Recently I came across an article in edex magazine of The New Indian Express, reporting how a stand-up comedian had just one person showing up as audience at an open mics event in Bangalore, and most interestingly, how he still performed!
I was amazed to read this article! I salute the stand-up comedian, Shridhar Venkataramana, an IIM-B grad, for his commitment to his work, and the reporter, Parvathi Benu for capturing this rare story!
It takes enormous amount of courage to do something like this - accepting that just one person has shown up for my act today, and I would still perform because that one person matters as much as any large crowd!
Off lately we have been hearing powerful stories of people taking unconventional paths - leaving their corporate ranks, government positions etc to try something new and different. This is the latest wave in the country - it's an entrepreneurial mindset - (In Sanskrit, entrepreneur means Antra - Prerit ie. Self Inspired) that pushes us to do so.
However, we only get to hear the success stories in which someone who left his settled job makes a leap, listening to his/her passion, and becomes successful in an altogether different line of work! Kudos!
Though, there are many, many, many failed stories which do not get our attention as much but I believe they are more relevant and need to be heard more often.
For every success story, there are thousands of failed attempts by hundreds of passionate people out there. And those people and their efforts matter as much as the successful people and their success stories.
How many times we celebrate failures, owing to the relentless effort that goes in that journey. Success or failures are only the destiny. But enjoying the path, the small milestones, are as important as anything. We are mercilessly hindering our creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, courage etc if we are not celebrating the failures - if we are not accepting that it's the journey that matters and must be celebrated.
I think I was particularly lucky because I was taught to celebrate the journey than just the destination. I remember my grand father and parents never gave us any carrot stick - they never said if you will be a topper, you will get this or that. My grand father would take me and my sister and brother to a nice restaurant on every first day of month after getting his pension and on the last day of our exams. My father got me a scooter on the last day of my 10th board exam.
They didn't wait for the results to come in. They knew I had worked hard, and wanted me to celebrate that journey!
And I think we as a society need to celebrate the journey even more today - because now success is unpredictable as compared to our times. Nobody knows the future of these nontraditional career paths. Many definitions have changed today, and the sooner we realize, the better for all of us!
Many times I don't put my thoughts into words, thinking who will read it - it's not good enough! Sometimes I draft but not publish, again thinking, who will like it - it's not good enough! And I am sure there are many people out there who think exactly like this. But now I have started feeling -
If you can touch just one life, it's worth it! And it must be celebrated - by you first!
To the failures that we embrace along our beautiful journeys and to the people who have stood by us to celebrate those failures...
Do share your thoughts!
Swati is the General Manager of Social Venture Partners (SVP) Hyderaad, where she builds powerful partnerships with non-profit organisations to tackle India's most pressing social challenges. SVP is the world's largest network of engaged philanthropists, with over 3,200+ investor-donors across more than 40 cities worldwide. Swati is a Teach For India Fellow - she has taught 100 girls for two years in a slum community in New Delhi. She has previously worked with Hedge Funds for four years as a consultant in New Delhi and New York. Swati holds a bachelor degree in Computer Science from the Institute of Engineering and Rural Technology.