Friday, June 22, 2007


This morning, as I was walking in a busy part of the city, a classmate, from my school days, accosted me. He looked drawn. His eyes looked tired. After the initial exchange of pleasantries, he asked me if I could find him a job. He was working as a salesman in a cloth shop for a paltry salary & wanted a change. Could I help him? At that point of time I was taken aback. As a student in school, he had shown great promise. He was good at studies, above average in sports and good at dramatics. He had some amount of talent in him. What had brought him to this state?
I promised him help; but I was skeptical. Who would want a 42 year old whose resume showed that he was a salesman in a cloth shop? We bid goodbye and I made by way to my office. I pondered on his plight, made a few phone calls but as expected there were no encouraging replies.
As I write this post, I wonder why this person who showed promise could not fulfill it. One reason some people fall short of their promise is that developing talent is hard work. Talent is useless if it is not wedded to craftsmanship that demands incessant practice and all that it involves: endless repetition, constant self-criticism – and exasperation when performance falls short.
I have always wondered why many of us never become real professionals. The professional in any field must have a kind of contract with himself. The terms of the contract read that he must be absolutely honest with himself. I had come across the following passage in a book I read long ago: Many of us never become real professionals because we think that the pursuit of excellence necessarily includes reaching the topmost rung – and then give up because we can’t reach it.
I am of the opinion that there are various degrees of excellence. The danger does not lie in failing to reach absolute perfection. It lies in giving up the chase.
Ask a lot of yourself, and you may be very pleasantly surprised at how much you receive!


karen said...

uncle lionel ,
fantastic message in your blog . keep bloggin , btw i hv started bloggin too

Manish Singh Thakur said...

Hi sir ...wonderful message in very simple words.
thank you