“Don’t bother doing something useless until you are radically different from the competition.” Sir Richard Branson

The world belongs to those who can strive and survive, success or failure is just terminal depending on your conviction and determination. You might have heard of people thriving, leading successful lives are those who are either blessed or lucky or real time hard workers. But very few acknowledge the stress they had been through, the challenges they had faced. Not many are born with a golden spoon even studies say that most people who thrive are from unsupportive backgrounds, they make their own way and create market for themselves. For instance, the world is run by dropouts, Bill Gates of Microsoft, Larry Ellison of Oracle, Steve Jobs of Apple, Dhirubhai Ambani of Reliance and Richard Branson of Virgin (who even went to jail to quench his entrepreneurial desire) are just a few of the worlds’ business leaders who never completed their formal education and faced insurmountable challenges, almost impossible to crack, throughout their lives. Most of them might not have enough capital to achieve their dream but they all had a VISION to bank on. For today’s generation I would quote Mark Zukherberg, on the similar lines, who followed his passion and took the chance to leave Harvard, the most prestigious school in the world and became the world’s youngest billionaire.

Beyond Classroom

It takes a life-time for people to understand that life is not restricted to classrooms it is way beyond the classrooms. Understanding of the subject is more important than gaining good marks, same ways, application of the knowledge is more important than knowledge itself. There are people who on their first attempt when get rejected don’t try another time, that’s not something new we all face challenges and failures but coming back with greater energy is all it takes. May be some of them think they don’t have the intelligence, well both Einstein and Edison were kicked out of school because they were thought to have learning disabilities. But they never took it negatively and worked hard at it even at home, curbed down their leisure time and worked devotedly towards their goals, and today the world salutes them.

amirA poor cobbler’s son, who had no money could barely finish his college and in spite of being a good student, he had to drop out and take up a job as an apprentice draftsman at the Mazagon Dock. This little boy used to walk barefoot to school. He used to sit on the floor in the classroom, as he was not allowed to sit on the desk; neither could he enter the temple of his village, for he was considered ‘unclean’ because he belonged to a lower caste. His dreams of becoming a doctor were shattered due to financial constraints, but he continued to work harder, managed to complete a part-time diploma in mechanical engineering  alongside and became the best draftsman in the company.

One day, his boss sent him to Germany for work. There, he chanced to see the paychecks of the Germans and was shocked to find how much they made in a month. This motivated him to work harder. Ashok Khade is today a multi-millionaire who has Arabs as his business partners. Man who built most sought-after offshore fabrication company DAS Offshore, it is the biggest employer among dalit-owned companies — with 4,500 employees — and is credited with building Mumbai’s first skywalk at Bandra.

“My father worked as a cobbler in Mumbai. You can still find the tree he planted and plied his trade under near Chitra Talkies.” He opines.

He recalls how his background was a stumbling block in his education. The Brahmin boys in his class had an edge over him in Sanskrit because of the rituals they followed at home, while his struggling family had no time for poojas, but his determination to outperform others despite being poor and unhelpful made him eventually top his class 10th Sanskrit exam.

It is all about accepting the challenges regardless of your terrible financial conditions or means of doing business, if you are determined and all set to walk the thorns you are sure to succeed.

Today he organizes seminars where businessmen of his community (Dalit) give advice to companies like Tata Motors. He even persuades the government to give contracting preferences to Dalits, and the private companies to create job opportunities for people of his community. I wonder if a person with such meager education can achieve so much then how much a person with quality education can achieve, it’s all within you

Challenge the status quo mou

The size of a building depends upon the size of the foundation, and the foundation can be strong only if the maker is privy of the risk involved. A great life needs a rock-solid foundation. Few people realize it in their 20s, few in their 30s and so on for those who experience it before 30 have the opportunity to set example for others and help others achieving their dreams.

Faisal I. Farooqui gave up a lucrative career in the U.S. to start his portal, MouthShut.com in India in 2000. Leaving a plush job in the US to return to India was not the most advised and encouraged decision. But he took the risk to set up the company when people’s reactions were like—“Oh a review platform, Indians are cribbers, you will get only negative, hate-filled write-ups.”

The internet portal he started in his small room had no one interested in it and if he would discuss it with someone people would make a caustic remark, “Mr. Farooqui, user-generated content is no space to be in. Leave it and go back to the US to your job.” Such remarks would only add fuel to his frustration to stick to his dreams and make it successful. He had no idea how he will do it but he resolved to do it. And here he is today with over 30 lakh registered users and is a popular platform where people can exchange ideas, views and thoughts about brands and products.

“Like everyone, I am scared of failure. I was then, when I began and I am now, 12 years into the journey. But the thought of failure did not just scare me. It also motivated me. As I write this, we are well into Ramadan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims. The thought of going without food and water is a deterrent for many, but for those having faith in the word of God, Ramadan is a month that tests your faith to the fullest. Therefore, starving is not scary but a motivating force.” He says

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. Well, it wasn’t a series of failures that led to his current success. In fact as Churchill spouted—“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts”. It’s a long journey of perseverance, moments of self-doubt and the courage to bounce back but the most important thing is to keep your goals breathing & blossoming and have a nerve to take discouragement in stride. As Japenese proverb says, “Fall down seven times, get up eight.”

There is no set formula for success, everyone has to carve his own destiny based on his own capabilities and beliefs. As Henry Ford once said, “If you believe you can you are right, if you believe you cannot you are right.” Your determination and courage to achieve the unthinkable can help you swim against the tides, if it is worth living life then it is worth taking risk. Take discouragement positively, and keep challenging the status quo, it can work wonders, and if someone says you can’t do it show him that YOU CAN.

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