I planted a bougainvillea climber in a big earthen pot in my veranda & watered it religiously for more than a year. My vision about the climber was to one day -see the plant flower with the intensity of an 18 yr youth. It did but with the intensity of a 60 yr old youth who is on Viagra. Dream and vision shattered.
Dishearteningly; with the ego of a failed lover I decided to call it a ‘Break Up’ & I exchanged the Bougainvillea with another climber (bought from a fancy nursery). I did not want to be cruel to my first love. After all there is a thing as recycling your ex with responsibility. So I had my Maali (Gardener) uproot it and plant it in the corner of the public park slightly away from my home. I forgot about the Bougainvillea (I moved ahead emotionally from her because I had found my new love in the new fancy climber).
Some months later; when after a hectic work travel schedule- I went walking towards the same public park to relax myself. From a distance I saw a beauty. It appeared to be in her prime most blossoming youth. Men are Men. I went closer and Lo ji! It was the same Bougainvillea which I had ejected from my life. After our break up she had her best ever make up. She was flowering 10X than before. She looked so happy flowering on her new Beau (who had a bigger base). It is never a nice feeling to see your ex happy in her new life (even if you are happy in your own).
Lesson Learned: – ‘Baby aur Destiny ko Bada Base pasand hai’. I mean you need to expand and give yourself and your career growth a chance at a bigger playground. Till the time you remain the Queen of the earthen pot; you can only grow to a limit (as there is limited space for your roots to branch into). Get into the bigger field – where there is no limiting factor. Maybe your exceptional gifts and talents need a larger stage to find the right sized expression in the graph of your career growth.
It happened with me too. I was doing small, random assignments as a Motivational Speaker & Trainer till 2005-2006. Barely renowned corporate organizations (which manufactured anything from lingerie to papads & pickles), Coaching Institutes, C-grade B-Schools, & local Engineering Colleges & would you believe it – I was once even invited to motivate ladies at the kitty party of ‘Aggarwal Wives association’.
I was semi happy as people listened to me & paid me too. But something was missing. I was ending up picking up all assignments & that too with negotiated terms and conditions almost every single time. That Mojo inside me was not finding expression. But I still very strongly believed in my genre of Sarcasm, Humour and Story Telling & was sure that my Events have it in them to solve problems in people’s lives & that the best is yet to come. But I was not able to see & think beyond my limited territory / geography and my own small network and references of people who got me work. That was my Earthern Pot situation of Bougainvillea.
So, how did I get my big bang. Not much I did initially. Growing internet, Social Media & some kickass friends (who got me newer perspectives) did lots for me. I just kept my ferocity right. However, I worked very hard in the last 10 years & did some 900 quality Events in this period. Got lucky to get at least 300+ assignments (in last 10 years)which were way beyond my skill set (and my sharpening of skill kept on happening more and more with my every next Event).
My website, blog, social media and my decision to express myself fearlessly and ruthlessly on them got me my Base (shift from the earthen pot). I am happy now and feel lucky that all of it happened to me. Now when I see so many young (& more talented than me) people locked in a cubicle & feeling nauseated & suffocated under the weight of car loans, home loans & credit card bills- I so want to go and shout at them- ‘Please do not let the security of a pay cheque drown you in that earthen pot. Go out and fly high. Some amazing people and some very smart opportunities are waiting for you. And trust me it is huge fun doing the stuff which you have never done before ’
The lesson which I learned- ‘Baby ko bada base pasand hai’ will stay valid till India wins FIFA or till Rahul Gandhi becomes the PM of India.
Fly & Shine!