between both. These are the people who make themselves rich and stay rich because being excited and ready to go out of comfort zones is the way they make up life, not scared to lose and be humiliated, but always excited about being happy and winning!