When you put this question to a pupil of grade one, “What do you want to become when you grow up?” there is always a response to it. And the response keeps changing as kids grow up and go through new experiences.
There is no problem in envisioning your future, the problem starts when a vision turns into daydream to the extent that the fine line between vision and daydream dims.
A child may idealise his father, a sportsman, a visionary, or a political icon. It’s fine to like a role model, however, it pays to keep in mind that though one may desire to become as special as the role model, the degree of success achieved may not be the same.
Why, because success comes in different sizes. Every size of a pair of shoes does not fit you. In the same manner, one person is more successful, another may be less, and still another may be among the best. You have to attempt to achieve the maximum possible and then leave it to the course of things and God’s Will to see what there is for you in the future.
To put it simply, there could only be one Aristotle, one Abraham Lincoln and one Florence Nightingale. It would be a folly to think there could ever be a second. It does not imply that success is always gifted. It may be acquired through setting realistic goals and executing them effectively and efficiently.
At the end of the day, it does not matter what you do but it does matter how you do it
At the same time, it may be noted that becoming successful is in no way synonymous only to having your name in the Guinness Book of World Records or very rich. However, it’s quite natural that in pursuit of excellence, an individual might perceive his/her own being as awe-inspiring and invincible, quite like a Guinness World Record setter. Also, qualities do not mean acting as Superman, creating immortal songs like a famous pop star, or posing to be someone really cool.
Excellence does imply performing the role of an obedient child, a diligent pupil, a conscientious religious person and above all, of a caring human being. These are the goals very much reachable and cherished than most of the qualities we often idealise.
The guiding principle to achieve these qualities may form the main points of a lecture by a seemingly nerdy professor. They may appear in an interview of writer of a bestseller. They inspire or intrigue most of us. We think about these qualities time and again, tend to feel motivated and talk about them with pride in a gathering of friends.
But, do we really work to realise these qualities? Unfortunately, majority of us don’t. Why? Because we want to become the greatest of men but do not recognise that no one can be a great figure without paying attention to the smallest of things.
For instance, you may take studies easy, thinking that say, physics is just a piece of cake and such attitude may make you lose marks. This means you can’t achieve big without being considerate to small things.
Study the life of Abraham Lincoln, a great American statesman. In his childhood, he felt no hesitation in performing small domestic chores, including gathering wood to meet the fuel requirements of his home.
This may seem a trivial matter and a thing irrelevant to Lincoln’s prolific career as a world’s great statesman, but who knows it might have served to sow the habit of hard work in him and somehow contributed to his bigger successes.
At the end of the day, it does not matter what you do but it does matter how you do it; whether you make it happen to add to the feathers in your cap or you just take success as if it is a fluke.
The point is that it is uncertain whether most of us would accomplish the greatest of tasks or otherwise. But it can be said with certainty that we can perform the smallest of tasks in a great way and that can make all the difference!
Published in Dawn, Young World, January 28th, 2017