A couple of years ago, when our son had joined an institute to prepare for the competitive exams of design schools such as NID, parents had been invited for one of the orientation programmes. There was this young speaker/trainer sharing his own experience and telling the young ones what was expected of them to come out successfully.
The kids who had opted for the design schools were essentially good in their drawings. So, at one stage, this speaker was telling them that they should draw, at least, one art work a day!
He kept emphasizing on it: “Imagine if you do one art-work – whatever it is… a pencil work, a crayons work, a water-color or fabric-color painting, a oil painting a cartoon… whatever… if you do with your full heart – a day, for months after months, what it does to your skill and confidence!”
I had really liked the idea.
How simple, often, the success rules are!
Still, we don’t believe in the simple rules which abound all around us! Instead, we are obsessed with the sensational rules… something dished out by a Goliath-like Success Guru… Something that comes in the ‘How-to milk-bottles’… for our instant success!
More than twenty years ago, a young boy used to attend our Poetry Circle regularly. He wrote beautiful poems, which he would read out in our Sunday sessions and receive huge applause.. We would encourage him to write more. We had a quarterly Poetry Journal – ‘The Pearls’… and, we had carried some of his poems in this journal. It had done a lot good to his confidence.
Then, one day, after one of our sessions, the young boy wanted to talk to me. “Sir, how can I get my poems published in a ‘big way’ through a ‘big-time publisher?”
I put my arms around the young-man’s shoulders and smiled.
“You will have to wait for that, dear… Not, at this stage!” I said this, very gently, without undermining his confidence. I told him, “Keep that dream alive… but, for now, you focus on this: Write at least one poem a day… small or long, it doesn’t matter… simple or great, it doesn’t matter… but, keep writing, keep editing, keep improving your skill and style… and do it day after day, month after month… year after year… Just write, just improve!”
“But, sir, poems can’t be written like that, forcefully… everyday,” the young-man obstructed me, “You need inspiration!”
“Then dear, from where will you find that inspiration to write and publish your book of poems?” I asked him. “You need to start everything in a small way but with a great heart… and sustain it for a long, long period. Inspiration is there for you to grab all around, everyday… more so if you are a creative kid! Be available… else, it dies!”
After more than two decades, I met this boy – now a well-settled-abroad-young-married-man – two days ago.
“Do you still write your beautiful poems?” I asked.
“Oh no! That’s all over with my teenage-days!” the man brushed aside it, in one sweep!
I still tell the same thing to young people who come to me with such lovely-stars in their eyes. I still tell them: “Start small… from wherever you stand, with whatever means you possess in your hands… Keep doing it daily… one bit a day… for days after days… for long, long time… Keep improving, keep learning, keep hoping and dreaming… and, yes, keep hitching your wagons to those dazzling stars in the skies!”
No, most of them do not believe in this
old-wisdom… They have no patience…
They want it fast, instant!
“And, that’s not going to happen,” I tell them.
Onesketch a day… if you aspire to become a great artiste or a painter…
One ‘click’ a day… if you aspire to become a great photographer…
One poem a day… if you aspire to become a great poet…
One Para or page a day… if you aspire to become a great writer…
One line, well-spoken, a day… if you aspire to become a great speaker…
One transaction a day… if you aspire to become a great business tycoon…
One recipe a day… if you aspire to become a great chef…
And, yes, yes… One step at a time… if you aspire to go around your great world!
Neil had to just keep one step on the Moon for the whole world to go hysterical: “Man has conquered the Moon!”
Only Neil knows how many miles, and how many years, Man had to ‘walk’ to land that one step… and conquer the Moon!
Pics.: Ashok Ahuja