When I was a young poor boy, I used to dream about becoming somebody. But I did not know where to reach nor how to go about it. There was some amber that burnt inside compelling me to go forward: I had to be somebody in my life at any cost. When I was 15, I had completed grade X and it was time to join a college for further studies. But my people could not even afford me a square meal, let alone send me for higher studies. I was working too to meet the bare necessities of life.
Everything seemed so dark. It was then the diocesan priests admitted me into their seminary as an aspirant for priesthood. I did not care much for religion or God but there was no other way to keep myself afloat. But as soon as I was there, I started devouring English like a hungry destitute eats food. Later, the proficiency in English and the good accent I had developed opened avenues I had not dreamt of.
I could not follow my innate interests (which I realized much later): speaking, writing (both fiction and non-fiction). And instead I leant construction engineering (I am in a way grateful to it as this fetches me a good income even now) even though I was better cut out for the other things mentioned. If there was someone to guide me at an younger age to focus all my attention on what I enjoyed doing, perhaps I could have done much better later as an author and speaker. Now I know we succeed when we devote all our time and all our resources on one particular line. Dabbling in so many unrelated subjects will make us a jack of all trades and we will not be able to excel in any one of them.
From self help books and from the lives of a number of highly successful people, I have learnt a big lesson: success comes after relentless efforts and concentration on a single target. Lucky are those who land up in pursuing what they enjoy from an early age. To succeed at anything we need a few essentials: 1. A clearly defined profession and goal (not vague, not unclear) which will be in harmony with your innate aptitudes and talents. Let your profession and goals harmonize with your inner you. Listen to the still voice, the inner guide within. Let your inner instincts and the reservoir of intuition guide you in your choices. As a rule, by the time you are in your early twenties you will know what work or profession you enjoy, what harmonizes with your inner you. Chose a profession in which you have a passion which is like a hobby.
One of the timeless secrets of a long happy life: pursue a work that you can enjoy. The common denominator of the happiest souls is that they all loved their work. It was fun for them. They did not work a single day. It was all play and work. The truly successful ones simply pursued their goals without knowing whether they were working or playing.
This is the greatest criteria you should bear in mind. Not the pay and perks. Not the management and the working climate. Not the scope for promotions or personal aggrandizement. Not the pension or the distance from your home or anything else.
It need not be a regular job; you follow what your mind is after. It can be photography, singing, painting, bird –watching, animal or plant love, nature conservation, fashion, movie direction, sculpture, selfless service, whatever.
The question is: ‘Will you enjoy doing it? Will you be able to develop a passion for it?’ This should be the only guiding principle in choosing your work or goal. 2. An intense passion to get there. This is not a desire but an all consuming obsession so much so that you devote every bit of your emotional energy pool to attain it. It cannot be a vague desire or a passive goal which you are entitled through the present occupation. This should be a goal you have consciously chosen after considerable deliberation and inner search which you will reach in any case, come what may. For developing an inner passion there are three basic requirements:
a. You have an intense desire to get there. b. The target is sufficiently big enough to motivate you
c. Your inner you like the profession and the work associated with it.
3. Think it and dream it more than half the time you are awake.
The last of the three requirements above, is very crucial. Earlier, you were told to work or act continuously until you get what you want. But let me change the prescription: you don’t have to work at all; just think about it, at least half the time you are awake and action would follow. But thinking about more than half the time awake is not all that easy. Our minds drift from one subject to another, from one thought to a totally different one, just like frames come into focus one after another in a movie.