"I have got ten names for myself. Each name signifies a particular charateristic or aspect of me and my life. I look terrible when i am angry. I have taken an oath that I will kill all those who hurt my brother. I am Arjuna and I cannot be defeated by anyone. No one can defeat me." -- Arjuna, the great warrior, the peerless archer, spoke these words on the eve of the Virat Yudh (the war of Virat).Just to recollect, Arjuna is the main hero of the Mahabharat epic, the classical Indian religious epic. What a confidence this person had -- "I am Arjuna and no one can defeat me" !!
Ok, let me tell you all a story. Long long ago, there was a kid born into a middle class family. This kid used to show a lot of interest in Mahabharat. He was very impressed with the character of the Arjuna. He told himself one day that he will choose any one particular field and will say to the world "I am so and so, and I cannot be defeated". So, ladies and gentlemen -- good evening all, good evening fellow toastmasters, welcome to the world of dreams. Today, I am going to talk about those dreams that keep you awake, not about the dreams that come and go in your sleep. Dreams, that are foundations for achievements.
Well, we were talking about a stupid kid who thought of becoming as proficient in any one field as Arjuna was in his archery. Silly, stupid... how can someone become like that -- Arjuna had Lord Sri Krishna as his charioteer, such was the greatness of that man. Anyways, we will go and find out what happened to the kid as he grew up. He wanted to say "I am so and so, and I cannot be defeated". But, 25 years into his life, that kid of yesteryears is standing right infront of you guys and is going to say -- "I am Kishore, and I can be defeated by anyone and everyone".
So, what does that mean ? No one should dream ? Or dreams should be restricted ? No, not in any way. There is a vey age-old saying -- "Aim for the sky, atleast you will reach the tree tops". Very often it is not where we are that matters, but the path that we have taken that matters. This kid tried his hand at all the things. He was never a champion in anything, but he tried his hand at everything – acads, sports and all. The result is that this kid holds one of the best educational qualifications in all his family circles. This kid still remembers the class friends he had in those days, who are still struggling to get a decent job. He too could very well have went that way, had he not chased his dream of doing well in academics.
So, the essence is – no matter how big, or rather how stupid, a dream is , you can still have positives out of it.
1) Let me take you all through another story – Long long ago, back in 1940 – a girl was born into a very poor family. At the age of 4, it was discovered that this girl had polio. Due to the illness, her left leg was paralysed. She had to wear an iron leg brace to walk. She could not even get proper treatment because of the financial constraints of the family. But, she always dreamt of one thing – one day to walk without the leg brace. She knew it was difficult but she kept dreaming of this and kept on trying to walk without the brace. One day, she achieved her dream – she was able to walk like normal kids. How she could do that was a medical wonder. She eventually went on to live her dream to the fullest – she is none other than “Wilma Rudolph”, the American athlete who won three Olympic medals at the 1960 Olympic games !!
A gentleman once famously wrote --
The ability to dream on is one of the fine quality of human race that other species do not possess.
2) Let us go back to a story about a young man who was the son of an itinerant horse trainer who would go from stable to stable, race track to race track, farm to farm and ranch to ranch, training horses. As a result, the boy's high school career was continually interrupted. When he was a senior, he was asked to write a paper about what he wanted to be and do when he grew up.
That night he wrote a seven-page paper describing his goal of someday owning a horse ranch. He wrote about his dream in great detail and he even drew a diagram of a 200- acre ranch, showing the location of all the buildings, the stables and the track. Then he drew a detailed floor plan for a 4,000-square-foot house that would sit on a 200-acre dream ranch.
He put a great deal of his heart into the project and the next day he handed it to his teacher. Two days later he received his paper back. On the front page was a large red F with a note that read, 'See me after class’. The boy with the dream went to see the teacher after class and asked, 'Why did I receive an F?'
The teacher said, 'This is an unrealistic dream for a young boy like you. You have no money. You come from an itinerant family. You have no resources. Owning a horse ranch requires a lot of money. You have to buy the land. You have to pay for the original breeding stock and later you'll have to pay large stud fees. There's no way you could ever do it.' Then the teacher added, 'If you will rewrite this paper with a more realistic goal, I will reconsider your grade.'
The boy went home and thought about it long and hard. He asked his father what he should do. His father said, 'Look, son, you have to make up your own mind on this. However, I think it is a very important decision for you.'
Finally, after sitting with it for a week, the boy turned in the same paper, making no changes at all. He stated, 'You can keep the F and I'll keep my dream.'
Monty Roberts, the famous horse trainer – had shrugged off all the obstacles in his way to achieve his dream. He had achieved his horse ranch that he so lovingly dreamt of. One day, the teacher who gave him an F in the schooldays came to the ranch with his kids. The teacher told Monty – 'I now realize that during those days I stole a lot of kids’ dreams. Fortunately you had the gumption not to give up on your dream'.
A gentleman named Martin Luther King Jr, once delivered a speech – considered as one of the greatest speeches of all time, and was ranked as the top American Speech of the 20th century. The speech was named as “I have a dream”. In that speech Martin says
-- "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
-- "I have a dream that one day the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood."
At that time, he dreamt of these things and now his dream is fulfilled.
No one knew what Mr. Dhirubhai Ambani had dreamt of while selling “pakoras” in his early days, the result is the empire called the "Ambani Group of Industries". No one knows what Mr. Narayana Murthy dreamt of, the result is this organisation called Infosys. Probably God only knows what Mr. Sachin Tendulkar dreamt of, probably to score a century in every match he played, the result is a stellar international career with countless records. And probably even God doesnt know what a certain Gentleman called Albert Einstein dreamt of -- the result is a theory that is still "RELATIVELY" too difficult to comprehend -- yes, the "Theory of Relativity".
Eleanor Roosevelt once quoted -- "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." 2 months back, I have seen a person coming to the toastmaster's session for the first time. I have known this guy for years, he is a very shy guy when it comes to speaking infront of a good public, even though he has some ideas. But, i knew that this guy is dreaming something, probably to give a very good speech to a very good audience and get a very good review. And today, while i am talking to you all, this guy is parallely giving a speech on a topic called "Dreams" for the best part of 6 minutes !! He is still not finished, still doing it. I never imagined that before. This guy has crossed his first step and the most difficult of all steps -- giving a try infront of a big audience. So, guys -- dream big, achieve big...
This is Kishore, signing off for the day.