You can make a difference. You can impact people’s lives. Whether you impact two lives or two thousand, depends on you. I know what you’re thinking. Two thousand is a make-believe number used for added effect, right? You can never be heard by two thousand people, let alone impact them. If that’s how you feel, you’re right.
Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right. – Henry Ford
You can be a torchbearer of hope. Or you sit alone in your bedroom, moping over why nobody cares about what you say. Just one aspect will decide which way of life applies to you. Whether you consider something a burden, a challenge, or a responsibility.
Burden versus Challenge
What kind of thoughts come to your mind if someone says that you have what it takes to touch two thousand lives? Do you think, “It’s such a big burden, I don’t know if I’m up to it”? If yes, the task instantly turns into a one hundred ton mountain placed on your shoulders. Eventually, it overpowers you… it cracks your back, destroys your potential and turns you into a cripple.
What happens when you take it up as a challenge? Well, you relish thoughts of the journey that lies ahead. You rub your hands in glee, and can’t wait to explore unchartered territory. You want to test yourself, push yourself, and see how much you can achieve.
A challenge, however, can defeat you. It can teach you lessons, or make you sour. It can make you happy, or tired of life. What you learn, depends on whether you harbor the growth or fixed mindset.
Responsibilities Help You Evolve
When you consider your task a responsibility, you transcend to a whole new level. Responsibility teaches you things about yourself. It helps you subtract ego, accommodate self doubt and carry on. It makes you evolve.
Nobody will blame you if you don’t fulfill your potential. They will look elsewhere for what you could offer. Being responsible lets you understand this. It lets you accept the fact that things functioned without you earlier, and they will do so after you, too.
Nor will you chide yourself over the occasional slip up; in fact, you will learn from it. You slow down and broaden your perspectives. You give the task one hundred percent. And that’s what matters. Not success or failure, the adulation or the mockery. What matters is whether you gave your all. You will contribute as much as you can, instead of thinking about how much you must do. Take MS Dhoni, for instance. For him, captaining the Indian cricket team is a responsibility. So is making India win a game. Not a burden or a challenge. And here is what Rahul Dravid says about him:
“He has a unique ability to ignore consequences and soak up pressure. This makes it easier for everyone else. He is calm and measured. Win, lose, he can walk away.”
Being responsible teaches you to recognize others’ contributions, no matter how big or small. To rescue Sita being held captive by Ravana, Lord Ram raised an army of animals to build a bridge to Lanka. Vultures surveyed the location, bears served as architects, and monkeys the implementers, carrying huge boulders and placing them in the sea. Suddenly, a squirrel appeared carrying a tiny stone. It wanted to contribute in building the bridge. The animals laughed. But Lord Ram was overcome with gratitude. He stroked the squirrel’s fur to comfort it. That’s why a squirrel has three stripes on its back. They are a mark of gratitude from Lord Ram.
To build the bridge, the squirrel’s contribution was insignificant. But the squirrel gave it one hundred percent. Lord Ram recognized this. Not because He was yearning to avenge His wife, but because He was a role model of detachment. Since He considered everything a responsibility, He could take decisions, hold Himself accountable, and make the best of every situation. He could also appreciate what others did. You will imbibe this awesome trait too, when you calmly work towards the bigger picture.
You see? The task remains the same. Your perspective dictates how you respond. So when someone says that you are destined for better things – as an entrepreneur or even a corporate employee – take it up as a responsibility. You will soak pressure better. Give one hundred percent. Stay detached. It will help you improve. And it will help you sleep better at night.
Penny for your thoughts in the comments?