“You have to believe in yourself when no one else does…”
- Serena Williams, Tennis Champion.
Many a times we draw inspiration from the world around us. I too draw my inspiration for writing from varied sources. Today, I am penning down an inspirational story of a young & talented entrepreneur, a millennial. As I sit to write, many things are popping up in my mind. Finally, I have decided to keep the name anonymous and hopefully will disclose it with permission, some time in future when the person attains the desired goal. So, here it goes…
Well, before that, I am sure as you read it, you’ll find many things in common because it’s after all a story of a common individual, maybe one amidst us. What sets that person apart is the brilliant idea and an untamed mind which can think beyond what you & me can dare to dream of.
Born to a middle-class family, this individual has gone through many hardships in life. The greatest challenge faced time & again is the generation gap with parents. It is very difficult to bridge that gap which has set its foot firmly since the past. Every time this person wanted to do something; got fierce opposition from parents, sometimes though was nicely convinced to follow the rule; other times ridiculed for not becoming one like the successful cousins; dreaming wild & unrealistic stuff etc. The list is endless & this individual compromised numerous times by giving in to their demands because this person wanted to be an obedient child and not hurt anyone. Sigh! Culture & the way we have been taught to follow norms have a big role to play here! The battle was to fit in the expectations of others against own self. But, this time the person chose not to give up. And I am glad that this decision was taken. Otherwise, this individual would have been just one normal person amidst the crowd.
I understand the reasons for parents’ fear, reasons for wanting to mould as per their experiences in life. At the end, all they want is the individual’s overall well-being. But, they have forgotten that by doing so, they are killing the person’s inner desires, the genius within & not letting the individual fly & become what the person wants to be. They are not letting the person live the life and be truly happy. They just want this individual to be like someone that they have imagined, admired & have faith in.
Lucky are those parents whose children abide by what they say & never disobey them. But, I want to ask these questions to all such parents: “Do you want them to be like you or do you want them to be who they truly are? Are you ashamed of your own creation that you want to tweak it as per your taste? Or are you so scared that you don’t want any of your past negative experiences to be repeated? Forgive me for being blunt & harsh, but your children are in great pain. They aren’t happy inwardly but just trying to cover up. Please let them be who they want to. Let them discover the genius in them & give them wings to fly beyond their & your imagination.
This young entrepreneur came to me seeking for guidance. And I did my best to help this person focus on what is controllable & never give up. The individual insisted me in speaking to the person’s parents & make them understand hoping that I would be able to create miracles in their minds. But, I chose not to speak because somewhere I knew what the repercussions might be. Therefore, I chose to guide the individual differently. I wanted this young entrepreneur to discover the own inner strengths, face the challenges & empower oneself so that the individual can face life head on & overcome any situation which also includes bridging the generation gap. This person has taken the first step & moving towards the dreams despite of all odds. I am proud of this.
Coincidently, I read the story of Muniba Mazari, Pakistan’s Iron Lady. She got married at a young age of 18 years to oblige her parents & make them happy. Of course, she wasn’t happy. Just 2 years after her marriage, she met with a car accident which shook her world to the core. From then on, she chose to live her life not to satisfy others but for herself. She uses a wheelchair due to injuries sustained in that accident. Today she is an artist, model, activist, motivational speaker and television host of international repute. I wish more such Munibas are created not because of painful circumstances but right support in discovering the genius inside us.
This applies to the corporate world too. We often tweak the employees as per the need of the Organization even though they are hired for something else in the beginning. When things don’t work out, which is obvious; we discard without any guilt or moral responsibility. High time that we rethink and introspect on the actions that we take in this regard. What if the genius is discovered in each of us and enabled to fly with wings?! I hope for this & will never give up on this hope.
Coach to People Leaders, Start-up Founders & Transitioning professionals