Sunday, December 29, 2013

There are NO shortcuts...

The world is increasingly “shrinking”. Availability of resources to acquire knowledge and procurement of things are a lot easier than the past. Shopping, entertainment, communication etc. have become faster and easier because of the technological advances. Although these technological advances have made the process of learning and understanding easier, the competition has also grown many folds. One has to be the best in his field of interest to become successful and touch the horizons. One needs to put in persistent efforts to become the best. Thus in the process of development of an individual or in the formative age there is no technology that can replace hard work. In other words there are no short cuts to success and happiness.

The Shivam House students and teachers explored this very important aspect in the daily morning assemblies during the week immediately following the beginning of the post-Diwali break. This report is a compilation of the various ideas shared during this very inspirational week.

Today, people are in such hurry to get success, that, they impatiently take any shortcuts that come across their way and bypass the process of acquiring skill. Momentarily we feel happy but unfortunately after taking such short cuts the task goes beyond our abilities and comfort levels. So, the key to any long-term success is to take the necessary steps to acquire the skills and steadily progress towards the goal.

Right from childhood, those children who work hard constantly and have regularly increased the practice hours at different stages in life are the ones to be the most successful and create history. But if the students take short cut then they have to face lots of consequences. The pile of concepts not learnt, or skill not acquired during the formative years becomes too difficult to cope up and finally as they move to the higher standards, more and more hours of studies would be required to acquire what is missed. Increase in stress, tension and becoming ignorant of learning are some ill effects of short cuts. Following are a few from the long list of successful people who have persistently put efforts:
  1. Mozart, for example, famously started writing music at the age of six. Mozart had started composing when he was 6 and the earliest of Mozart’s composition that is now regarded as a masterwork was not composed until he was twenty-one: by that time Mozart had already been composing concerts for ten years.
  2. India’s Grand Master Vishwananthan Anand started playing chess when he was 6 years old and he became the India’s first Grandmaster at the age of 18. He won the first World championship at the age of 31. So it took him 12 years to earn the Grand Master Title and then another 13 to become the World Chess Champion.
  3. Bill Joy an American Computer Scientist co-founder of Sun-Micro Systems in 1982 just at the age of 28. He started programming at a very early age, just after graduating from high school. The programs that he wrote in Unix are used till date as the base of programming in assembly line language.
History also presents to us numerous examples of achievers whose achievements were due to the fierce struggle they did in life and had the attitude of never give. For example, Tenzing Norgay could achieve world fame, only after making dozens of unsuccessful efforts at conquering the Mt. Everest. Our country India would never have achieved independence by taking shortcut. It was the battle of 200 years by our freedom fighters. Let me share with you an interesting secret about the Chinese bamboo. A tree that grows really tall --- to a height of over eighty feet. It takes around five years and three months to grow to its full height. But here is the interesting bit. For the first five years of planting the seed, we see nothing, absolutely nothing. Except perhaps a little shoot springing out of the bulb and struggling to grow.

And then, in the next 90 days, it shoots up to a towering eighty feet. That is, for the first 60 months, all the growth is invisible, below the surface. The Chinese bamboo’s roots create a complex network. It is these strong roots that, when fully developed, helps the trees to grow to a very big height. In the next three months it literally takes off and becomes as tall as eight feet.

Often, too often, we do all the hard work and when we are perhaps just a step away from success, we walk away. Trouble is we seldom know that we are only a step away, just a step away from realizing our dreams. In this era of instant coffee and fast food, get-rich-quick schemes and lose-weight-quickly medicines perhaps we all need to take a pause and take a lesson from the Chinese Bamboo. Patience and persistent hard work has its rewards. Nothing happens in a magical way. Persistence always pays. Success in all our endeavours is what we all want, but most of us forget that the road to success is not always sprinkled with roses, it could be thorny and very long!

We may possess the talent but hard work helps us to nurture the talent and make us unconsciously competent by imbibing the skill. Hard work has changed the fortunes of mankind. If we delve deeper into the life of stars like Ratan Tata, Dr. Abdul Kalam, Narendra Modi, Sachin Tendulkar, Michael Jordan, Lata Mangeshkar, Pandit Zakir Hussain, Amitabh Bachchan, Marvan Attapatu, etc. we will realize that they are unconsciously competent in their fields of expertise. They were able to achieve this because of their persistent hard work.

The question is, are we ready to put in persistent efforts required to achieve success. 
Written by: Rashmi Ma'am

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