Keep your goals in sight

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Keep your goals in sight

It was early in the morning and Guru Dronacharya had decided to test his students and look for the best archer. All the 105 students from the royal family of the Kauravas (which included the 100 sons of the blind king Dhritarashtra and 5 sons of Pandu, known as the Pandavas) were being tested on each subject that they were being taught. Today the subject was archery. The master had hung an artificial bird from the branch of a tree and before handing over the bow to the young aspirant, the Acharya would ask – my child what do you see?

Sir, I see the sky….
Go my child, it’s not yet time to hand you the bow and arrows.

This process went on, till in the end it was Arjuna’s chance. Asked what he could see, he said: “only the eye”.
Yes! The ma ster felt, the worthy aspirant has the goal set before him and should be given the instrument of attaining the goal.

It is often debated whether these events occurred or whether these were mere mental creations of a person like Vyaasa. If these events never took place, the greatness of Vyaasa lies in the fact that he could compose something which has it’s relevance till today.

A great teacher that he was, with this story, Vyaasa probably tried to emphasise upon the fact that a person with tools and without a goal or mission, is like a monkey with a razor in his hands. It is the vision and the goal that makes a person the way he or she is.

One of the famous sayings of Dr. Abdul Kalam is – dream, dream, dream… for dreams convert into thoughts and thoughts into actions.

In a way, in order to transform our inner beings, probably one of the best and most effective means is to have positive dreams. That is one of the effective ways to human resource management. Most of us do not realise that it is the scope of professional growth and emotional security that lures a man to any corporate group rather than what he or she manages to earn now. In a way if an employee is given a direction and a vision to grow, the process makes the individual grow with the institution.

Interestingly, it has been seen that most people, even if they dream big or have visions, cannot sustain them. Probably that is where the role of leadership comes in. A true leader is one who gives the scope for a team colleague to grow on one’s own, while the leader helps in sustaining the dreams of the person.

When a person can sustain his own vision without any external support, he is an exception. If we can be ruthlessly disciplined to do that, we will be able to keep our machine ticking even when the going is really tough. That is probably the key to success. And that is what takes me ahead of many other fellow beings who also aspire to reach the pinnacle.

One such real life story I came across and could drive home the picture I want to portray – can even become a continuing source of inspiration. Can we bring about this transformation in ourselves and make the world a better place to live in?
When she looked ahead, Florence Chadwick saw nothing but a solid wall of fog. Her body was numb. She had been swimming for nearly sixteen hours.

Already she was the first woman to swim the English Channel in both directions. Now, at age 34, her goal was to become the first woman to swim from Catalina Island to the California coast.

On that Fourth of July morning in 1952, the sea was like an ice bath and the fog was so dense she could hardly see her support boats. Sharks cruised toward her lone figure, only to be driven away by rifle shots. Against the frigid grip of the sea, she struggled on – hour after hour – while millions watched on national television.

Alongside Florence in one of the boats, her mother and her trainer offered encouragement. They told her it wasn’t much farther. But all she could see was fog. They urged her not to quit. She never had . . . until then. With only a half mile to go, she asked to be pulled out.

Still thawing her chilled body several hours later, she told a reporter, “Look, I’m not excusing myself, but if I could have seen land I might have made it.” It was not fatigue or even the cold water that defeated her. It was the fog. She was unable to see her goal.

Two months later, she tried again. This time, despite the same dense fog, she swam with her faith intact and her goal clearly pictured in her mind. She knew that somewhere behind that fog was land and this time she made it! Florence Chadwick became the first woman to swim the Catalina Channel, eclipsing the men’s record by two hours!