Don’t let perfection become an excuse…be a juggernaut instead.

jagannath
Rath Yatra Puri, 2007 (Image taken from here)

“I have always been fascinated by the word ‘juggeraut’…’juggernaut’ which means ‘an unstoppable force’ is the anglicized word for Lord ‘Jagannath’ (an incarnation of Lord Krishna), more specifically ‘the chariot of Lord Krishna’, which is said to be unstoppable. Every year, in the Rath Yatra (or Chariot Festival) in Puri (Odisha), the deity of Lord Jagannath is taken out in a procession. Many devotees are often crushed under the wheels of Lord Jagannath’s chariot…the chariot wheels are likened to an unstoppable force. I love this word because it perfectly describes what I want to be in life…I want to be an unstoppable force, nothing short of a juggernaut!” (11/4/2015)

Quite often, we let the existence of “the perfect circumstances” (the perfect college to study in, the perfect stationery to write on) keep us from actually “doing things”. We tend to keep postponing something merely because we don’t have the perfect infrastructure or resources, and it soon serves as an excuse to shirk work.

I think that perfection is simply an illusion, much like the concept of ‘utopia’. You don’t need to be at Harvard to study law, nor do you need fancy trainers to start training for a marathon.

Sometimes, it seems to me that we have super-elevated self-esteems which is not healthy because it leads us to believe that nothing is good enough for us. If I reflect on my own college experience, I recall how in the first year we would collectively groan that we could not use the RML swimming pool despite having a world-class infrastructure (literally) in place. Yet, when the pool did open in our final year of college (quite fortuitously for my batch), the number of people who turned up for swimming was quite dismissal.

To quote another example, the RML library is not the best library (in terms of the number of books) by the standards of any top educational institute in India. Still, we have some excellent books in law (I remember a senior telling me that we have the best collection in International Law) and some very good English classics. While as students we have been very vocal about the need to extend library timings, I wonder how many of us can boast of exhausting our extant library resources to the fullest.

I don’t intend to trivialize the things that the students of RML stand for when they rebel, but I believe that we can achieve more lasting results if we just decide upon the simple task of changing ourselves, than set about to change the institution. If every person strives to use their abilities to the fullest and strives towards their “individual” development, we would be winning laurels for the college and it would be a collective victory. In the process, we will also realize that we don’t need much to succeed in the world, and many of the external factors such as the college administration etc. would become moot. Nor would we need to be spoon-fed every step of the way in law school. Just the act of changing yourself can achieve this and much more.

We need to stop looking for excuses and scapegoats to blame our failures on. If we don’t attribute our successes to other people, why should we attribute to them our failures?

Finally, we need to wake up to the realization that there is no such thing as an ideal job. If this sounds dystopian to you, don’t lose heart. The good news is that we can “create” an ideal job, by loving what we do and creating opportunities for ourselves to scale even greater heights. When that happens, you will become a “juggernaut”!

 

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