Monday, July 19, 2010


"The more magnificent the prospect, the lesser the certainty and the greater the passion"
There are times when you question the very genesis of your beliefs, your convictions and your own self. All too often, such doubts arise when taking a call on a task that you have never faced before or one which seems insurmountable. Should you succeed, the doubts fade into the background and are effortlessly replaced with an enviable sense of confidence. But, as is more likely, should you meet with failure, there is the very legitimate risk of plunging into a ceaseless progression of hesitation, misgiving and uncertainty about almost everything that you once held dear.

Mavericks. That’s what they call the ones who do not toe the line, who dare to think differently. Rebels. Eccentrics. Misfits. For persisting in trying to adapt the world to themselves, instead of just adapting themselves to the world and living a simpler life. And it does seem foolish to challenge conventional wisdom-the wisdom of the ages, proven true since time immemorial. Why risk it all on a turn of pitch-and-toss when you could very easily settle for just a notch below?

I pondered upon the dilemma of risking everything for a faint chance at attaining something truly magnificent. And logic said that the risk inherent in such a foolhardy enterprise should be deterrent enough for any rational individual. But then rationality does not create empires-it can never spur you to go the extra mile, never urge you to look beyond the obstacles, never replace the passion that excellence demands and deserves.

By some fortuitous coincidence, I happened to watch a movie called Tin Cup where the protagonist, a deserving underdog who is within a whisker of winning the US Open Golf Tournament, blows it all away because he wants to prove to himself that he is as good as he thinks he is. He can take the easy way out, play a safe shot and win the tourney. Or he can risk an audacious shot which will either give him a spectacular victory or a heart-breaking defeat.

He takes the shot. And misses. And keeps taking one shot after the other, each of them knocking him irredeemably out of the tournament, till he manages the perfect shot and sinks the putt. The spectators explode in applause at his grit and belief but he loses the tournament because he will not succumb to conformity. Immediately thereafter, he questions the validity of his apparent obstinacy. Why did he squander away the chance to enter the record books as a winner-merely to satisfy his own ego?

And the answer is simple. Because he knew he could do it. The record books are for trivia buffs and people who profess to love sports without ever having set foot on a playing field. But true love for any endeavour must necessarily embrace the madness, the perils, the failures and the passion without which all of it would be little more than a mundane chore. Passion can never be a business. And regardless of the multitudes seduced by the glamour of choreographed extravaganzas, it does not take long to recognize the presence of a genius.

Be it Lance Armstrong who overcame testicular cancer or Edison who so famously failed a thousand times before making the bulb or even Gandhi who subdued an empire wearing just a loincloth, each of these individuals believed in the beauty of their dreams. Dreams that we all have but few dare to pursue. For all purposes, dreams at first glance seem impossible. For those who ponder over them, they start seeming improbable. And to the scant few who are audacious enough to go after them, they soon become inevitable.

So here’s hoping that you realise that the greatest gift of all is something to strive for. And if you have that something, give it your all-break the shackles and reach for the stars-even if you lose, you will have some stardust on you. And should you win, immortality would be yours. 

"Talent does what it can.
Genius, what it must. "


  1. wonderfully written.. Loved reading every bit of it..

    Awesome motivational post.. :)

  2. brilliantly put...everyone can realise his/her true potential only if he/she can realise that there is something different all of us have to offer instead of trying to emulate others...

    btw, u just can't keep harvard or boston away...can u... :)

  3. A very well-written piece! I am glad I stumbled upon it!

  4. @Sushobhan-thanks ! Glad you liked it!

    @ Adarsh- cheeky as usual, so i will reply with something cheesy
    "Better to be a first-rate copy of urself than a second-rate copy of someone else" !

  5. @ Dee-thanks ! Hope you stumble across here more often !