There is inspiration all around us!
Yes, there is inspiration all around us! all that you need to do is look with open eyes and listen with an open heart.
It was only a few days ago that I went out for a casual lunch with one of my colleagues, who is a usually cheerful, a 23 year old guy. I had been accompanying him to different places like for a tea-break etc and knew that he was going through a tough time. He had been let down by a girl he was friends with and had a crush on for almost 5 years.
As we reached the restaurant and sat down, we began small talk. In an effort to distract us from talking about his romantic upset, I asked him what had brought him where he was now in life ?
He told me about how he had done in college and had landed up in our company after interviewing with some of the IT giants. Finding that interesting enough, I asked about his story from before college, from school. I came from a different background to his and was interested in knowing how life might have been for a person who was in the same position as I was currently in, assuming that our paths to get here would have been different.
He began, with some passionate flair in his tone and a brightness in his eyes. “I had been an office boy for 6 months after quitting high-school mid-way because I wanted to earn some quick bucks. I figured being an office boy was the quickest way to fetch money for my dad who was struggling to raise our family at the time due to problems in our family business.” In a place like India where being an office boy would only fetch you around $25 a month I was rather amused about finding out that how could someone possibly advance from being an office boy to a Database Administrator in such a short period of time. He continued with his story on how he was made to believe that all that he was good enough for was an office boy job and that it was the best way for him to help his father.
After struggling with the office boy job, he was finally knocked off his feet when his sister’s in-laws regularly asked him to help with work like carrying off wheat bags and likes to their shop. He wondered “Is this all that I am ever going to be worthy of!?”. He had always been told by one of his teachers that he would go on to become a “big man” one day. He decided to change things around for himself and enrolled himself back into high-school. He did well in his exams and went on to get his degree where he was one of the brightest in college. He interviewed for companies like Google, and now here few years down the line, he was here,enjoying lunch with me, in a plush corporate cafe, talking about his journey with a marked tone of pride in his voice.
Even though he seemed like one of us, yet he was a hero in his own right. He was now supporting his family well, taking care of their needs, helping his father with finances all at a young age of 23. He was now deploying code to live e-commerce websites that generate millions of dollars in revenue each year.
It was then that I realized that the world around us is not short of inspiration, we just have to look out for stories of those around us and every now and then we might come across a Venky, who went from being an office boy to someone who brings a lot of value to an international business enterprise. Some of us have been lucky in that the path that has brought us to where we are hasn’t been so rough, yet we could talk to the Venkys around us and gather strength and courage for times when it is our turn to tread on difficult paths.