Rajan Bala
A soul-stirring first novel…could well be the first of its kind in India written in English …
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Meenakshi Mukherjee
It is a novel difficult to put down.

Charu Sharma
What can I say? Take a bow Hari.
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LECTURE AT BOYS TOWN, HYDERABAD September 10, 2009

Good evening.
Firstly let me thank Bro. Thomas for giving me this opportunity to share some of my thoughts with you. And then I must thank you all for coming and sparing one hour of your time for me. Hopefully if you carry one idea with you I will consider that my coming here has been successful. All I ask is that you take one idea.
As Bro. Thomas said I studied in Montfort institutions just as Boy’s Town is, at St. Gabriel’s Warangal and then at All Saints High school till my 10th when Bro. Vincent was our Rector. I passed out in 1982 then I did my Civil Engineering and my MBA and worked in several companies including a bank. In 2004 I decided to do something I loved and quit my job and took up writing. I wrote four novels out of which one got published so far TMW. It’s a cricket story. I hope you like cricket.
So let me tell you all the story briefly. TMW is about a school, a poor school which is not doing well. It has an average cricket team which has not won a match in twenty years so obviously the players have no belief in themselves. Out of the blue their principal decided that the team must win the inter school tournament of which they have not won a single match in many years to protect the school grounds.
Now I have a question for you? Can you win a tournament like that? If we have to win a tournament like that what must we do? Let us see if you are thinking like the GPS boys.
First we must decide that we want to win. That is our goal. Our dream. It will appear like a dream right but all big achievements begin with a dream. Climbing the Everest to building something like Reliance or an Infosys. We must accept our dream. We must see Boys Town winning the trophy), feel the cup in your hands and practice your speeches when you win.
Now even if the whole world laughs at you we must believe in our dream. It is our dream!! Boys Town wins the trophy.
Then we decide to get more practical. Everyone dreams. But for dreams to come true there is one factor. ACTION. We must fill this dream with action. First mental action. Planning. Plan in detail about how you will win. How good are the best teams? You must be on par with them. If they are X and you are X-1 we must cover the gap. Skill wise, mental wise and physical wise. You must know where you stand now, you must know your strengths and your weaknesses and then you must make a detailed plan that covers every area. Let’s say physical – it will include speed, endurance, flexibility and strength. For speed lets say you are running 100 mares in 15 seconds and the other teams are doing it at 13, you must set your targets at 12.9. do the same for batting – defense, strokes, backfoot, front foot, running between the wickets, calling, building partnerships etc etc, for fielding catches in the deep, close in, throws, underarm, overarm etc. You must improve in everything every day. This is practice – not mindlessly going out there. This is important because it is not just another match – you will lose this school. All this must be done in 90 days. In 90 days you must be as good as the other team at least in practice.
Now, the real thing. We go out and play the matches. What we need now is not talent, not so much skill – we need belief in ourselves. Many times better teams have lost to weaker teams just because the weaker teams believed they could do it. India in 1983
Even if you are not as talented as your opponents you’ll win if you believe you can win strongly. That’s the difference between successful people and unsuccessful people.
Boys Town wins the trophy.

These are not just stories. This is reality that many people have shown us already. Many have done exactly the same formula and succeeded in whatever they did in life.
Why are we here? Succeed in life. Yes, a better life. Don’t aim for a better life – aim for the best life you can make.
Now let me tell you the formula you can use in your life to succeed based on the cricket story. You will all help me. This is about your life. I know it works because I have seen and met enough successful people – it’s the same formula!

  1. Dream. Do not be afraid to dream. Your dreams are your goals. So dream and dream big. If you dream you can be a superstar, you can climb the Everest, be the richest man, start a school like Boys Town, be the best technician in the world, start an ITI or many ITI and help many people, be the PM, own the biggest company…whatever else you choose to be. Do you believe that – yes I believe that. In fact I want all of you to not just succeed but succeed to the best of your ability.

Tell me your dreams. See them. Smell them. Visualize them. Draw pictures of them. They will all come true. A poor man like Dhirubhai built a company like Reliance which is worth lakhs of crores, a man like Shahrukh is the superstar of India, Stephen Hawking the worlds biggest scientist cannot talk or walk,  people with no legs and hands have climbed to the base camp of Everest…the list is incredible. If they can do it, you can do it.
 
It is all a thought. Do you know that everything begins at the thought level. Taj Mahal, this school, this city, every single invention is a thought at some point. So think, dream positive thoughts. If you think how can I, it won’t, you must think I will whatever happens.

  1. Take responsibility for your dream. It is your dream. Don’t look here and there for others to come and make it happen. Ask people, learn, work and don’t be disappointed if you don’t get support sometimes. It’s your dream, you must make it happen. See all of us want to make our parents dreams come true etc. But if your dream is bigger than your parents go for it. They will be happy to know you have achieved bigger things. If they say be a graduate be a post graduate, if they say do a job, start your own business. Or be the best in the job. Even if the whole world does not support you, you must believe in your dream. As you make an honest effort you will see that the whole world will help you in every way.
  2. Prepare fully. Small details. If you are studying be perfect at it. 100% example. Everyone can. Try it, you will know how good you are. Work for it. People who succeed work for 15-18 hours a day. They work through hardships, fever, pain, illness. But they always prepare 100%. Preparation does not mean half prepared. When a Ranji player wants to play test cricket he must be ready to play anytime. When you go to a shop and order food will you be happy with a 60% cooked item. No. similarly when you come to school you must be 100% prepared. Unfortunately most of us think that if we get a decent mark we are happy. No. I am saying I want your full preparation – you must know you have given your best. It will pain initially but you will get used to it.
  3. Give your 100% always. Start now. This is called excellence this is what Sachin does, Shahrukh does. How much are you giving? How will you know when you have given your 100%? The YES factor when you punch your fist in excitement at having done something you planned to. Only you know. Chances are you will definitely succeed – money, satisfaction. You will be the expert.
  4. Believe in yourself always. You are full of strengths. Do not worry about weaknesses. Weaknesses are for people who want to fail. They are excuses. People keep telling you what you don’t have. If you keep thinking of that you will have more of that only. Look at what you have. What you can be. A thought again. You have many strengths – intelligence, hardwork, commitment, perseverance – enough to succeed. I am telling you there are people who have more weaknesses than you and I who have made it much bigger in life. Successful people become successful because they believe they are good. You must believe that you are good – that you are the best. Start now. Be the best you can be. The 100% you. At your studies. At everything. Make it a habit. Be comfortable with discomfort. All successful people look at results. Failures look for excuses. Everyone has the same excuses. So don’t tell me your excuses. Like I said before people with no limbs, no money, no social stature, no backing have become the best. You can too. If you want to.

Understand that you need to focus on yourself. On adding value to yourself.

  1. Duality – if you are scared – you are also brave, if you think you are stupid there is also an intelligent man within, if you think you are ordinary be sure there is greatness within also. It is what we want to operate on – mediocrity or greatness. Again you choose. Strength – weakness,

Here let me tell you that it is best to choose what your teachers tell you. Honesty, hard work, helping others, being polite, all the good qualities, good values that they teach you work. I know. Life is like a mirror. If you smile at it, it smiles back at you ten times. If you are generous to it, it is generous to you. If you are honest with it, it is honest with you. Many people do not understand this and think it pays to be dishonest, or to cheat – it does not pay because it does not add any value to you. One day you will get caught like so many people get caught.

  1. Let me tell you how a sculpture works. You are all like the rock with a sculpture within. Chip away the unnecessary stuff and you will realize how beautiful the sculpture is within. A rock can be used to sit, a flat stone or a price less sculpture. You decide what you want to do with yourself. Only you can do that. If there is more dishonesty and less honesty, try to be more honest. If there is more laziness and less hard work, try and be more hardworking. That way you will chip away what you don’t want, and slowly the sculpture will emerge.

 

Boys I wish you all the best. Before I wind up let me hear from a few of you what you learnt from today. Thank you. Good luck!

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