The India – England One Day Cricket series is coming up after the Test series. Imagine the first One – Day match between India and England is in progress. Sachin Tendulkar is batting and India need 300 runs to win. In the stands, there are 40,000 people watching the match and each one of these 40,000 in the crowd has an advice for how Sachin Tendulkar should be playing to ensure India’s success in the match. Some want Sachin Tendulkar to get acclimatized to the conditions, the pitch and the bowlers before he gets aggressive; some others believe that India need a huge total to win and there is no time for acclimatization, if Tendulkar goes slow in the beginning, then the pressure will be upon the middle order to score at a higher run rate in the later part of the innings.
How do all these views matter to Sachin Tendulkar? Zero! Nothing at all! Waste of time!
Tendulkar, on the pitch there (read on the court), will do exactly as he thinks he should be doing. All these views of the entire 40,000 odd crowd mean nothing to him. And thank God for that! If Sachin Tendulkar took all these views every time he went to bat, one thing was for sure – he would have not lasted for 20 years in this very pressurizing and ever demanding game of cricket; more so in this country of cricket freaks!
Let’s now cut back to your life. Are you on the court as far as your own life is concerned? Are you taking actions to deliver results towards achieving your goals? I want to you to really think hard about this question. Most people I interact with regularly keep saying things like, I have wanted to go to the gymnasium for so many months now but just cannot get myself to; or, I have been planning to start my business but am waiting for the right opportunity; and so one and so forth.
Being on the court means being in action and not wondering what people around you are saying. Listening to too many will shake your conviction and take you off your course.
Then there these others who do get on to the court, but seek approval, assurance and views from the ‘people on the stands’. Sure seek others views; and that actually is a great idea. However, the views that are important are that of your coach, team mates, captain (read Manager), etc. Certainly not of the ‘people on the stands’. (And if you do not have a coach yet, seriously consider getting one.)
Being on the court means being the cause in the matter. Remember, it’s actions that you take that lead to your performance. History is evidence of the fact that no one has ever won the game by being on the stands.
Get on the court and feel the heat! Feel the heat of the perspiration, feel the heat of responsibility. Remember when you last went to the gym and after a hard hour’s workout, you so enjoyed the sweat rolling down your cheek. That stinking sweat was very important to stretch yourself, and make you a healthier person. Similarly, being on the court and taking actions is extremely important in stretching yourself and making you a successful person.
The problem for a lot of people is not that they don’t know what to do; the problem is that they don’t simply do it.
Sameer Dua, Founder Director, Institute for Generative Leadership, India.