Let me tell you a story of a school boy. His aunt was preparing to become a school teacher. Ones a project was given to her to draw a leaf of rose plant. Being very busy, she passed the work to her school going nephew. Next morning he handed over the finished work to his aunt. In the evening, on return from her college, the aunt rushed in and scolded the nephew for not drawing the leaf but pasting one with glue. The nephew had the last laugh, when he made her aunt see that the leaf on the drawing paper was in fact a painting of a rose leaf. The lesson from this is, the nephew took his task of drawing a rose leaf as the most important in his life at that moment, and made his best effort to paint a rose leaf as good as a real one, so much so, even his aunt and her teachers were fooled to believe that it was a real leaf glued to the sheet.
The take home message is, whatever you do, you must try to excel yourself in the effort. The drawing of a rose leaf was rather insignificant work, but the school boy challenged himself to make his best creation at that moment, just like the old artist in O. Henry’s short story, ‘The Last leaf’.
How such thoughts are born? By having great desire to excel oneself. To burn midnight oil and stick to the work bench, sans any glue, and put in thousands of hours to hone the skill in the task chosen by one self, meaning perseverance, relentless dedication, and at the end of the day still feeling that you could do a bit better.
In words of Steve Jobs, “Be hungry!” Like God, Steve Job too used Apple, but for totally another reason, “Let us invent tomorrow!” Indeed, we small and greater measure, we all are endowed with the ability to do the same and invent a better tomorrow, for self, for dear ones, for community and on larger canvas, for the entire humanity. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. Once we find it let us be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected, let us not get bogged down by their pessimism, let us the possibilist, who like Napoleon,taught his victorious armies that there was nothing impossible. If it was not so, mankind would have still been the way it was 60, 000 years ago — unclad, dwelling less, sans any home, a nomad forever. Like any other animal. But, NO, with its intelligence and sheer perseverance, and dedication it has not only reached where it is, but is relentlessly inventing the future for its future generation to be better, faster, stronger, wise and continue the same, as there no end to excellence. Let us raise a toast to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes….The ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules…. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things…. They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do. Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it. They just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.
Pray, remember, self-belief does not necessarily ensure success, but self-disbelief assuredly spawns failure.” “By sticking it out through tough times, people emerge from adversity with a stronger sense of efficacy.” “People’s beliefs about their abilities have a profound effect on those abilities. We live in deeds not in years, in thoughts not in breaths, in feelings, not in figures; hence we must count time by heart beats. We are more heavily invested in the theories of failure than we are in the theories of success.
I remember reading two sticker on the windscreen of a Mercedes of a very successful celebrity. One read COT and the other read POT. I could not restrain myself from approaching the celebrity and inquiring about the two cryptic stickers. He smile, and said, “The thought was given to me by my doctor friend, COT, the clarity of thought, and POT, the priority of purpose, and then he sang a school anthem that he had composed for one of our common friend, a school owner, in which one line was ‘We will excel our excellence’, and the three thoughts have brought me here, where I am!”
Was I impressed? Indeed, yes. Clarity of thought would remove all haziness and confusion and the priority of purpose would st the goals, how to approach any problem, any desire, or any effort! To this I would further add an elderly who dare to teach new tricks to an old monkey, i.e. the septuagenarian decided to teach himself piano, the most difficult musical instrument and the king of all musical instruments, in the world. The only thing he attended was the dedication to practice thousands of hour, and in several months, he became proficient in the most difficult act in any one’s life! As a corollary, let us excel our excellence, as a habit, for real success I mean the courage to change obstacles into achievement, not through a need for external recondition, but to make you feel content and useful, regardless of how insignificant your achievement may seem to others.