I heard this for the first time last year from a great speaker and a rival for a few hours, Aditya Maheshwaran.
You have to lose yourself in something, to get good in that.
Or words to that effect. I don’t remember the exact words because I was to busy focusing on my speech, which was immediately after his.
They say midnight is the best time to reflect on life, and I can’t think of anything other than these words, and how they seem to be manifesting in my life these past few days.
A week ago, we were to have a cricket match. Being in India, that shouldn’t be such a big deal. But this one was more important than most. In our 3 years in college, we hadn’t won even one of these “slightly more important” matches, and we were desperate. We didn’t want to graduate winless, so to speak.
Now I’ll be honest. I was…intimidated by the occasion. Stupid as it may sound now, I really was. And I kind of didn’t want to play, because I didn’t want to lose.
Nevertheless, that beautiful lady, Fate, was in a good mood that day. She thwarted every meek excuse I came up with in my mind, and I ended up in the field.
Now, I’m a bowler. I used to bat very well, but after 1 terrible, terrible experience, I lost all confidence in my batting. I would avoid it, and I did it successfully for 5 straight years. As I said, Fate, today was in a good mood. She made my captain hand me the bat. He told me to start.
Normally, I would blanch and say no. But Fate did something to me, too. I took the bat and actually smiled.
I didn’t look back after that.
I don’t want to brag or anything, but I played my best 3 games in the last 5 years. Won the matches for my team.
All that while, some 3 hours, I did not think. I did not think about my batting, about who is bowling. I didn’t try to anticipate how he will bowl, where I should hit. I just stood there and waited for the ball to be delivered. And my muscles took over. I lost myself in the match, and in the process, I found a part of me that was so deeply buried in insecurities.
I now have regained the confidence to bat again. More importantly, I’ve understood how to lose myself while doing something. I wouldn’t have realized any of this had I not heard that speech. So thank you, Aditya. This is a skill I don’t plan to forget 😉