Monday, September 28, 2020

We really can do better

‘We have so much potential within ourselves.”

That’s what we are told from childhood and throughout our lives.

We pay money to listen to motivational speakers, we read inspirational books like how to be rich, how to influence people and make friends, rich dad, poor dad etc. We look up to icons, we fantasize about what we could be.

All that is the easy part; the real question comes when we have to ask ourselves why we are not what we want to be, or dream of becoming.

Is it because of circumstances beyond our control? Is it because we are unfortunate or lazy? Is it because we don’t know how to transfer our thoughts to paper and be able to practice them.
Exploiting one’s full potential happens quite rarely because, as it turns out, we are all capable of becoming what we put our minds to; apparently it’s a mentality issue.

If you believe you can be a writer, a visual artist and an English teacher at the same time, apparently you can, and the rules of the universe should be no obstacle for you.

Is it because we can’t channel our thoughts into something that we believe is achievable.

I, for one, believe that ideas rule the world; no matter how hasty, no matter how silly, or how alien like, all it takes is an idea on how to discover our potential.

Ignoring those ideas that we have just because we don’t want to be laughed at or seen as dreamers, will get us nowhere in life; that’s a fact.

What is the use of having ideas/thoughts that are different from other people’s line of thinking when you can’t use them to show the world and yourself that you are truly unique, and you have learned to accept that you are made of sheer brilliance?

The one thing we need to accept is that an idea, no matter how foolish, will always have followers. Others might think it’s silly, but the amount of confidence and work one puts into it makes the difference. Other people who matter might actually buy into it and help you turn it into something.

A wise professor of mine unknowingly inspired me when he said,
”It all starts with an idea; if you have an idea, you have a path to follow. I mean, look at Microsoft; look at Apple; look at the telephone. These were all someone’s ideas at first, I am quite sure that at first when they pitched them to someone, some people actually laughed, but they didn’t give up. And, well, look at them now.”

What I am actually trying to say is that as human beings we have been given the greatest gift of all: the ability to think for ourselves, our brains work overtime, analyzing, and receiving information and thinking up different types of possibilities.

But we are sometimes so quick to disregard what could possibly be a great idea that could be used by our generation and the one after us.
Why do we do that? Is it because we don’t have enough courage to show the world that we are unique or is it because we want to hide in the shadows of what society deems acceptable.
The man who created heart surgery obviously didn’t think so.

Maybe it all boils down to issues of stamina and persistence, patience maybe, but I really think it’s the confidence that we have in ourselves as people.

Obviously, a Bill gates who didn’t really believe his idea could become something big would have not dared to go to all length to introduce his new and strange idea to the world, but a Bill Gates who understood that he had a killer idea did not flinch in his attempt to introduce to the world what is now an everyday necessity globally.
Imagine that, and he was a school drop out.

If he can do it? Why cant you and I?

I have had the honour of visiting an industrial home for the blind in Mumbai, India, and what an experience it was.

It was the first time for me to experience such respect for humankind. Despite their visual impairment, they were able to do things I couldn’t even see myself doing.

They were making chairs and thread, and wall hangings, beautiful ones for that matter, and their patterns were perfectly symmetrical. They couldn’t do anything wrong, they even had a computer school for the blind, which is something I have never come across. The guy who was teaching the computer courses was also a blind man.

Once you see them and their achievement, you reserve your pity for yourself because these people with disabilities were able to do what some of the so-called able-bodied people cannot do.

They make something for themselves.
They have a saying that, ‘if I have hands,feet,and a brain that works, I can do anything I want, even if I didn’t have hands and feet, my brain is my gift, my ability to think.’

All these started with an idea, someone was tired of seeing people being given the blind looks and stares of pity, while they stayed at home and couldn’t do anything for themselves.

Whoever the genius was, probably thought that one doesn’t need to see in order to find means to take care of themselves or their family. The people who can see are using the same tools that the blind have to make the things that they made.
People probably thought he was mad but his results are there for everyone to witness.

I, for one, will try hard to put down all the ideas that make sense to me and try to see if they materialize into something.

Half the time the idea might turn out to be worthless but one will definitely stick.

With just one idea, I can change the world! So can you!

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Sunday Standard September 27 – 3 October

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 27 - 3 October, 2020.