I read somewhere that extraordinary success is sequential and not simultaneous and that the key is over time. It’s one thing at a time, over time, one small success after the other.
I think the statement touched a sentimental nerve within me. I was always one of the students who were self-proclaimed smart workers. I never slogged through the year for exams, yet managed to ace them after a hellish overnight right before. I tried way too many things as a child be it Indian classical music, to traditional dance forms, to painting and basically an endless list of ‘hobby’ classes that I would always show up at, thanks to my beautiful mother. In short, I was never one who tried to master one particular skill. At School, I played a lot of basketball, right from grade 3 till the time I graduated, but that wasn’t the only sport I played, I was doing a bit of everything- I was trying to excel as a ‘sportsperson’. Of course, I think somewhere within me was that hunger to become excessively good at whatever I did- hence, the love for winning. I won several competitions and matches, held leadership roles, in short, had a pretty good addiction to trying new things and getting ridiculously good at them.
Then I launched my business, and was told, “It takes patience to build brands, you have to stick around and focus on traction for years before you start getting somewhere.” I agree. So, what did I do? I started looking for other start-ups to work with, to basically hedge my risks and feel like a winner again. In the last year and a couple of months, I’ve become a liscensed Zumba instructor, tried 2 months of Kung-Fu, ran several half-marathons (basically now I run 20K at least once a week in addition to my three 10Ks and one 15K), write religiously, obsessively read 3 books a week, swim, do yoga, meditate, work towards social causes and have even passionately been educating a group of young children. Ah, take a breath. No, I don’t think that’s a lot to be honest, but yes I obsess about becoming good at missions I undertake, and then find new ones because I’m exposed to new stuff, all the time!
Take a break, read the quote that I started with, once again, please.
Thinking out loud now, what is the ONE thing that I’m good at? What have I been doing over time? Have I been all over the place, well, seems quite like it. But after pondering on this for a while, I have come to believe that life is too short to CHOOSE not to experiment with different things. If I were so lucky to have figured out already what I’m most passionate about, how would I know all that I know? How would I be able to expose and place myself in diverse atmospheres of growth? If anything, I think I’m good at pursuing excellence. Period.
Contrary to the common opinion, which asks us to find one thing and follow it to the hilt, I feel our younger years are the years to seek exposure. We MUST experiment, we must get to experience for ourselves various fields, so that we can proactively choose how to spend our later years. I’ve had heated arguments with people about this, but I’m just going to put it out there: Don’t expect to find your passion sitting on one golden egg all your life. The more you do something, the better you get at it, over time. However, that does not mean that you won’t fall in love with something else, just as much or even more. Life’s short to restrict yourself in the boundaries; we tend to create for ourselves. If you never try, you’ll never know what exists beyond your walls.
To end with, if you’re choosing your poison, choose to be infected with life- there’s insurmountable beauty that it has to offer. Don’t stop striving or being excited about life, in general. Also, if you’re prodigally born with it, of course you’ll beg to differ- but if you aren’t already a world-class name, with a reputation and title to uphold, there is literally nothing that should stop you.