Corporate musings

The Vivekananda series ….. 5. Daring


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This is one of my personal favorites and I love the topic – daring ….

Many of us live safe and secure lives, never pushing the boundaries on anything – whether education or work or experiences. Every child is born courageous, and we as parents and more mature individuals introduce fear and limits, clipping the child’s wings. A newborn baby starts kicking and crying its way into the world and it has just left the secure womb of its mother. There are strange people around the baby, lights, dangerous implements, things that can cause a lot of damage to the little baby… But there is no fear in the baby. Sure, the baby also has no responsibility, and is helpless so there is no reason to know fear.

Think of how we grew up, don’t do this, it will hurt you, don’t do that, you will burn yourself, don’t go in the dark, don’t talk to strangers, don’t eat anything a stranger gives you …. Yes these are are all important don’ts that we teach our children, but every don’t also introduces fear. Then schools make you fear failure and celebrate success, if you don’t get this college and you don’t do this Engineering degree, you won’t succeed. If you don’t become a doctor, how will you earn enough? If you just do a degree, well, now you end up in a BPO !! 🙂 let’s just say you end up in a job.

Again, the fear never leaves you and you don’t fully explore all the areas at work and find what’s interesting to you. The fear doesn’t let you “shake the chandeliers” as Mohit would say. Stop and think if Jack Welch would be considered the greatest CEO ever, if he didn’t shake every chandelier he could lay his hands on and borrow some and shake them too ? Think of every great corporate figure, our very own Ratan Tata, Anand Mahindra, Azim Premji, Narayana Murthy, Dhirubhai Ambani… Everyone of them shook all the chandeliers and now you call them greats. So business history says – let the fear be, dare to make changes, try different things, learn from every failure and just take the risk, you have nothing to lose. If you succeed that’s great, if you fail, you just succeed in learning something new ! The monthly salary is such a risk-prevention pill, we get lulled by the security it provides and just do what’s needed to keep that salary coming. If you want to do great things, you need to dare to take great risks.. The very fact that amongst the 7 billion people we are on Earth, just a handful are considered great, says a lot about us, fearful human beings !!

In our personal lives, we just seem to think that we need to return ourselves intact to the God of death and just eat, grow, grow older, have children, work, earn, sleep, do the right things as a father/mother, die. God creates this magical place called Earth, and gives us magical powers to think, feel and experience a myriad hues of thoughts, emotion and life and we do nothing, shame on us. Go out, dare to dream, dare to fall, dare to love, dare to try, dare to take life head on …. Just dare to live, fully.

A matching life to the Master’s quote above is Helen Keller, who was deaf and blind. And here’s what she says for life …. I rest my case 🙂

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