Dear Readers, thanks a lot for staying with me thus far, for permitting me to share my mild-mannered confessions and the incredible patience you have displayed in bearing with me despite all my emotional outbursts. The series unfolding in front of your eyes reflects the values I inherited from my parents and maternal grandfather. Financial constraints through the early years acted as an added bonus. Not only did the formative years teach me how to fine-tune my overall personality, but they also honed my outlook towards life.
SEE PARTS IV AND PRIOR ⤵︎
Before moving forward, let us recapitulate my previous four confessions in this series. The first part highlighted how I managed to create and maintain a proper balance in mine and my family’s life. Part II unraveled the secrets to keeping failure away by seeking inspiration from some other well-known leaders in their individual fields. Part III touched upon the significance of relationships in general, but friendship in particular. We discussed the far-reaching value of real friends and how to identify them. Part IV touched upon the inspiration derived from high achievers’ ‘Success Mantra,’ against all the odds.
Join me now for a wild ride into the hidden world of ‘time’ as it empowers us to sit in judgment on our earlier successes and failures. As we try to analyze where we stand concerning our expectations and all the hits-and-misses, it becomes abundantly clear we could have done better. I am much impressed by Mark Twain’s most befitting remark: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” To an ordinary human being, a gap of twenty years may seem like an entire lifetime. Still, the ones focused on growth already know the farmers’ secret: Plant vegetables for a quick return, plant grains for higher returns, but plant an orchard for life-long income.
In my case, the decision was comparatively quick and easy, since I went for the orchard (of lasting wisdom, not just a transitory vocation) that keeps giving endlessly. Yes, I did face challenges due to the absence of quick returns and endless headwinds. Little did I know, someday Henry Ford would justify my decision with his scientifically-proven advice. “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” Hardship helps us build resilience. Challenges force us to find alternate routes to overcome a particular situation. Failure allows the wise to revisit their decisions so they could avoid major pitfalls the next time. Loss of an opportunity teaches us to gather all necessary resources so we may grab them moving onwards. Little wonder they say, ‘adversity is the best teacher.’
In the words of Stephen Covey, “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” It is the cumulative result of all our successes and failures combined that either puts us on a pedestal or gathers dust. Every decision we make manifests itself in multiple forms, just like the trees with so many branches. Please do not forget that even the largest Sequoia is born out of a little seedling. When properly planted, nurtured, and carefully trimmed or adjusted per needs, yesteryears’ minuscule decisions make us appealing to the outside world. And, the cycle shall go on in the future in much the same way.
We take comfort in blaming the circumstances while knowing otherwise. I may not be out-of-line in bringing up relatable advice from Robert Louis Stevenson, the 19th-Century Scottish novelist, poet, and travel writer. “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” You guessed right, Robert is known for his evergreen creations’ Treasure Island,’ and the ‘Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.’ Planting the seeds becomes an uphill task for someone interested a making a quick buck; More so, when they become used to instant gratification. The worst part of the equation is that we see hordes of such insensitive louts among us daily.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, Alice Walker has unmistakably observed common human frailty. I am happy to share one of her observations here: “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” If only we could wake up one day and realize how our motor-skills empower various parts of our body to function without any extra effort. To get to the destination, we all cherish within our hearts, we need to develop the same synchronicity level through our decisions. So long as they keep falling in place like particular parts of a jigsaw puzzle, we shall be able to complete the picture to everyone’s delight.
I have every reason to believe my discerning readers will gain a reasonable degree of positive decision-making prowess based on the above real-life examples. Please stay tuned for some more exciting confessions that continue to shape our lives (my family and I) to this day.