“This is the best thing that ever happened in my life”, exclaimed the bride groom right after he kissed the bride.
“This is the best thing that ever happened in my life”, shouted the frivolous teenage beauty who won the beauty pageant.
We hear a hundred exclamations and announcements like this day in and day out.Every individual defines life by the experiences he/she went through in life. Every day, every minute and every second of our lives are characterized by the millions of experiences that we face day to day. Nobody in the world could have escaped their teenage years without hearing these golden words from their parents, ”In my experience….”.
But the million dollar question that plagues my mind for a long time is “Is experience the only thing that characterizes the amazing gift of life?”
Considering life to be a huge jigsaw puzzle, when we organize all our experiences in chronological order do we get a complete picture???
A simple observation of a courier truck gave me an answer to that question.
When the logistics giant FEDEX decided to develop a logo for their company, they not only wanted a design that propagates the company but also endorse the moto and value that the company represented and they came up with this.
To the untrained eye it just looks like a large font representation of the brand name right!
The blank space between F and the E forms an arrow mark. It indicates the movement,agility,speed and reliability – The basic characteristics that make FEDEX what it is today.
Why would a tree represent a zoo?? Look closely into the blank space around the bark of the tree. Once you see the lion and the gorilla, you will never be able to unsee it again.
In both of the above cases the blank areas convey more meaning than the actual logo. Sometimes in life too, the experiences that ‘never’ happened to us carry more meaning than any experience that ‘ever’ happened to us.
Whenever we walk into a 3rd grade class room and ask the kids what they want to be when they grow up, you can see their dreams soaring through the sky. Astronaut,Pilot,President,Actress and what not.
After a few years when you go back to the same class when they reach 12th grade and repeat the same question, you get to distinguish the entire class into three distinct set of people.
1.The students who give you toned down replies such as “doctor,engineer” this is the sect of students who have accepted the so called “realistic dreams” dictated by the society
- The super stars in the group who get to keep their dream of being a cricket star,actress because of an impeccable track record and powerful family network(the latter being more important than the former)
- There is also a special third category whom the class would affectionately call the “dork heads”. This is the category of students who don’t have a successful track record, who don’t have the right connections, who have absolutely no sane route to reach their dreams ever, but who also never quit dreaming!
The beauty of life is that the second category of people get all their dreams true because they are “sane”. The first category of students also get their dreams come true because their dreams are “insanely sane” but the third category of students or the so called “dork heads” never get any of their dreams come true because their dreams are “fucking insane!!!”
As a proud member of the third category let me give you a few examples of how we work:
At the age of 5
My only dream,ambition,goal was to become the next rajnikanth. For obvious reasons that dint happen.But a fair enough dream for a kid right
At the age of 17
Like every other average Indian kid my dream too was to join the IIT. A fair enough dream for any kid, but for a guy who is struggling to get a 40 in math, dreaming of an IIT was crazy. And crazy I was. For obvious reasons the dream dint come true
At the age of 19
With the boost of motivation that comes after watching “the social network”, I wanted to be an entrepreneur. But what the movie failed to show was that mark zuckerburg was already a genius programmer who managed to top his class in Harvard. For a guy in the bottom ring of an average engineering college, it definitely was “fucking insane”. For obvious reasons the dream never came true.
At the age of 23:
When the guys around me have already settled down in life,started saving up for marriage and getting ahead in their adult life here I am falling for a girl but here too my dreams don’t fail to be “fucking insane”. I fall for a girl who is “way out of my league”.
For a guy with none of the three sixes a girl would expect (six foot, six pack, six fig salary) it just is not sane on my part to dream about being with a “princess” but that is exactly whom I fall for. For obvious reasons that dream of mine dint come true either(though she was gracious enough to accept me as her “best friend”!)
I never became rajnikanth, I never entered IIT, I never became an entrepreneur, I never got the girl but all these experiences that I “never” had made me who I am today
Every time I tried something insane I failed, the world saw me as a failure, but from every target I missed I learned something new
When I missed IIT, I learnt that there was life beyond the IIT dream
When my startup dream failed I learnt the power of perseverance and conviction
When the one girl I wanted to be with called me best friend,I learnt the power of rejection. I learnt to make myself stronger with every rejection
Of course they were all painful. It is definitely not easy to watch your dreams get shattered every time, but everytime life burns down your dream you get to be reborn from the ashes like the Phoenix bird.
Abraham Lincoln said
“I failed at the legislature, I failed to become speaker, I failed at the nomination for Congress, and that is why I became president. Had I won any of those I would have settled down there.”
Next time somebody tells you “failure is the stepping stone for success” , you please ask them to keep their success to themselves because failure makes you grow, but success makes you succumb!
Like every one in the world, dreamers like me also have the fear of failure but for us
Failure Is not aiming too high and missing, it is rather aiming too low and hitting!