Once the farmers led a revolution against the God of harvest. Enraged at the arrogance of the mortals, Harvest God instructed his friend the Rain God to not give rain to earth for the next ten years by refraining from playing his flute.
The exasperated farmers stopped all the farming activities. To their surprise, they found an old farmer ploughing and tilling his farm. Upon enquiry he said, “I am working so that I would not forget my trade after the gap of a decade”. Everyone laughed at his foolishness.
But the Rain God heard this and felt the old man had a point. He became afraid that he would forget how to play his flute if he stopped practicing. He started playing his flute again. This created an unexpected heavy downpour on Earth. The old farmer’s plot which was ready for the rain, sprouted and gave surplus.
The story points a finger towards the importance of being ready at the right time in spite of adversities.
All of us have aspirations and dreams about what we want with our lives. Our passion and skill may be in a very particular field like music, arts, science, writing, sports and so on, and we long to pursue that.
Though society upholds the slogan ‘you can be whatever you want to be’, many a times life proves to be different. We will not be aware of how to follow our passion while fulfilling our daily needs. In the struggle for survival we are forced to give up what we love. Some people merely get fed up of trying long and hard and just forget their dreams.
The truth is, nature provides opportunity for everyone who aspires. Like there is rain and sunshine for everyone, there are opportunities too.
The great road block
The problem with us is that, we miss many opportunities to exhibit our talent because of our unpreparedness. We might have worked long and hard before for our dreams, but might be rusty when a real opportunity presents itself.
“We each have a special something we can get only at a special time of our life, like a small flame. A careful, fortunate few cherish that flame, nurture it, hold it as a torch to light their way. But once that flame goes out, it’s gone forever.”
― Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart
It is therefore important to be ready always. If someone believes in her own talents and skills, she should constantly hone it. The right opportunity may present itself today or twenty years from now. Hence the person should be ever-ready.
The Good Fortune
We have a tendency to attribute the success of others to good fortune. Be it film stars, musicians or politicians, we admire their luck and even feel jealous at their success. (Read more about fortune in this blog post)
The fact is that, they worked hard for what they loved and was ready when opportunities came their way. Their relentless preparation and incessant hope paid off at the right time.
The great martial arts movie star Bruce Lee‘s life is an example. The biographical movie ‘Dragon: the Bruce Lee story‘ portrays how Lee, won the 60 second challenge against Johnny Sun, just months after recovering from a debilitating back injury. This fight put the spot lights on him and subsequently Bill Krieger offered a role in the series ‘The Green Hornet’.
Bruce’s lifelong dedication and research on martial arts is the sole reason for his success. Though the challenge came unexpectedly, he was ready for it and that made all the difference.
There are a few who might say that they never got the right opportunities. If we critically analyse their lives, we understand that they have missed many real chances because of their carelessness or unpreparedness.
Listen to the faintest sound, for opportunities knocks only once
Success comes to those who are alert to the chances that life presents them with. They stand ready, without losing hope and make use of the situations that come their way.
Dedicated practice and a mindset to wait as long as it takes are important tools everyone should fill their artillery with.
Enjoying the process.
Everyone is deep-set on achieving goals and crossing the finish line. If they are presented with an easy way out so that they can cheat to reach the end, they would blindly grab it.
But it is important to understand that the process is as crucial as the goal. When you are climbing Mount Everest, reaching the top is essential but feeling the sides and enjoying the climb is paramount.
Those who have only the finish line in their mind, will never enjoy life and hence has more chances of getting fed up of the arduous work. They subsequently stop what they do and all their efforts go in vain.
On the contrary, those who are passionate will continue doing what they love unconcerned of the result. Ultimately they will remain ready and will enjoy success.
कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन। मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि॥ २–४७
Karmanye vadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadachana । Ma Karmaphalaheturbhurma Te Sangostvakarmani ।।
Your right is to perform your work, but never to the results. Never be motivated by the results of your actions, nor should you be attached to not performing your prescribed duties.
– Bhagavat Geeta
Old man’s wisdom
In the aforementioned story, the old farmer’s passion and dedication to his trade paid off. Unlike others who blamed the Gods or their own ill fate, he continued doing what he loved.
Rather than getting over attached to success, if we can enjoy what we love and keep our hopes alive, we surely will be ready when the opportunity is presented.
Let the wisdom and passion of the old farmer inspire us and lead us to where we hope to reach.
Thank you for reading. Feel free to express yourself in the comment box below.