Mangalore, Jul 22, 2010
On May 29, 1953 Tenzing Norgay along with Edmund Hilary shared the honour of being the first to reach the world’s highest peak – Mt Everest. On his return from the great adventure Tenzing was asked by one of the media reporter –“How did you feel climbing the mighty Everest at the age of 40? Who is your inspiration?” Tenzing instantly replied- Who told you I climbed the Everest today? I had climbed it when I was a 10-year old boy.
Looking at the surprised look on reporter’s face Tenzing continued – “I belong to a poor family background. 25 goats were our source of earning livelihood. To graze the goats my mother used to live me on top of the hill. She used to give the water bottle and tiffin carrier and say graze all the goats carefully. Just before leaving she used to point out the Everest and say nobody has climbed that mountain till date. Will you climb it my child?
All throughout the day I used to graze the goats and look at the mountain and dream of climbing it. That is when I had mentally started climbing it and today I have physically achieved my dream. My mother’s words are my sole source of inspiration”.
My point through Tenzing’s achievements is that age is no bar when you really want to accomplish your dream whatever it is. If you have the right frame of mind and the willingness to face the challenges that comes across your way you can do wonders.
The law states that retirement should happen at sixty five, yet there are many individuals who have achieved great things well into their old age. I’ am sure all of you might have come across or might have heard about such great achievers either at a very young age or when they are too old.
Peoples’ prejudices and the law should not get in the way of people achieving what they want and beginning new things at any age or time of life. There are a lot of assumptions and prejudice according to age.
It is assumed that aging occurs in a somewhat linear fashion, and something guaranteed, however, a careful look around society will show the clear variety of people with different ages, abilities and stamina. Not all people are the same. Some simple lifestyle changes, eating healthily and living in a moderate fashion can assist one, not only to live until a ripe old age, but to reach such an age gracefully and healthily with full use of their faculties.
People here in India have also set certain things up and they generally expect each and everyone to follow it- like for example at this particular age one should finish his/her studies, at this age they should work , then get married at a certain age and then have babies and blah blah. It’s all so much generalized that people lose the capacity to think beyond it and in the process they fail to be different.
People who just accept the status quo may be termed as In-the-box thinkers. They find it difficult to recognize the quality of an idea. An idea is an idea. A solution is a solution. In fact, they can be quite pigheaded when it comes to valuing an idea. They rarely invest time to turn a mediocre solution into a great solution.
More importantly, in-the-box thinkers are skillful at killing ideas. They are masters of the creativity killer attitude such as "that'll never work" or "it's too risky." The best in-the-box thinkers are unaware that they drain the enthusiasm and passion of innovative thinkers while they kill their innovative ideas.
They also believe that every problem needs only one solution; therefore, finding more than one possible solution is a waste of time. They often say, "There is no time for creative solutions. We just need THE solution. Even great creative people can become in-the-box thinkers when they stop trying. Apathy and indifference can turn an innovator into an in-the-box thinker.
Thinking outside the box requires different attributes that include willingness to take new perspectives to day-to-day work, openness to do different things and to do things differently, focusing on the value of finding new ideas and acting on them, striving to create value in new ways, listening to others and supporting and respecting others when they come up with new ideas.
Thinking outside the box requires openness to new ways of seeing the world and a willingness to explore. Out-of-the box thinkers know that new ideas need nurturing and support. They also know that having an idea is good but acting on it is more important.
The great achievers, be it in any age have nothing special in them expect that they dare to think different and be different, ‘Think outside the box’ to be precise.
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