After having a great lunch at my friend’s lovely home, I was heading towards the MRT to catch a train.
As I was taking the staircase to the train station when a soul-touching voice stopped me – the voice singing a beautiful English song. It’s very usual for me. On such occasions, I usually pause for some time, enjoy the song, and move on.
But this time, the voice was not letting me move ahead. I turned back and saw a singer, who must be in his early seventies, sitting on the metal chair on the walkway, amidst the crowd, holding a Guitar and singing passionately. Such a great singer but was not able to get a glimpse of his fans around.
Yes, he was visually impaired.
People were pausing there for some time, enjoying the music, some were dropping some money into his cardboard box, some were waiting for long, and others were leaving. Yes, he was a street performer, an awesome busker.
His soulful, intense singing, was surely not letting me go. I stood there, eyes full of tears. Still. Frozen.
I thought that with such a wonderful voice, how easy it might be to be successful.
But then I remembered what the great author, Malcolm Gladwell, wrote in his beautiful book ‘Outliers’ about highly successful people like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or about The Beatles. He says –
“What truly distinguishes their histories is not their extraordinary talent but their EXTRAORDINARY OPPORTUNITIES.”
According to Malcolm, when Mr. Bill Gates was once asked about the secret of his success, he replied, “I was very lucky.”
According to the book, ‘Capitalism without Capital’ – “In the mid-1960s, the Beatles were not just a cultural force, they were an economic one. At their peak, their record and ticket sales were generating $650 a second in today’s money. The dollar receipts from their overseas tours are even credited with temporarily saving the British government from a currency crisis.”
In the early days for the most random reasons, the Beatles got invited to go to Hamburg. Without Hamburg, the Beatles might have taken a very different path.
That doesn’t mean these successful people were not brilliant or extraordinary. It just means that they were in the right place, at the right time, with their extraordinary talent.
Someone has rightly said, “Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.”
True, but all extraordinary people are not blessed with opportunities. Many don’t get opportunities despite trying extremely hard.
Likewise, this awesome singer might not be successful, but surely he was happy. He had that soft, serene, and contented smile on his face, and that contentment about life and its purity was somehow getting reflected in his voice.
It’s so true when we are peaceful and happy, we spread positive energies.
Exactly the opposite happens when we are unhappy. In that case, we always find some or other faults in others, just to run away from our own. Sometimes unnecessarily self-creating problems and while doing so, we let our lives get completely affected by our imagination of what others think about us.
It’s all a game of negativity, sadness, and depression.
Why don’t we define our own success?
Why is it not OK not to have those riches in our lives?
What if I am not able to get a great job, a big house, or an extraordinary life? So what?
I am happy in my own, small world, with my simple but satisfying job, with my beloved family, my loving relatives, and my genuine friends. With just enough money to take care of my family, and more importantly, I am so happy from within.
Am I not successful? I AM because that’s how I define my success. Shouldn’t it be this way?
Despite having a wonderful voice, this singer might not have got a great opportunity to show his talent. But surely he must be successful in his own little world.
He must be having a loving and caring wife, obedient children, and naughty grandchildren, and his lovely world around. His serene expressions said it all.
After he finished his second song and took a break to tune to another song on his little sound system, his hands knew the exact location of the buttons there. The hands were giving complete support to his eyes.
I took a chance and dared to approach him and said, “Sir, You sing so beautifully. You have an awesome voice, I am just amazed. You made me so happy.”
He was so shy to react. He just broadened his peaceful smile, gracefully acknowledged my praises, and softly thanked me by taking a slight, gentle bow. But he couldn’t see the person who was genuinely praising him, couldn’t see how happy I was listening to him.
He himself was such a bright light in his visually dark world.
Hope the misleading concept of success may not stop this man from spreading his love, happiness, and positivity!