Saturday, 1 March 2014


We get so caught up with our ‘story of stoppage’ that the fog of our depression never goes away.

“What is there to be afraid of? The worst thing is you fail. So what? I failed at a lot of things. My first record was horrible.”
~ John Mellencamp

You may be on top at a point in time, but could reach rock bottom if you don’t watch your steps. Sometimes you may fail albeit you put your best foot forward. Things may go wrong even if you do your calculations well in advance. But it should never be a reason for feeling low, broke or gross about yourself. Unfortunately, some of us make a whole fuss about it. We create more of an issue when our dreams don’t take off initially. We do produce a tsunami of self criticism and flood our mind with the giant waves of self doubt. It’s true that dealing with negative emotions is an extremely daunting task. Some of us even get washed away in the storm. We get so caught up with our ‘story of stoppage’ that the fog of our depression never goes away. Then, to add insult to injury, is the fear of being looked down upon. This is the fear that dances in our imaginations day in and day out. Such folks carry an image of an utter failure about themselves in their heads. They start considering themselves as nobody and that’s such a pity. 

TAKE 2,900 and...ACTION !
Here are some facts I found worth sharing. You know what, Charlie Chaplin is known to take over 300 shots of a single scene in ‘City Lights’ just to make sure his co-star Virginia Cherrill was holding a rose at the proper angle. Michael Cimino took numerous shots of a pivotal scene in ‘Heaven’s Gate’ just so that the clouds would properly line up in the frame. Now imagine, if a motion picture scene took nearly 3,000 shots just to get it right. Because all the previous ones were mere failed efforts to reach the level of near perfection. This was a scene from a 1982 Hong Kong motion picture called ‘Dragon Lord’. This was one of Jackie Chan’s earliest movies. He shot over 2,900 retakes for a scene in the movie Dragon Lord. The ‘scene’ in question is the shuttlecock match. The entire scene is 7 minutes of complicated shuttlecock play. If you expect an entire shuttlecock game to go according to the script, you're going to need a lot of takes. Shuttlecocks are not easy to control, and each take involves as many as 10 actors on screen. 2,900 takes just to get that one 10-minute action scene perfect on screen. And that’s what depicts the reality of life as well. You get my point here?

"I was always willing to fail."
Talking about failure, Arnold Schwarzenegger has so aptly remarked, "Anything I've ever attempted, I was always willing to fail. In the movie business, I remember, that you pick scripts. Many times you think this is a wining script, but then, of course, you find out later on, when you do the movie, that it didn't work and the movie goes in the toilet. Now, we have seen my movies; I mean, Red Sonja, Hercules in New York, Last Action Hero. Those movies went in the toilet. But that's OK, because at the same time I made movies like Terminator and Conan and True Lies and Predator and Twins that went through the roof. So you can't always win, but don't afraid of making decisions. You can't be paralyzed by fear of failure or you will never push yourself. You keep pushing because you believe in yourself and in your vision and you know that it is the right thing to do, and success will come. So 'Don't Be Afraid to Fail."

Ironically, Steven Spielberg was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television three times. After a performance at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, Elvis Presley was told by the concert hall manager that he was better off returning to Memphis and driving trucks (his former career). The Beatles were rejected by Decca Recording Studios who said, “We don’t like their sound - They have no future in show business.” In 1944, Emmeline Snively, director of the Blue Book Modeling Agency told modeling hopeful Norma Jean Baker, "You'd better learn secretarial work or else get married." Well, she went on to become Marilyn Monroe. Oprah Winfrey was demoted from her job as a news anchor because she “wasn’t fit for television.” Madonna dropped out of college, moved to New York, and took a job at Dunkin’ Donuts in Times Square, where she apparently didn’t last a day. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. He missed over 9,000 shots in his career. He lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions he was entrusted to take the game winning shot, and he missed. In other words, “Failure is success in progress.” 
A failure is not the end of the world, life always takes a turn.
To paraphrase Joel Osteen, “You must make a decision that you are going to move on. It doesn’t happen automatically. You will have to rise up and say, ‘I don’t care how hard this is, I don’t care how disappointed I am, I’m not going to let this get the best of me. I’m moving on with my life.” We usually forget to look over the hills at the rising sun just waiting to break through the dark clouds. The fault lies not with you, but the way you perceive your life. Once a never failing spirit said to life, “No matter what happens, you can’t break me, you can skim the surface, but you can’t touch me.” Success doesn’t come ready-made; you have to go for it. And then also it doesn’t guarantee that you will never fail. But your ‘fight-it-back’ spirit and ‘never-give-up’ attitude, of course, guide you to see the light of the day. A failure is not the end of the world, life always takes a turn. Do not fret, the bumps in your ride ahead are not the full stops, they are just the commas. Slow down a little bit, do cross them and again hit the ground running. Don’t let any bump discourage you on the way to your purpose. The Take-home message is very simple,

“It’s absolutely OK if you slipped once, twice or even thrice. It does not matter. What matters most is that you keep moving ahead.”
~ Shri Shri Ravi Shanker

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