Success not a Conclusion
I just returned from the FIFA World Cup in Russia. The atmosphere, intensity, and excitement at the semi-finals and the final match were just incredible. During the tournament, established stars like Messi failed to score, and new stars like Mbappe rose to shine. Reputed teams got demolished, other nations emerged. I think for a nation like India, with millions of boys in the right age to start training, it is very much doable to participate in future football World Cups. So, what does it take to be successful? One thing is talent, another thing is striving.
In any field – whether someone is a great footballer, great artist, great actor, great musician, or anything else – I would say eighty percent of their success is striving and twenty percent talent. There are a few who are pure extraordinary talent – all others have to put in hours and hours of practice. It takes many thousands of hours of training for a footballer to reach world class level. To score one goal in the World Cup, they have been kicking the ball for four to six hours every day, over many years.
If you look at great actors – to perform for two hours on stage, they may have put in twelve, fifteen years of practice every day, and it pays off. It is not necessary to have extraordinary talent for anything. If you are willing to strive with complete openness, you can become whatever you choose. Once, when I was in school, the question came up what you can do and what you cannot do. I was thoroughly bored because I had a lot of things to do, but they were only talking about what to do. Then I said, “If I’m given enough money and time, I’ll build a staircase to the moon.” They thought this is arrogance. I said, “Maybe it has not been done, but with enough money and time, it can be done.” It is just a question of whether the opportunity turns up or not. Otherwise, what is it that a human being cannot do?
Whether an opportunity presents itself or not is subject to various realities in the world. If the opportunity presents itself, are you ready for it? That is the difference between success and failure. If you want to be successful, you need passion and willingness to strive. Anyone who is passionate about life does not have any free time. There is always something to do – not necessarily work. If you do what you care for, it never feels like work. It never feels burdensome. You are willing to be on it twenty-four hours a day if you enjoy doing it. If you want to do something different – read, sing, dance, play, create something, or explore something new – that’s fine. But just hanging around? Your brain and your body should be exercised in such a way that they function at their maximum capacity.
If you have nothing to do, that means there is stagnation in your life. I hope such a thing never happens to you. If you are flowing like a river, there is always something to do. Before you know it, life will be over. Even if you live a hundred years and spend all your time on it, it will still not be enough time to explore the full possibilities of human intelligence and human consciousness. Now is the time to live, not to rest. Rest will come when we put you into the grave. Success is not in a particular conclusion achieved but in the joyful and ceaseless striving for what you truly care for.