I recently received a hub request from a reader to write my next article in Le Mauricien on COURAGE. So, be it. I’ll be sharing a few experiences of my life. And it won’t be something from books or computer. If I do that, I’ll be cheating you and I’ll be like a gambler.
Courage… To me, courage is the ability to convert weakness into strength, obstacles into stepping stones, and disaster into thrive. If I’ve to put it in one line – courage is not the absence of fear ; it is the conquest of fear.
Everybody fears. Karna, the great warrior in Mahabharata, is being taken to fight Arjuna, and his charioteer Salya tells him, “Oh great warrior, you are going to compete with the ambidextrous master archer Maharathi Arjuna, aren’t you fearful ?”
And the answer that comes from Karna is brilliant. He said, “Oh charioteer, there’s no fighter on earth who doesn’t hold a fear. My fear keeps me alert, vigilant and cautious. It doesn’t overrate my self-confidence.”
Indeed, I’ve always believed that fear multiplies faster than rabbits. I’ll put it in another way since there are different ways of saying things ; fear is the darkroom in which negatives are developed. Negativity kills you, fear clogs, faith liberates. I’ll take you to a story which will clear the fog. It’s something that happened in front of my eyes, something that I experienced…
In 2010, I represented Africa for media operations at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. It happened that I became the close friend of an Indian badminton champion in the Olympic village. After winning his final, Abhinav asked me to accompany him to the newsroom where international reporters were waiting to interview him.
If truth be told, Abhinav used to murder the English language. He was actually from a small village in India and 6-grade pass. He spoke only Hindi. When we entered the newsroom, I saw a lot of refined and chic reporters ready with their well-framed English questions. I told myself, “Abhinav, today you’re gone man !”
A reporter stood up and questioned him, “Why did other countries’participants couldn’t defeat you ? You are too good. Why can’t we produce another Abhinav ?”
Abhinav was sitting silently. In my mind I was thinking, you don’t murder a man who’s trying to commit suicide. I was so frightened at that moment. In his place, I would have fainted.
The reporter got up again and repeated the question.
Abhinav stood up and said, “Ladies and gentlemen…”
Immediately I whispered to him, “Bro, there’s no ladies here.”
“Shhhh…,” he told me.
I remember those exact words. If I distort those words, I’ll take the spirit of the man away.
“Ladies and gentlemen, my father is 70, my mother is 60, so we cannot produce another Abhinav.”
Goodness gracious me, I stood up merrily and applauded him. Even the press members perkily applauded him. It’s amazing ; he is a champion. Champions think differently. Our thoughts are the real interpreters of our actions. You are what you think.
You know, it’s not about education. Education is never received ; it is achieved. It’s about your thought process. It’s about how you handle a tough situation. He came from a very humble background, but he had the courage to face that situation, unlike me. It’s because I doubted myself ; I had the thought process – will I do it or will I not ?
Put your hand on the heart and ask yourself, do you have that feeling ? Most of us have it. Whenever you go for a big job’s interview, or something from which you have big expectations, you doubt yourself and that’s what kills you. When you think too much, you kill yourself. You go to play football ; you come out refreshed, why ? Because you are not thinking of anything else, you are just focused on that ball. You go to watch a movie ; you come out refreshed, why ? Because there are no other thoughts that clog your mind. You have just one point of focus. That’s what meditation is all about.
This is what happens to courageous people. They become achievers. You need to be a believer first, and then you become an achiever. You know, doubt creates a mountain and faith tunnels through that mountain. That’s what makes an achiever. It’s just how you tackle that situation. Never become a miserable in life. The society likes miserables. I hate it, because those who achieve never point a finger to anybody. Those who achieve take the burden on their shoulders and carry it. They’ll never ever crib and cry.
The biggest room in this world, dear readers, is the room for improvement. And the biggest disease in this world is “what will people say about me ?” Get out of this disease. Just tell yourself “I’m responsible for my actions. Why should I compete with others ? Why should I pull others down ? Why should I abuse others ? Why can’t I make myself better ?” Those who become accountable to the world are not the happy ones. Instead, those who become accountable to themselves, to their inner God, are the happy ones.
Last thing that I have to impart is that there’s nothing easy in life. It’s all about blood, sweat, toil and tears.