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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Do you have fire in the belly?

(And we’re not talking about acidity here :-) )

What separates men from the boys? Why is it that a scholar friend of yours is languishing whereas an average (academically speaking) Joe is doing very well in the life? What is that one trait, one characteristic which is a MUST mantra for success (– no matter whether you are employed or self-employed)??

Yes, passion is the word I’m talking about. People who are obsessed, people who are possessed, people who have fire in the belly, to do something different, to achieve something BIG in life.

It is the passion (or call it undying love) which keeps Amitabh Bachchan giving stellar performances even though he is in mellow seventies (and in spite of serious health issues), it is the passion which kept Sachin Tendulkar playing 20 years of non-stop international cricket (&  taking that cheeky single quicker than Raina!), it is the passion which takes Ratan Tata to design word’s cheapest car as well take over Jaguar Land Rover. It is the passion that a middle-class Narayan Murthy nurtures and becomes a world icon in IT industry. It is the passion that makes a Haryana housewife win India’s first athletics gold medal in Common Wealth Games! And it is the passion that makes someone born in a poor family, Prime Minister of the world’s largest democracy!

But we need not limit the passion only to the super-achievers. No matter what you are and where you are, the desire to excel, the quest to rise up, the passion to achieve is all that you need.  Whichever role we’re performing, there are N things which we can do additionally or in a better way than earlier. We need to identify our goals (what I want to achieve in short term in next 6 months to one year time period, what I want to achieve in long term) , prioritize them & then put focused, passionate efforts to achieve them. We need to have that sense of ownership, that ability to look at the larger picture, rather, think like a CEO.  We need to nurture the full life-cycle business (no matter how small it is – revenue wise or headcount wise) like a company in itself. We need to be intrapreneurs (if not entrepreneurs) trying to take that business to new heights, enjoy coming to office every day & leaving office with a sense of fulfillment.

And believe me, all of us have that passion, that flame, that fire deep within us. May be, it is engulfed under the soot or ash of self-doubts and negativity. All it needs is blowing oxygen (it could be external – by a mentor or internal – self-motivation) and the metamorphosis starts..

…The caterpillar transforms into a beautiful butterfly, ….the ugly duckling becomes a swan and … a common man becomes a Mahatma!!!


  1. I agree with you Prashant! I am stating this because, last month, I heard experts discussing the exact same topic on NPR. Some of them were strongly recommending scrapping Gifted and Talented programs from US Schools. The consensus was that Passion drives success in academia, sports, arts, music etc. Having said this they agreed that taller kids for example have advantage over others in sport like Basketball but success is ultimately driven by Passion!

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