Today’s achievements can never be the guarantee for tomorrow’s success. Yes, the glory and impact of our current accomplishments are always short-lived. Only the unwise would want to rely on them and believe they have made their future safe and easy.
Ask any sportsperson, and they will tell you that their worth is as good as their last performance in the eyes of the world and those who matter to them. You lose one game, and the perception curve dives down ruthlessly.
Laddu was visiting a wellness clinic. He had an appointment with the psychologist. He was on a series of therapy. The concern was “depression”, and the cause was “non-acceptance of the fact that, once a hero is not an eternal hero!”
Yes, the story of Laddu is scary. He represented India in an international tournament and won the bronze medal. This accomplishment happened seven years back. After that, the turn of events was not favourable for Laddu Pinto. He became a victim of the COVID-19 virus. He lost a few great opportunities to qualify for the final list of the India team.
When he had won the last medal, advertisers used to approach him for “celebrity endorsement”. As time elapsed, those contracts did not get renewed. Neither any new ones came his way. There was a phase when Laddu was surrounded by people seeking selfies. Travelling was not easy for him; “spotted on airport” was a common reel featuring Laddu. However, after these many years of no performance and no glory, no one did spot Laddu when he walked through the marketplace!
The reason for Laddu’s mental disease is explained above. This story is that of a real-life hero. We have many such examples, most of those in our neighbourhood. People become complacent and stop hitting newer milestones. That becomes the beginning of the end for that person.
Never stop at one event’s success. Success is never an event. It is a journey. Those who get stuck with such circumstances of accomplishments stop growing further. But Laddu was not convinced with all this gyan. He came to me with all his unanswered question marks.
Laddu was the owner of a beautiful farmhouse. There were hundreds of trees, landscaping, water bodies etc out there. I asked Laddu to arrange a two-day retreat for me at his farmhouse, to which he readily agreed.
Both of us were strolling in the plantation area of the farmhouse. The mangoes on the trees had sprinkled a tempting fragrance in the air. We were naturally attracted to move in that direction. I loved mangoes very much. Laddu offered me to collect as many as I wanted. I asked Laddu, “Will eating one mango give me the desired taste? Or will I be required to eat a handful to get the feel of those?”
Laddu grinned and said, “Just one mango is sufficient to get the taste, but a few more will be required to quench the desire”. I responded, “Rightly said, dear Laddu. Now tell me what would have happened if this mango tree had produced only one fruit?” Laddu laughed at this proposition. How is that even possible? If it is a tree, it must supply thousands of fruits, year on year! Isn’t it?
Laddu, “You expect so much from a tree!” I said. Likewise, what is wrong if society expects more events of success from you? I continued, “Laddu, you do catch fish from the lake. What if the lake had just one fish?” What if the clouds refuse to shower rains more than once in the season? What if the sun said, “I will give out rays only for one hour in the day?”
Life is a continuous event. No one has the luxury to stop at ‘one’. Whatever your profession, keep working towards the next milestone with peace and compassion. Don’t stop. Never allow the grass to grow under your feet.
Do contact me in case you have any career queries.
Dr. Ajit Varwandkar is the Director of myaglakadam.com. He is a leading career counselor and can be contacted on 9826132972 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
This column was originally published by the author in The Times of India