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POINT TO PONDER
"It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Once upon a time, there was a family of three; a father, a mother and a son, who were traveling on a country road with their bull. By the time they reached a town they were very tired. The parents asked their young son to ride on the bull.
The people in the town saw them and started commenting, “What kind of a son would make their old parents walk while enjoying leisurely ride in such a heat?” The son, feeling embarrassed, got down and asked his mother to ride on the bull.
As they traveled further, they encountered more town people who commented, “What kind of a woman she is, making a poor child and an old husband walk in such a heat while enjoying the ride?” Feeling bad, the mother got down and asked the father to ride.
As they went further and reached a market, the entire crowd exclaimed, “What kind of shameless man would make his nice wife and a little child walk while relaxing on the bull?
He also got down in a shame. But realizing that they were very tired, they decided that all of them should ride on the bull. And you know what happened?
Half an hour later, the bull collapsed because of heavy weight on it and the poor creature died. The town people laughed at the family, “What kind of foolish people would do such cruelty against a poor animal?”
In the late 80s, a small and promising company with excellent intellectual property in Integrated Circuit (IC) design hired a CEO from a large company. The rumor had it that in his previous company, Mr. CEO was famous for implementing "programs of the quarter" based on the last seminar he attended or last publications he read. True to his reputation, Mr. CEO, after reading an article about the success of vertical integration in another company, decided to expand into the board and systems business. Soon after the 50-person company lost focus on their core competency, and wasted a lot of resources in a business that they did not fully understand. And like the poor bull, the company with great potential and direction collapsed.
“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
POINT TO PONDER
"The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don't tell you what to see."
- Alexandra K. Trenfor
During my days in theatre school, I was working as an actor on a scene that was giving me a particularly difficult time. The scene was a highly intense scene and I was having difficulty getting myself to meet the emotional demands of the piece. My teacher at the time was an old theatre veteran who would sit silently, letting the scene play out. After each take I would turn to him and ask what he thought. He would answer the question with, "well, what do you think?"
It would frustrate me. But he would ask me to do the scene again. And again. And again...
Each time I would get a little more frustrated, knowing that I wasn't serving the material in the way that was needed. And each time he would quietly say, "just do it again." For three weeks I did this, trying many different ways, feeling disconnected and lost.
Then a week before we were to perform the scene, I wanted to throw in the towel. I didn't think I had it in me. I went up to my teacher and said that I no longer wanted to perform and he asked why. When I told him he responded that I've been "trying" to do things, putting on what I thought would be right rather than listening to myself and expressing what I honestly thought about it. He told me to take a break, give it a couple of days and come back to it.
After a couple of days I did. Before I began, he reminded me to do nothing, just listen and respond honestly. I did. And to my suprise, the scene worked. After the scene was over he had a big smile on his face. I did too. For a second, I was a little irritated that it had been so effortless. I asked him why when I was struggling he just kept telling me to do the scene again and didn't just tell me to what to do right from the beginning.
He sighed and said that I needed to go through the process for myself. That I needed to be lost in order to find the answer. If he had given me direction and told me what to do, I wouldn't have understood why it worked when it did. He explained that he didn't give me any answers because I had come to it through trial and error. That way, I would be able to find the answer on my own when I was in a professional production and he would not be there to help me.
I understood then what every good parent does, that real leaders don't just provide answers, they prepare you to find them for yourself when they are no longer around.
POINT TO PONDER
“If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good.”
- Thomas J. Watson Jr.
STORY LINE by Rajiv Shah
So what is the secret of success? Failure. Don't believe me? Check out some of these photos of rejection letters that have been circulating around the internet recently. The recipients have bounced back from these different types of rejections to long and successful careers.
1. The Standard Rejection...
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: U2 have released 12 studio albums and are among the all-time best-selling music artists, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide. They have won 22 Grammy Awards, more than any other band, and in 2005, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility. Rolling Stone ranked U2 at number 22 in its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time" and has labelled them the "Biggest Band in the World". (From Wikipedia)
2. When You Can't Even Give It Away For Free Rejection...
RECIPIENT: ANDY WARHOL
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Warhol has been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions, books, and feature and documentary films. He coined the widely used expression "15 minutes of fame". Many of his creations are very collectible and highly valuable. The highest price ever paid for a Warhol painting is US$105 million for a 1963 canvas titled "Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)". A 2009 article in The Economistdescribed Warhol as the "bellwether of the art market". Warhol's works include some of the most expensive paintings ever sold. (From Wikipedia)
3. The Feedback Rejection...
RECIPIENT: TIM BURTON
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Timothy Walter "Tim" Burton is an American film director, producer, artist, writer, poet and stop motionartist. He is known for his dark, gothic, macabre and quirky horror and fantasy films such as Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Dark Shadows and Frankenweenie, and for blockbusters such as Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Batman, its first sequel Batman Returns, Planet of the Apes, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland. Burton has directed 16 films and produced 12 as of 2012. (From Wikipedia)
4. The "You're Not Ready Yet" Rejection...
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Madonna has sold more than 300 million records worldwide and is recognized as the best-selling female recording artist of all time byGuinness World Records. Madonna is the best-selling female rock artist of the 20th century and the second best selling female artist in the United States, with 64.5 million certified albums. In 2008, Billboard ranked her at number two, behind only The Beatles, on the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists, making her the most successful solo artist in the history of the American singles chart. The publication also declared Madonna as the top-touring female artist of all time. Due to her major influence in contemporary music, Madonna has been included in the list of "25 Most Powerful Women of the Past Century" by Time and was crowned the "Greatest Woman In Music" by VH1. She became one of the five founding members of the UK Music Hall of Fame and was inducted into theRock and Roll Hall of Fame in her first year of eligibility. (From Wikipedia)
5. The Humiliating Rejection...
RECIPIENT: GERTRUDE STEIN
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Gertrude Stein was an American writer of novels, poetry and plays that eschewed the narrative, linear, and temporal conventions of 19th-century literature, and a fervent collector of Modernist art. In 1933, Stein published a kind of memoir of her Paris years, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, written in the voice of Toklas, her life partner. The book became a literary bestseller and vaulted Stein from the relative obscurity of cult literary figure into the light of mainstream attention. (From Wikipedia)