Updated: Jul 21, 2020
Today is a special day. This date, every year. For me, it is God’s day! Yes, it is Sachin Tendulkar day. A name that needs no introduction!
There are some extra special human beings who amplify human potential beyond the usual, who raise the bar not just for themselves but for the collective, who lead their journeys worth emulating and who create stories that inspire forever!
Heroes are not by virtue of just what they do. But, by how many lives they touch and change forever.
To me, Sachin is an indicator by which discipline, resilience, passion, humility, and action will be measured. All of which is required to become great at not just cricket but at anything you’d ever want to be.
I can talk for hours on Sachin but let me talk about stuff that according to me made him special. That can make us special.
Here’s my take: (I’ll talk more about the qualities and less about his cricketing feats)
Discipline – Many famously remember how Sachin did not face a single delivery in the nets during 2003 World Cup. India played 11 matches and Sachin was the highest run-getter in that WC with 673 runs. But what many forget easily is to reach that level of Zen he has practiced days and nights. Hundreds and thousands of deliveries in the nets. Summers, and monsoons and winters and weekdays and weekends of hours of practice to train his mind to decide how he would want to play the game. Success is not the outcome, it’s in the process that takes you to the outcome.
Resilience – More than 100 cricketers have played alongside Sachin for India in his 24 year journey. Many have risen to the occasion, many have gone forgotten as in matches as in life but he has remained right there at the top. Enduring all that came his way, embracing and eliminating characteristics on the way. Defiant against all odds. It is not easy but to reach to the zenith of what we do, I see there is no choice but to be resilient.
Passion – He once famously said, the day I start counting the number of deliveries I bat in the net is when I know my time’s up. The difference between stress and passion is doing what we love. If doing something stresses you, know for sure that you don’t have your heart in it.
Humility – Harsha Bhogle beautifully summed it, “He was a Master who behaved like a Servant of the game”. I believe this is one of the most important aspects of our lives, to not be arrogant, to behave like a life-long learner and to serve our game to the best of our abilities. The day we think of ourselves as masters is the day we are denying ourselves the possibility and opportunity to acquire any new knowledge.
Action louder than words – one thing I have seen over following his career for so many years, is how right from the person who played in the “C team” at the Gully level to the ones who played 1/10th of the number of matches he played had a view on how he should play and when he should retire and whether he deserves to be in the side. Remember this can happen to you as well. Many naysayers to doubters to opinion makers to so-called experts will try to decide for you. But it didn’t bother him. He let his bat do the talk. You should let your work speak for you. I have faced this at times – the doubters, the experts, the opinion makes trying to figure me out, but I go back and tell myself to let my work do the talking because I have learnt that rest all is just noise.
Sachin is a great example of Talent is the starting point of our journey but not the end. What makes our journey worthwhile is how we lead it and what we become by virtue of it.
To me Sachin is an emotion. An emotion that brings out the best of human endeavors and abilities.
As I end this blog, I recollect the words of Andrew Symonds, an Australian cricketer, who once famously said, “To Sachin, the man we all want to be”
An extra special human this world deserves to celebrate….