A nudge of inspiration


Let me begin by telling you a story. A couple gave birth to a child in Germany, three years after their marriage. They were very happy with their little son and started building up plans for his future. However, the child had a huge head and his grandmother exclaimed that he was “much too fat.” His mother worried for her innocent kid. At the age of six, the lad was enrolled in a school but he was an introvert. His relationship with his peers was not all that appealing. He was as quiet as silence. He preferred playing at home with his sister than going to the school. Once his teacher remarked, “You know, you will never amount to anything.” He was expelled from school by the principal on the grounds that his presence was disruptive to the class and if affected other students. The child is none other than “Albert Einstein”, The Nobel prize winner!  If you judge a horse by its ability to swim, it will live it’s whole life believing that it is stupid. All of us are born achievers. Mankind is the most evolved species on the planet. But in the end, we are humans and humans are bound to commit errors. That’s the way we learn. “I have not failed”, said Albert Einstein, ” I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work!” We cannot direct the wind, but we definitely can adjust the sails.

Life is about the chances we take and the choices we make. Nobody is going to give you the encouragement you want for doing something, you have to discover it yourself! The world is going to give you thousands of opportunities to prove your genius mind, but it will also always find ways of bringing you down. Don’t hide into a shell thinking that you are good at nothing. True courage is falling seven times and getting up eight. Be breath-taking at whatever you become. Martin Luther king Jr quotes it best, “If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music, sweep streets like Leontyne Price sings before the Metropolitan Opera. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well. If you can’t be a pine at the top of the hill, be a shrub in the valley. Be the best little shrub on the side of the hill.

Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.”

THIS.IS.YOUR.LIFE. Make the most of it. Do what you want to, what you love doing. If you don’t like something, change it. If you don’t want to read, simply don’t. If you feel like not going to work today, go out, travel, do things that you enjoy doing. If you don’t go after what you want you will never have it. If you don’t ask, you will never know. If you don’t take a step forward, you will be in the same place. Don’t leave the past behind, but learn from it. Live in the present. Don’t try to apologize for being yourself. It’s your world, you have a right to live with freedom. Don’t feel shameful if you have failed to do something. The only shame is to have shame. You are a human, not perfect. Never wait for opportunities to knock on your door. No better way of telling it than Sugar, the rumpus, who encouraged women to write, ““But the best possible thing you can do is get your ass down onto the floor. Write so blazingly good that you can’t be framed. Nobody is going to give you permission to write about your vagina, hon. Nobody is going to give you a thing. You have to give it yourself. You have to tell us what you have to say.”

“How many women wrote beautiful novels and stories and poems and essays and plays and scripts and songs in spite of all the crap they endured. How many of them didn’t collapse in a heap of “I could have been better than this” and instead went right ahead and became better than anyone would have predicted or allowed them to be? The unifying theme is resilience and faith. The unifying theme is being a warrior and a motherfucker. It is not fragility. It’s strength. It’s nerve. And “if your Nerve, deny you –,” as Emily Dickinson wrote, “go above your Nerve.” Writing is hard for every last one of us—straight white men included. Coal mining is harder. Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine for coal? They do not. They simply dig.”

Find your passion and erect your career on it. You’re going to live happily after that. Promise.




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Alisha khan
Alisha is a journalist from Mumbai. She is a self learner and an voracious reader. Writing and listening to music will never bore her!