Monday, November 19, 2012

The Greatness Mantra- Helping the Student find the Greatness within…

Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.

Rabindranath Tagore

This quote by a great Indian poet shows you the power you have within yourself to lead a life of Greatness. As children we are often excited about life, constantly questioning beliefs, cheery, joyful and always full of life. Everyday is a new beginning and a fresh start for a child. The wonder that you see in a child’s eye about the infinite possibilities of the day ahead is indeed magical. 

 (At our recent Youth Empowerment Program at the Snehasadan Home for Children, Andheri, Mumbai)
It is interesting to understand the working of a growing child’s mind. As the child grows up he enters School. He now becomes a student. Suddenly there are expectations of him to score well at school, to stand first in class, to dress well, to eat well among many other great expectations. Children may then start comparing themselves with other children and then competition drives their behavior and actions and not love and passion. Some children then become part of a race to be better than every other person they see in everything that they do. This habit to become good at everything that we do continues well into high school and college. But some other children, create and carve out a path of their own, and focus on becoming better than themselves by becoming an expert in only one thing they are truly passionate about. It is the latter that the Student must choose to design the great life they deserve to live

Now the next obvious question may be how do you find out what you are passionate about or how do you find out the one single thing you must become an expert in. To answer this we now take a journey back to your childhood again. As you grew up where there certain things you would do for long periods of time that you enjoyed thoroughly. Was there a time when you were so indulged in what you were doing that hours and hours passed by, but you never realized so. As you went to school, what would you spend most of your free time doing. In short was there some skill or some task that you often did as you grew up that you really enjoyed a lot.

This may take some time. Some children have already figured out what they are passionate about. The others are still in search for answers. But even if you have not yet found what you are passionate about, it is important you keep looking and trying a variety of different things until you find the answers you are looking for. You do this again not to compete with anybody else, but you do this to find the best in yourself. This is the secret of the most successful people in the world. They are not trying to blend in with the crowd and be part of a rat race. Rather they are in search of a life where they get the opportunity to do what they love and in the process make the world a better place to be in. The best generosity you can give to the world is to be the best you. 

  ( It takes 10,000 hours or more to become really good at what you do)

Once you have found out what you are passionate about, you must then become so good at what you do that when people talk about you and your passion, they say that this person is ‘Best in the World’ at what he or she does. They say this not because you are constantly competing with others but in turn because you are constantly raising your own standards. You have now reached a point where your goals and aspirations have exceeded those of many others in the same field. This has happened because you focused on improving the on thing you can improve which is yourself.

The next step to finding the Greatness within is to develop your passion so that you can use your passion to contribute positively to the world. You can use this by applying the Greatness Mantra to your life, which has three simple steps. The three simple steps are to model the best, to read and learn, and finally to put in 10,000 hours of practice.

Firstly you have to model the best. Once you have found out what you are passionate about, you find out who is the best in the world at that task or skill. If it is cricket you study the lives and work of the great cricketers of the world like Don Bradman, Sachin Tendulkar, Shane Warne. If it is literature you are interested in, you study the work of Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Mark Twain, Virginia Woolf and more. It is the same for every other field. Here you try to understand what these individuals did right from their childhood till the present to become so good at what they do. Again here you are not competing with them, but rather by learning from their experiences you are creating new high standards for yourself and this will help you in finding the Greatness in yourself in your specific field. Thus focus on learning from the best and using what they know to become not only the best in your city or your country, but the best in the world.

Secondly you must read and learn. Now many fortunate children get to choose courses at the high school and college level that further develop their passions. Some are not so lucky but these children to have the opportunity to work on their passion. Reading as many books on the field as you can is one way. Anthony Robbins read over 700 books related to his field before he became a world famous human potential expert and motivational speaker. Thus find out what the best and most informative books in your field are and read them. For a few other fields, where you need you need actual practice like cricket and music, you can talk to fellow and accomplished musicians who you have access to and learn from their experiences. Today we are part of an Information Age and all the information you need to become an expert in your field is available out there. You can attend seminars about your field, research on the internet through blogs, websites and social networking, attend talks by accomplished individuals in your field, or simply choose a course at the high school or college level that would further develop your passion. 

 (Tony Robbins, the world famous human potential expert and speaker read 700 books related to his field in his youth)

Thirdly and most importantly is to put in your 10,000 hours of practice in the field of your choice. Malcolm Gladwell in the book ‘Outliers: The Story of Success’ mentions two wonderful examples of this 10,000-hour rule. Bill gates created his first computer program at the age of 13 in 1968. He spent all his free time at the computer center in Washington in 1971. He also worked as a programmer during high school. Thus when he dropped out of Harvard to create Microsoft he was way beyond his 10,000 hours of practice in computer programming. The Beatles met in 1957. In 1960 they went to Hamburg, Germany and played at clubs over there for four months for five hours every day. For the next four years till 1964 they kept playing at various clubs and their first burst of success came after 1,200 shows which is more than 10,000 hours of live musical performance. 
In both these cases, the individuals that found the greatness within them and created situations for themselves to spend 10,000 hours perfecting their craft, before making it big in the world. This is what the students  must focus on. First to find what they are passionate about and then focus on creating an environment that will allow them to practice and master their craft for 10,000 hours.

(Individuals that applied the 10,000 hour rule to their lives)

(The Beatles putting in their 10,000 hours in Hamburg, Germany)

 (Bill Gate never lost a chance to become better at programming and took every opportunity he got)
Do not change the world, just leave it a little better than you found it. You can do this by becoming really good and passionate about whatever you do and then finding out how you can use your skills for the benefit of many others.

Remember that you matter, that you are special and that you are a missing piece of a huge jigsaw puzzle of the world. Help yourself find the Greatness you deserve in your life. Make the Greatness Mantra part of your life and understand that if you love what you do and in the process help make the world a better place to be in, you are Great.

No comments:

Post a Comment