There are various quotations of George Bernard Shaw that I like, however, amongst the ones that I like more than the others is the one below:
‘This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.’
The reason that I really like this quotation is because he describes you and me as a Force of Nature.Potentially, each one of us has the power possessed by tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis or volcanoes, but we so undermine ourselves and behave like clods full of complaints and problems refusing to take accountability. I have a smart, intelligent and a very talented friend who blamed her family for not letting her have a life before her marriage because they were very conservative; and then she blamed her husband for everything that went wrong in her life. As I have mentioned above, she is smart, intelligent and very talented and if she sees herself through my eyes, she will see the potential that she has and how much she is wasting the inborn talent and gifts that she has. However, she insists on being a selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that her world, i.e., her husband and her parents will not devote themselves to making her happy.
The key is to see yourself as a Force of Nature. And once you do this, most of the battle is automatically won. Most people are just not able to see the bigness in themselves and are only seeing the bigness in others. Individually, each one of us can create an impact like that of any other force of nature, and that can happen only when we choose to be used for a purpose recognized by ourselves as a mighty one. There is no right or wrong purpose; it can be anything that lights us up. It has be something that one already doesn’t have, because if one has had it, it does not remain mighty any more. And, for it to also be a mighty purpose, one needn’t know how to achieve the purpose when starting out. Let me quote George Bernard Shaw again here: ‘The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.’
Forces of nature are not reasonable. We know that out of experience.
I have a friend, Jerry Martin, who in a short span of time has become very dear to me – I call him the Force of Nature, only because he truly epitomizes the phrase ‘Force of Nature’. In the midst of some office crises, he once said to me, ‘A force of nature does not play politics – a force of nature is only focused on what it wants to achieve – petty games are played by mediocre people who are consumed by pulling others down.’ Touché!
Every citizen in this country has a view on corruption and wants it to end, but it has taken the force of a 70 year old man to bring the mighty government led by the Congress on its knees; a young friend of mine who had a near fatal accident in November 2011, was celebrating my birthday with my friends and me in March 2012 at my house looking and being perfectly ‘normal’ after 6 or 7 surgeries were performed on her in the preceding months; a cousin, who was brought up only by his mother in a modest way, needed to leave his education and start earning at a young age to provide for his mother and two sisters. Today, 15 years hence, he is a Director of a large multinational IT company and owns 4 houses in prestigious locations. These are real life examples of people one can relate with who have risen above the circumstances and been the force.
You have a choice, either be mediocre or be a force – what would you like to be? If you want to be a force, find your mighty purpose, be unreasonable and remain focused to achieving this purpose. If you already are not seeing yourself as a force of nature, you will start to see the force of nature in you emerge.
Sameer Dua, Founder Director, Institute for Generative Leadership, India