A very nice story I once heard – there was a person who bought a piece of land because he was told that there’s gold underneath. He bought it for real cheap because the person who was selling didn’t know of it. So, this man was happy and he spent a lot of money on buying the necessary equipment for digging the gold. He went about the process with great gusto. Days and weeks went by, but there was no sight of gold at all. His energy and enthusiasm kept decreasing by the day. His debts were increasing. He pledged all of his property to continue this work. It was his only ray of hope. Yet, no gold in sight. After some time, he was tired, broken, and lost hope. He thought maybe he was misinformed. He realized there’s no good to come of it and sold his land to someone at a throwaway price. He was desperate to get some money and go back to his normal life. A week later, he got to know that the person who bought the land from him, actually struck gold. And it was a lot! The man could never forgive himself for giving up. If only he had known that gold was so near, that his win was right around the corner!
However, that’s life. We won’t know when we are about to win. We will know only after we win. The key point is, can we trust and hang in there – in that ‘not-knowing state’. We may not know if our efforts are going to yield results, but can we continue to be consistent? Can we continue to keep the faith?
My own story – I started blogging a few years back when one of my colleagues had suggested. She did tell me right then, that consistency is the key. To keep writing and posting often. Of course, I didn’t follow that. I told myself that I can’t write for the sake of posting. I will write only when thoughts come to me. I won’t write for a habit. And I lived under that umbrella for the last 5 years.
Then came a belief changing moment. I saw this young lady, a phenomenal dancer, embark on a journey a year back. She set herself up for a challenge, to post a dance video every day. By then, I was doing videos on NLP – and I was doing one every two weeks. I thought that itself was challenging. And I wondered – creating every day would be huge! I would never set myself up for that kind of a challenge because I thought firstly, it would be really tough to create something every day. Secondly, the quality might be compromised as I start doing something for the sake of doing it. I couldn’t be further away from the truth.
(pic credit – Shruti Gupta – https://instagram.com/shruthi.kathak?igshid=196gnpib7u8ug)
It’s with great delight, that I take this opportunity to congratulate and compliment my inspiration – Shruti Gupta, as she completes a year of her challenge. 365 days of creation! It is mind-blowing! She dispelled a lot of fears/doubts. Not because she spoke to me but because she followed something. If some of you have noticed, 5 years, I wrote less than 100 blogs. Suddenly – last 40 days or so, I have written 40 odd blogs. I have been writing every day. I gave myself this challenge inspired by her. If she can do it, I can too. Initially, I had a thought, “What will I write about every day? Will I have enough things to write about?” Then I thought to myself – “When I am living every single day, how could I possibly run out of things to say?” It was a baseless fear.
Another fear I had was – won’t I be compromising on quality? Won’t I get repetitive? And then I thought, why do I need to judge myself even before I do something? Why do I have to hold myself from stepping forward, thinking what if I take a wrong step? Right or wrong, the journey was going to help me learn and become much better at what I am doing. That’s my biggest learning watching Shruti – I have seen her grow leaps and bounds as a dancer. This entire year, living and breathing dance every day – she has developed such a finesse that I dare say, her 20 years of dancing was on one side – and her growth in this one year is on one side. That’s when I thought, doesn’t matter if I get repetitive, it doesn’t matter if I make mistakes, it doesn’t matter if I don’t know what lies ahead or what should be my next step. I have to trust the process and plunge in. I have no clue of social media, I have no idea of SEO or using the right tags or anything for that matter. But not knowing what next shouldn’t be stopping me from what I can do now. And I realized as I kept moving forward, the next steps are making way by themselves. One day at a time. I still don’t know where is it going to lead me. But one thing for sure, I am enjoying the process of racking my brains every day and thinking of what to write and looking within and looking outside with a new lens every day.
Is it a bed of roses? Yes! With thorns! It wasn’t/isn’t easy. Shruti has a huge fan base now, but she also has some challenging times. We all see what we wish to see, regardless of what efforts someone puts in. If you see a dog walking on water, you can either be amazed that it is walking on water or complain that it can’t swim! But again, it’s a part of the journey to have both and learn to handle both. I think even the challenging situations and people have helped her learn how to deal with all of that in a much better way. A part of success is that we get to learn how to deal with others’ egos, judgments, and love-hate relationships too. And more importantly, how to handle ourselves, our egos, judgments, and relationships too, amidst all of that. From a young girl I saw a year back, she’s growing up to be a fine lady. They say a sign of excellence is when you know how to impart your knowledge to others. She has marveled at that.
And lastly, most importantly – this journey that I have begun – helped me stop one thing I was doing all these years – which was judging my work. I have been writing all these years but not posting because I had judged my work even before it was judged by anyone else. In the name of standards, I was only being critical. I wasn’t putting myself out there. Now, with having to write every day, I have had to let go of that need to get things right! And I can’t tell you how liberating it is! It’s like newfound freedom. I write because I want to write. Period! I am ready to make mistakes, miss a few words here and there – be corrected by friends, and learn! Perfection is no longer my pursuit. Neither is excellence. I realized they are byproducts of what you do. They aren’t the actual products to pursue. I am pursuing my passion. Not perfection. So, progress is important! For all this and more, thank you Shruti – I never knew that seeing you will have such a deep impact on so many levels! You did something for yourself. And by doing so, you have inspired many others too! It would be an injustice to not give credit to the one who makes such an impact! Thank you for the valuable life lessons and inspiration! Keep rocking! And I am absolutely certain, there are many more gold mines coming your way as you dance along!