Thank you, all my friends, for your feedback on my blog, dated 11th Dec 2022, titled “Become Jakanachari of your Craft.” Steve Martin’s quote, “Be so good, they cannot ignore you,” had a Kantara effect on many colleagues. Some friends asked me, how can we even achieve that level? Well, I don’t have a sure-shot, single-word/sentence answer. Rather, I will have to write a series of blogs. With your queries, you have given me a great impetus for my writing. And, Lord Panjurli has prevailed upon me!

Sometime back, I read a wonderful poem by a celebrated TED talker, Simon Sinek, titled “The Signpost, Victory, and Fulfilment.” That is guiding today’s blog.

It is often said, “Choices are the hinges of destiny.” Life presents us with many choices. Every choice we make shapes us. Being “so good” starts with a simple but firm choice to be “so good.” While our circumstances force us to choose our profession, being “so good” depends on our own choice. Hence, we have to choose whether we would be like any other insignificant person who inhabits the earth or leave a lasting legacy behind. If our answer is the former, we can stop reading further.

If we wish to move on, we have another two choices ahead. Being VICTORIOUS or having a life of FULFILLMENT.

Victory demands that we have a goal to win. Winning involves competition. And competition is thrilling. As we rush toward the goal post or finishing line, a big crowd gathers around us. We can hear them cheering for us.

And what after winning?

The competition ends there. The crowd goes home. A deafening silence replaces the cheer. We will all be alone! We can repeat the competition altogether again. For what end?

It’s often said, “It’s lonely at the top.” To reach there, we must fare better than others. In that quest, we step on everyone else to get there. Winning becomes addictive, driving us into infinite greed. The greed forces us to lie, steal, plagiarize, rig elections, embezzle public funds, be unjust to others, take undue advantage of our position, and exploit the resources and deprive others.

As we march on our path to victory, others become envious. Competition breeds jealousy. Those far behind us, pray for our downfall. They will wait for every opportunity to make us crash and burn.

Only those people, who wish to piggyback on us and take political advantage, befriend us. Our network becomes disingenuous. Their cheer is synthetic.

It is all a hollow victory.

We start living in an artificial world like the “Matrix,” with life full of greed, deceit, and treachery! No amount of money or success gives us a real sense of joy and fulfillment. It is easy to identify the people who are on the path to victory. They are all around us.

The journey to victory is short.

Whereas, the path to fulfillment, the journey is long. It is harsh. Hence, we have to watch our steps every now and then. It is tedious. Yet, we keep on moving. At times, we can stop to enjoy the scenic view. Take a selfie too. Yet, we surge ahead.

As we move, the crowd joins us on our journey. We may not hear any cheer. But, we will definitely feel their appreciation. We can feel their adulation. We can feel their affection. Moreover, they move along with us. We become the constant source of inspiration for them. Their cheer is authentic.

One day our life will all be over. Yet, the crowd moves on, without us. Besides, they carry our legacy. They inspire more crowd to join them, taking the path led by us. It is often difficult to identify the people who are on the path to fulfillment. They are subtle. Yet they leave behind a lasting legacy. As the father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi aptly said, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”

On the path to victory, we may hoodwink others and get away. But, it is an unwritten principle of the universe that everyone faces the day of judgment. As all types of stealing are theft. All thieves do get caught. In my native language, Kannada, there is a saying, “All thieves’ wives end up being widows.” Probably that’s too harsh a statement. Yet, the reckoning may take several forms. Many times our family members may bear the brunt, like the Watergate.

Above all, can we hoodwink ourselves? Cheating oneself is the height of treachery! Only people who lack a clear conscience embrace it. In other words, whom do we want to look at, every time we glance at a mirror? When we chase the hollow victory, “we are looking at the scum on the earth!” Whereas, when we are on the path to fulfillment, “we can see proud and content faces.”

When we leave, we must give our next generation a compelling story of ours, that they can share with pride! And not the shame.

Life always gives us choices. It is up to us, what we choose. We are what we choose to be!

Prof. Dr. Prahlada N.B
16 Dec 2022

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