For the most years of my life, I have borne the brunt of being complemented as ‘brave’. Yes, you read it right, I called being brave as a burdensome, annoying feeling that has tagged along me everywhere I went. I first met it when I was eight and was put into roller skating. With due respect to my family’s concern for my fitness, I needed to be brave to put up with early morning risings, toughened coaches and requirement to win at every tournament. So, I ran at the whistle. I ran to have a good start at championships. I ran to leave behind my competitors. I ran to justify the cheering crowd. I ran – for the gold.
As fate would have it, I have been running since then. I was brave when teachers scolded me for not knowing language taught at new school as I changed schools. I was brave when I suffered depression due to personality complications. I was brave when the doctor put those heavily wired braces in my mouth and destined me for two years of hungry, sleepless nights. I was brave when I did not get course of my choice at university and had to manage two courses side by side. I was brave when my first manager staffed me on high difficulty zero-error project. I was brave when my first client wanted high quality product in minimal timelines. I was brave when I left a high paying job at the time of economic crisis.
One of my favorite books, Hunger Games, has been able to capture that constant struggle for survival.
The protagonist KatnissEverdeen fights for her survival as she struggles to provide for her family.
Even Barbie manufacturers had to deglam to embody somebody who has no energy to focus on looking good, choosing a boyfriend or eating the food slowly as she was the “girl on fire”. As she takes spot of her sister in the torturous hunger games, she knew, just like me, she has to fight hard.
“At some point, you have to stop running and turn around and face whoever wants you dead. The hard thing is finding the courage to do it.”
But, as every brave person would tell you, bravery is a not a choice. It never was. It is a chance turn of events that leave you with no other option but to be, oh yes, brave. And those who boast of being brave are actually people who have never known bravery. Because if they had known it, they would have known that you, just like everybody else, wanted an easy life.
Recent article by Shahrukh Khan , the superstar of bollywood, correctly stated that it is not the love of success but the fear of failure that motives us to work harder and achieve new heights. Shahrukh Khan on importance of failure
So, I have worked hard at beating every odd that has come my way because trouble has always found me and disrupted my lovely quiet life.
And if someone asks me to brave the future, I will still be willing to run. I will run – for my family’s smile, for my marriage and unborn children, for my everlasting friendships, for my high-rising career, for my unwritten book.
I will run – for the gold.