Saturday, April 23, 2011

Sorry Napolean. I thought and hence never grew rich!

You are what your deep, driving desire is.
As your desire is, so is your will.
As your will is, so is your deed.
As your deed is, so is your destiny.
              
                      - Brihadaranya Upanishad IV.4.5

When I was 14, my dad thrust a book in my hands - "Think And Grow Rich" by Napolean Hill

"Read it. It is life changing.", he said. 
In retrospect, life did indeed change a lot since then. Well, life changes for everyone between 14 and 23, you say. True, it does. Yet, to keep track of your evolution as a person is always fascinating. Isn't it?

The book was around 16 chapters on how to attract success and affluence into one's life. The reader was supposed to write down a sum of money that he would want to possess by a stipulated date in future and affirm it aloud every night before going to bed and the first thing after waking up. He would also have to mention a plan of action with specific steps and say that aloud too. The whole purpose was to impress the subconscious mind with the desire. 

However, my subconscious never got impressed.

With all the vigor and wide-eyed dreaminess of an early teen, I had written:

By July 21, 2012, I would have in my possession, an amount of 25 lakh rupees, obtained through means of over one year of working. I will be the top executive in an MNC  and will be earning over two lakhs per month. I would have studied in the best B School in the country (IIM - A) and have been a star student. I will earn all the name, fame and reputation that few women my age can accomplish.

.... and so went the lines, written with a HB pencil on an A4 sheet, dated 2003.
Today, sitting here in Coimbatore, I am far..very far away from Ahmedabad or IIM or any place at all that could have fetched me an income of 2 lakhs per month. Not that I am implying with audacity that I would have gotten them all had I tried. Yet the fact that I eventually  never did want to try will be the crux of change.

No offense to Napolean Hill. I am not blaming the theory because it is I who probably never allowed it to work.

Till the second year of Engineering, though, the desire was still burning in me... to get it all right, to join the best B School, to become the uber rich successful corporate woman and all that. Cars, branded clothes, multispeciality gym membership, eat outs at classy restaurants, holidaying at Europe... these were all the motivators. I would rule the world - rich, beautiful, elegant, intelligent and popular.

Then, all of a sudden, the stars and planets all went on a haywire dance and drastically changed their positions, altering my world within (in classic astrology lingo). Of course, a deeply disturbing personal trauma too had a huge role to play. Yet, whatever the reason was, one fine morning I wake up and the only thing I want in life is to make sense of it all and get it in order. Compounded by the luxury of staying alone, hours were spent in my 'dark' room, staring blankly at the ceiling, in nothingness, harmoniously co-existing with unclean utensils, unwashed clothes all over the place, stacks of books lying around and mess of all kinds possible.Those were beautiful times in a very lost manner. And every time when I would open the CAT preparation textbooks, the pressing question would flash - "So why an MBA?" and the thought train would begin again and to a lost soul in a deeply introspective mode, shopping at Lifestyle or eating at Le Meridien never could be an incentive enough.

Sorry Napolean. I thought and hence never grew rich. But yes, I did grow more self - connected. I grew more insightful and I grew more averse to shallow incentives, whether or not they were attainable through self suggestion on a piece of paper.

..................................

As a student of Journalism today, reading about Globalization, Consumerism and Development, I doubt if I really have any regrets. Trust me. Not that I have finally figured it all. Not that I am all fired up when I hear of companies exploiting or politicians bribing. I still spend hours staring blankly at the ceiling in nothingness and not surprisingly, my room is still one terrible mess. Yet I do know I am closer. I am closer to whatever I would love doing the most. Reading about people and society definitely feels more right than it would have been, analyzing sales and cost accounting. Guess amidst all the blankness, the mind still did make some sane choices after all.


18 comments:

CHIBI said...

It's not july 21, 2012 yet. so there's still a chance to accomplish one part of your statement in 2003.. that would be "I will earn all the name, fame and reputation that few women my age can accomplish."

CHIBI said...

I wonder, if anyone could have accomplished success from this so called "book to being successful".. isn't the path to success something unique and personal? how can people write books on it.. maybe they inspire people, give a initial boost but can never make one succeed by just following what's given in it.

Cos, the heart might say something else whenever it goes thro different forks,spoons and loops of life..! and we keep changing our view of success as we mature. sometimes success is fame and money.. sometimes it's happiness and peace.

that's what happened to me till now.. i am quite sure most of us are like that..

Sindu said...

:) Kind of you to say that Chibi. Not July 21, 2012 yet. Lol. Hmmmm...but I guess name and reputation come best when you do not expect them or have them at the back of your mind. Or at least that is the way I would want to have my encounter with them. Lets see :)

They inspire people, give an initial boost. Yes. However it is also not to be forgotten that the very fact of some people reading these books shows that they already have some drive and motivation in them about life which made them take the book in the first place. So, it is hard to verify the cause effect correlation. Would make for an interesting case study! :)

siddharth said...

:) i loved the title! Brilliant!!

But well, so to speak on behalf of the 'self - help' books, maybe they were written only for those wanting to be materially rich in the first place. Where the motivation comes from within and the inspiration from outside. With only detailed answers to the question 'how', carefully brushing aside the question 'why'.

And yet to think of it, an answer to the 'why' is what most of us seem to seek. Which is when we start blankly at the ceiling into nothingness and are perpetually restless & disturbed with almost everything out there. Most perish in this search while a few (like our writer :)) fight on valiantly! No Napoleon Hill could ever give answers to the 'why' for it is as futile as trying to teach someone what is love. Dont ask me 'why'! ;)


Finally, i would disagree with your self assessment. For, as your blog stands testimony, you are surely richer today. Richer in experience, maturity and wisdom. And with this post i personally think that your writing just went a few notches higher. Keep it going!

Natarajan Sundaram said...

Nothingness, and the messed up rooms are the ones, which will seriously make us think. I am also experiencing that..! lol..! And yes, growing rich is what every one think of. Its not a sin too. But the way, some people choose to achieve that, hurts people around them. And some time, by chasing money, we may not live the happy life. After reaching there in a hurry and looking back, one might not have things at his side, that will make him happy and satisfied. So, living a contained and connected life, is the way to success.

I just don't care if I cant make it to the TIME magazine's 500 most influential people or Top 500 rich people in the world, I just care to reach a place where at least 5 people would shed couple of tears for me, on the day I depart this world.

Sorry Napolean, as you said.

Abhishek said...

it looked like the book didnt have much of an effect =/ . why is it that all of those books are more or less the same ? even the " motivational " category of speeches at toastmasters seem like one concept with too many variations . The books ( i think ) are supposed to spur self-confidence which would result in one taking shots at success , not provide various methods of attaining massive wealth and " success " .

Sindu said...

@Siddharth: Self-help books written only for those wanting to become materially rich? Hmmm...No Sid. I dont think so. Rather, I feel they speak of stuff which worked for the author, which might not be a one size fits all formula.

" No Napoleon Hill could ever give answers to the 'why' for it is as futile as trying to teach someone what is love." - Brilliant point from you as usual. :)

And as for your compliments, you are being too kind as usual. :)However will try living up to this immense impression you have on me!

Sindu said...

@Natarajan: Oh! so you too a dweller of untidy habitats? :D Hi Fi! And I feel you have already reached the place you want to. . .for a wonderful insightful person as you, there will be so many more shedding tears. :) Yet, lets make the world as beautiful as possible (and the room too perhaps? ;)) for the time we are here.

Sindu said...

@Abhishek: Heyyy...long time!:) There are some really good books too Abhishek. . .ones which really get you to think. However, most of the ones in this market category chirp the same formulae stuff.

"The books ( i think ) are supposed to spur self-confidence which would result in one taking shots at success , not provide various methods of attaining massive wealth and " success " ."
- As usual wisdom personified from the young Dalai Lama :)

Jency said...

Reiterating what Sidharth has said,
"For, as your blog stands testimony, you are surely richer today. Richer in experience, maturity and wisdom."

"Only the heart knows where to find what it treasures" A life spent in introspection and subsequent action would surely make you filthy rich in things you truly treasure.

The book has surely helped you to learn what you don't want....Again success in material world also is not a destination but a journey, you have keep growing if you wanna stay rich :)

mr.weirdo!! said...

the real growth is the inner growth - the rest will come whnever it wants. ppl have attained their goals as they reach the end of their life. May u see images a vision as u look at ur ceiling :)

on another note: first there was this letter to ur future now the story of a small girl who wanted to be rich & famous. am intrigued to know more abt the child sinduja now :)

Siddarth said...

"Compounded by the luxury of staying alone, hours were spent in my 'dark' room, staring blankly at the ceiling, in nothingness, harmoniously co-existing with unclean utensils, unwashed clothes all over the place, stacks of books lying around and mess of all kinds possible.Those were beautiful times in a very lost manner"
the beauty lies in the characterization of the whole session..! its funny to realize that, it might not be the best of the days but stands etched in memory :)

bomzie said...

Nice

Anonymous said...

...a deeply disturbing personal trauma too had a huge role to play.
*Hugs*

It feels so nice to be part of your little 'village'. I find solace here.

- As usual wisdom personified from the young Dalai Lama :)
I agree. :)

Sindu said...

@Jency: Very interesting insights Jency. Thank you! :) Liked the one about the need to keep growing to stay rich. Very true.

@Mr.Weirdo: Child Sinduja? Ha ha. . you would rather not know pal. Perhaps it is me who should go back and know her all over again! :)

Sindu said...

@Siddarth: Looking back, a lot of days which were distressing at the moment seems so beautiful in retrospect. Ah! :)

@Bomzie: Thank you! :)

Sindu said...

@Anonymous: I once received a very horrid comment from a certain Anonymous member. Ever since, whenever I see something from 'Anonymous', I pray to my lucky stars and open the message.

So you can imagined how overwhelmed with joy I would have gotten seeing this. Thank you! Means a lot to me.

Ragesh Dipu said...

sindu, i liked that line... abt consumerism nd globalizations... actually the boom in motivation book sales is connected with that. those books r motivating, no doubt abt that. bt motivation is often uni dimentional. the emphasis is on money. v can check the credibility of any motivational book by asking it a question, motivating what? u can c at the deep level, many of the books r motivating our selfishness. those books can give MNCs good(!) nd loyal(!) workers, who count incentives r everything... bt i dont think those books can produce a romantic lover or a passionate friend!people depending on those books r a racing horse, whose eyes r covered on both sides! good writing! poke! like v did in FB...