Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sense Of Purpose

Sense Of Purpose

The most decorated olympic athlete ever with 16 Olympic medals is Michael Phelps. He says, "Keep your comments coming. Make me angry. It makes me perform better."
He channelizes his anger to a 'sense of purpose'.

Thrown out of his own company, Steve Jobs was a broken man. There was great anger simmering inside him for he believed injustice had happened to him. His comeback to Apple and the heights they achieved, after his re-instatement, is the stuff legends are made of. I believe his comeback is the greatest comeback ever in corporate history. He too channelized his anger to a 'sense of purpose'.

My mind runs to the scene in Richard Attenborough's all time classic film 'Mahatma Gandhi' when Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was thrown out of the train in-spite of a valid ticket. As the camera panned Gandhi's face (deftly played by Ben Kingsley), I felt his anger. For a few moments I could feel that anger becoming mine too. I felt like getting up from my seat, punching that TC on his face. I could feel the audience feeling that anger too. Gandhi however, did nothing like that. The way coal becomes diamond under pressure, in those moments I felt the regular Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (the coal) transforming into Mahatma Gandhi (one of the most precious diamond humanity has ever experienced). Without arms and ammunition, in a loin cloth and a stick, that simple man took on the might of the great British empire and made them leave India. He too was driven by a 'sense of purpose'.

Martin Luther King Jr, the greatest social reformer in US, was distressed and angered by the atrocities on coloured people. He decided to wage a war against the injustices being carried out. His speech 'I have a dream...' is one of the most fantastic speech the world has ever heard. He united US and its people into 'one'. He too was driven by a 'sense of purpose'.

The cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu was ridiculed by the media for his slow batting. His father had tears in his eyes as he read the scathing newspaper report. This greatly angered Navjot Singh Sidhu. He turned his game around and became the most devastating opening batsman around, for the rest of his career. He could effortlessly hit sixes and became the spectators' delight. He too was driven by a 'sense of purpose'.

India was not given the technology for nuclear power even after being promised. A few American counterparts laughed at our scientists when we reminded them about their promise. This greatly angered our team of scientists and we developed our own technology. Even today, we are one of the rare few countries in the world that has developed its own indigenous nuclear power technology. Those scientists too are driven by a 'sense of purpose'.

Spurned by his own wife, feeling humiliated and angry Tulsidas decided to prove his worth. He went on to write Ram Charit Manas, one of the greatest Hindu religious texts. He too was driven by a 'sense of purpose'.

Many path makers and path breakers have felt great anger because something greatly disturbed them.

People like you and me too feel great anger when something disturbs us. You have deeply felt this anger sometimes, haven't you? I have !

Sometimes when we have not got our due. Sometimes when things did not happen the way they should have happened. Sometimes at the way politicians loot our country. Sometimes when people allow themselves to be exploited. Sometimes when our loved ones mess up their life. Sometimes when people act irresponsibly. So on and so forth.

Path makers and path breakers, do not waste their anger by screaming, shouting, threatening, ranting, destroying or damaging things. Nor do they waste their anger by hurting themselves or others. Nor do they waste their anger by self destructive acts and habits. They do not become raving lunatics because of their anger.

They channelize their anger! They discover themselves because of their anger. They give a purpose to their anger. They lift themselves because of their anger. Their anger is like the sun that provides 'life'. Their anger gives them the awareness, focus and the drive to fix what is wrong.

Sometimes there is 'wrong' within. Sometimes the 'wrong' is in the world outside. May 'your' anger fix at least one 'wrong' anywhere. May you discover yourself in the process. Are you ready for this? Your own greatness awaits you...

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