There is nothing stronger in the world than gentleness.
“The toughest steel is forged in the hottest fire.”
Steel can only be forged in a furnace. Without exposure to extremely high temperatures, the metal wouldn’t be quite as strong.
Coal becomes a glittering diamond only after being crushed by intense pressure for thousands of years.
Competition is the stress that brings out the best in us humans.
It reveals the steel in your psyche. It exposes the diamond at your core.
This raises some concerns about today’s youngsters, who seemingly face stiffer competition, but in reality have it a lot easier than in the past.
Back when I was in high school, those who wanted to become engineers had only 3 universities to choose from. If you didn’t get into one, you changed career choices… out of compulsion!
So one had to work hard. Study desperately. And get lucky.
Otherwise, you didn’t get the career you dreamed of.
Fast forward to today. The biggest ‘problem’ for aspiring engineers is whether their chosen branch will be available in a college in their own home town – or if they’ll be forced to move to another city!
Everyone who wants an engineering college seat can get one – only the price and place will change. That’s not “competitive”.
Now what will happen when they face a really competitive environment somewhere down the line?
No matter where you are at this point in your career, “This is the easiest life is going to get!”
It’s true. These relatively minor struggles are meant to prepare you for the far tougher challenges to follow. It’s best to look on it as training – for life.
Without the pressure building up gradually, how will your inner diamond harden and shine?
Without turning up the heat to an almost intolerable level, how will the steel in your soul toughen and grow strong?
Without this battle, this competition, this struggle to survive, thrive and excel…
Without it all, how will you become a real winner?
P.S. – If you don’t like too much competition or stress, you might enjoy my book.
Our next article is in the nature of an appeal to those who complain endlessly – and it makes a compelling case. To get notified when we post it… join our email list.
“Mom, can I have Bournvita (a malt drink) from tomorrow, please?”
My wife was a little shocked by her request.
For years, the refrain at breakfast had been, “But why can’t I have coffee?”
Our response – “Coz you’re not old enough!” – was countered by impassioned arguments, some quite creative, that tried to make the case that she really was.
Fast forward to now. When she’s offered coffee, the little one no longer wants it.
She prefers Bournvita – the same drink she had dismissed with scorn for years!
What’s going on here?
A simple case of “being human”.
You see it play out everywhere. Across all ages. And over years.
- College courses and careers.
- Jobs and friendships.
- Entertainment, travel or recreation.
- Partner or spouse.
- And anything else.
When you can’t have it, you want it – badly.
When you can have it, though, you don’t want it – at any price!
P.S. – If you don’t even know what you want, then read my book.
Our next article is about stress, pressure and competition – and how they forge you into your very best version. To get notified when we post it… join our email list.
“Every man has but one destiny.” – Don Corleone, in ‘The Godfather’
Every morning I drive down Sterling Road, one of Chennai’s oldest avenues.
Each time, a mini-movie plays in my mind.
It features a long-dead classmate with a penchant for riding powerful motorcycles.
I’m standing near the old bell in med school, chatting with some friends. It’s a celebration. College Day.
I hear a loud roar behind me. Feel a whoosh, as something hurtles by, barely missing me by a couple of inches… and screeches to a stop a few yards ahead, turns left and roars towards the gate.
It was my classmate.
The guy who loved speeding on his bike.
The one who, a few months later, rode it full tilt into the back of a stationary lorry on Sterling Road.
If he had swerved just one foot to his left that evening, the impact would have fractured my ribs and skull. Probably killed me instantly. Or left me seriously wounded, maybe paralyzed for life.
At age seventeen!
Every time since then, when things seem to be going bad, I ask myself:
“What if it had happened?”
That lends a certain perspective to my current situation. And has been of great help in dealing with tough circumstances and complications.
Several decades later, I’m still around. Alive and kicking.
Because it did NOT happen.
But why didn’t it?
Who can say? Maybe because…
It’s my Destiny.
Everybody has one.
And if you read my book, ‘The Icedrop’ you’ll be convinced about it!
Our next article is about what you cannot have – and how that affects how you think. To get notified when we post it… join our email list.