'Follow Your Dreams And Trust Your Hunches To Be Successful In Life'
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Dreams do not ask for your qualifications, country, age or experience. What they ask is, “do you have fire in the belly for anything in the world?”
As an entrepreneur, I am often posed a question: what is the mantra for success? I maintain that the pursuit of success is more important than success. The reason for pursuing an activity determines the destination.
When you are twenty-something, follow your heart and hunches. Your degree or IQ will not help as much as your aspirations. Once you approach the middle age, your experience sharpens your hunches and adds validation to them, based on credible management principles and success stories. Put your heart and hunches together again and negotiate the curves in a manner which will give you a thrill and not jitters. At some point of time, you will develop the habit of keeping your head, heart, mind, experience, and accumulative exposures together.
Around this time, you become really ready to learn from multifaceted personalities. Einstein used to day dream music, night dream physics, and produced philosophy and humour the rest of the time. Take the Google promoters for example. They got so much bugged while working on Yahoo! that they decided to build Google when they were in college. They insisted on their value system and didn’t compromise on the products for profit. They have built Google, not for profit, but for realizing their dreams, which do not seem to stop at all!
Youngsters should learn from American Entrepreneurs, such as, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Larry & Sergey, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs and many other first generation entrepreneurs. All of them had one thing in common —they followed their heart and intuitions very passionately and none of them were just working for amassing personal wealth or becoming a celebrity. None of them are known to follow lavish life styles or being driven by consumerism and they give most of their profits back to the society.
In India, Infosys has been a story of youngsters who considered Mr NR Narayana Murthy as their leader and built the best corporation that India has seen in this century. Their driving motto was the same — to work together as a unit and build an organization with a value system befitting their dreams. Once nurtured and matured, the dream was handed over to be further pursued by likeminded people, a first of its kind approach made by promoters in the entire world.
There have been some disturbing trends that I have noticed in India. The young and talented lot from the IITs, IIMs and other reputed institutes are caught in the web of their own talent and societal expectations around them. I had the privilege of working with hundreds of them in the past five years. Once selected for admissions in theses reputed institutions, they are put under huge pressure to perform with the ever increasing social expectations. They are often regarded as icons by the people around them.
Even for achievers like Sachin Tendulkar the pressure of expectation was the biggest challenge. While point one per cent hit the bull’s eye, others are bullied by these few successes and are guided by the expectation of others.
As a result, some of them resort to desperate methods of getting into start-ups without conviction or passion for the subject. Some even switch jobs mindlessly and plan to go to the US without any specific plan just to earn popularity in their peer groups. It is painful to see such herd instinct in such talented young people. I have never seen them so helpless and at a crossroad. Such talented people draining their talent can be catastrophic to the society and to India.
My message to them is simple — take a close look in the mirror and see who you are, what are your strengths and weaknesses, sing in the bathroom, read some biographies, watch some biopic, maintain a hobby routine, look at the sense of success and happiness of people who are at peace with themselves. Knowing yourself as a person will help you in using your talent to make the person in you happy and this matters the most. If the person in you is happy, you will automatically take decisions which are good for you, meant for you and keep you passionately engaged in whatever you opt for.
The energy and passion levels of youth are infinite. There is a dare devil in you that can break any barrier. There is an adventurer in you who can take you on an odyssey full of surprises. There is a lover in you who can love without limits.
Those, who, like me, are over the age of sixty, should try to indulge like never before. You have nothing to prove to anyone.You can choose your indulgences. You can be C.P.Krishnan Nair, who, after retiring, started a hospitality business (Hotel Leela Ventures) with his own distinct concept, notwithstanding profit or losses. He has left his signature on hotel industry forever. You can be a Clint Eastwood or a Morgan Freeman or a Pandit Jasraj who, even after being at the age of eighty plus, has the same hunger and even better ability. You can pursue philanthropy, tourism, adventure, writing or anything that you missed!
As for me, my biggest bliss and success is that I am at peace with myself. Right from my school days I took all my decisions myself, some worked well, others not as much. There were successes, failures, highs to give me the kick and fortunately more lows to keep me level-minded and motivated to go on and on. Presently, I feel more motivated to daydream like Einstein. At the age of 62, I have started Navrasa Duende to promote all forms and genres of arts globally and converge arts and entertainment.