True North

I second Umair Haque in asking: What breaks your heart? What propels you to keep moving on? What is you burning, tempestuous passion that pushes you to reach your highest potential? What moves you? Passion from the Latin word ‘patere’ means to suffer. So what is you saga of silent suffering?

Reading Stephen King’s On Writing will empower you to keep believing in yourself– even when circumstances are unfavorable and you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Stephen was sent 60 rejection notices for his same short story – and what’s even more inspiring is that he used to hang those rejection letters on his wall, until he received a ‘resounding’ yes letter for his writing. He didn’t let his failures stop him; instead his pain pushed him, until his vision pulled him. Result: His enduring passion and grit made him one of the finest writers this world could ever produce.

As Daniel Pink rightly said: “One of the best predictors of ultimate success … isn’t natural talent or even industry expertise, but how you explain your failures and rejections. There is no substitute to hard work.

So here’s my sad little story that shaped me as a bold and a hungry individual.  Going back in time, those sleepless nights when I prepping for my much-awaited board exams. I was toiling the whole night, studying 18 hours, barely with any sufficient breaks, only to see that I didn’t land up in my dream college – SRCC. I felt my life was over. All those moments when I was writing notes and literally filled so many sheets on which I lost count – mastering books at least 10-15 times each – I felt became  a book myself. I never whined that 1 year, complaining that there was no tutor (because I couldn’t afford one), and festering over my dingy past when all my friends left me in a pit.

I just had one mission for that one year – land up in my favorite college and make my mom smile. But, as it in turned out, my eyes couldn’t believe the marks I got – I was sullen, devastated and just dead from inside. I was cursing everything around me, and my negativity was only intensifying – only to find out that I had to take anti-depressants to calm my nerves. What a recipe for disaster!

All my friends for that next big college landed those 98% marks and surpassed those never-ending lists of potential students vying to get admissions. And I here I was, knocked down, feeling timid and insignificant as if it was the last day of my life. My dreams were not shattered, they were finished. Life comes with its own set of packages – it’s bittersweet.

So finally I regrouped myself, help my horses again and started applying for other colleges. And seeing my past has only made me so evolved and strong! You would never know when you hard work pays off – it could be in your college, or maybe later in your life; for me, it reinvented me – a person who is agile, innately curious, intuitive and a lifelong learner.  I learned the biggest lesson in my life – don’t give up!

Have grit and passion; because in the end, it not your IQ or EQ that counts – it is your grit that will make you shine even in your darkest times of your life. And that is a hallmark of a true professional!

It is in the end, all a state of mind: of what is success and what is failure. But for me, it is the journey – not the destination. And how you sail through all these crests and troughs and still stand tall yet humble is where your character lies. Keep redefining yourself; repurpose your meaning; reinstate your conviction in yourself. And you never know, you might be just inscribing the most inspiring story on the canvas of your life and for others to help them find theirs. Allow your heart to break. And surrender. Believe that it will guide you to your compass (your true north), where you truly belong.

And your passion will find you.