Evolve and Elevate: Resilience and inspiring Bill Bradley's Perfection
Idea of the Week
“If there is a single skill that will get you through life above all others – more important than cleverness or passion or imagination – it is resilience.
Without it even the most brilliant person can be crushed.
And no one can develop resilience in vacuum.
You have to fail in order to learn how to recover from failure.”
Lesson of the Week
Bhagavad Gita says:
When we are tainted by this Bhautik Jagat (the physical world), we are called BADH.
Badh: The person who is involved in Dehatam Buddhi.
The one who has the material concept i.e. The body is his self.
Such a person cannot relish spiritual mellows.
He cannot understand his Stithi Swaroop (Shape & position)
So, Bhagavad Gita was told/narrated only to make a person free from Dehatama Buddhi.
One who wants to get rid of Dehatama Buddhi, has to understand that he is not a physical body.
Freedom is setting free from Bhautik Jagat.
It means to free yourself from the contaminated consciousness of this material world and prevail in pure consciousness.
The objective of the Bhagavad Gita is to activate pure consciousness.
And pure consciousness means working according to God’s directions.
Being a part of God, we already have consciousness but we are prone to be influenced by the negative and shallow attributes (Nikrisht Guna).
But God is never influenced by them.
This is the only difference between Parmeshwar (God) and Jeev (Every living entity)
Inspiration of the Week:
Bill Bradley’s Perfection
Bill Bradley, a three-term Democratic United States senator from New Jersey who was formerly a professional basketball player.
When you’re not practising, someone somewhere is. And when the two of you meet, assuming roughly equal ability, the other person will win.
Bill Bradley fell in love with basketball somewhere around the age of ten.
He was no prodigy to have been born with some natural gift or talent.
He had no special skills for basketball except that he was Tall.
He was slow and gawky.
He could not jump high which was the prime requisite of basketball.
But he knew the most important thing to succeed was not talent or luck,
it was only love for the subject.
As love would give him the drive to cultivate all that was required to succeed.
And Bill was in crazy love with Basketball.
Because he loved basketball, he was ready to compensate for all of the inadequacies through sheer practice.
He started to sharpen his craft by going the extra mile.
He created for himself a rigorous schedule—
- Three and a half hours of practice after school
- On Saturdays and Sundays, eight hours
- And three hours a day during the summer.
He kept working rigidly to this schedule for years.
In the gym, he would put ten-pound weights in his shoes to strengthen his legs and give more spring to his jump.
He struggled with dribbling and his overall slowness hindered his progress.
But he knew these weaknesses would interfere with his performance. So, he did not settle for them.
He devised strategies and exercises to overcome his weaknesses.
- He wore eyeglasses with pieces of cardboard taped to the bottom, so he could not see the basketball while he practiced dribbling. This would train him to always look around him rather than at the ball—a key skill in passing.
- He would keep chairs on the court to act as opponents. He would dribble around them, back and forth, for hours, until he could glide past them.
He would spend hours at both of these exercises, despite any feelings of boredom or pain.
The wildest thing that he incorporated into his practice was:
While walking down the main street of his hometown in Missouri, he would keep his eyes focused straight ahead and try to notice the items in the store windows, on either side, without turning his head.
He worked on this tirelessly, developing his peripheral vision so he could see more of the court.
Bradley invested endlessly in his creative energy.
He left no room for excuses.
Once his parents travelled to Europe via a transatlantic ship where he could not practice.
So, he thought he would give his training regimen a break—as there was no place to practice on board.
But below the deck were two corridors, 900 feet long and quite narrow.
This was the perfect location to practice dribbling.
To make it even harder, he decided to wear special eyeglasses that narrowed his vision.
For hours every day, he dribbled up one side and down the other.
Working this hard over the years, Bradley slowly transformed himself into one of the biggest stars in basketball—first as an All-American at Princeton University and then as a professional with the New York Knicks.
Fans were taken aback by his ability to make the most astounding passes as if he had eyes on the back and sides of his head.
The dribbling that he was weak at had become his prowess and his complete effortless ease on the court amazed his fans.
What looked easy to the fans, was the result of so many hours of intense practice over so many years.
Perfection makes things look easy, but they aren’t made perfect easily ∼Sarita Mian
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