Don’t get Terrified, get Jerrified
Come on boy, you just saw the 29 others speak. All you have to do is to tell something about yourself, your life. Why are you so terrified?” Robert, the motivational trainer was prodding this 21-year-old timid and trembling trainee. Standing there, I asked myself, ‘What do I have in me to speak on?’ My thoughts went back to the first 20 years of my life.
‘Could I speak about my education? Hm… I was probably the first to do distant education in a regular school! Education was always at a distance.’
Education? I was terrified.
‘Could I speak about my extracurricular activities?’ My mom wanted me to become a singer. So, she put me in a music class. The music teacher tried everything to make me sing and nothing worked. Music is not for you, she concluded. My over enthusiastic mom asked, “Should I ask him to stand in neck deep water and practice for his voice to become better?” and the teacher promptly replied, “Yes, that’s fine, but make him stand upside down.” The very thought of going to that music class terrified me.
Extra-curricular activities? I was terrified.
‘Could I speak on my job?’ While many after college were taking the road less travelled; there was no road ahead for me. Without any choice, I got into a completely unrelated job. And there it was a rat race. My colleagues, customers and competitors exposed and exploited my timidity.
Work? I was terrified.
With nothing worth mentioning and the responsibility of my family slowly shifting onto my shoulders, I felt like a mouse running in an open land looking for a hole to escape and hide. Life was looking bleak and blank. In the book of my life the first 20 pages were totally empty. I was hunted and haunted.
I was so terrified to face my life.
What of this could I have spoken? I fainted.
After the class that day Robert said, “Stay back and I want you to watch a video”. I was very curious. I was expecting an inspiring or motivating video. And there he played… Tom and Jerry. I was shocked. I felt insulted. I paid `4000 for a course and he was showing Tom and Jerry. He then asked me, “What did the story tell you?” I kept quiet.
Robert continued, “Hey… Jerry, the mouse, is a great inspiration for me. He never surrenders, nor falls prey to Tom’s traps. With his determination, he defeats the forever-conspiring cat. He is a mouse, but his confidence is that of a lion. He possesses surprising strengths for his size, lifting items like anvils with so much ease. Someone’s imagination has made an impossible mouse to do unimaginable things.” He then concluded, “When life corners you, traps you, scares you into a choice-less situation you can either get terrified or Jerrified.”
Jerrified? While he left a strong message, I was only amused at Jerry lifting that huge hammer and hitting Tom on its head. Life continued. A few weeks later – on the sales closing day, my boss asked me to take a 30,000 order from the toughest customer of my area. For 3 years, we were constantly being out-smarted by our competitors. My boss put my job at stake. It was a do or die situation.
As I walked into that hospital I saw my competitors sitting there and looking at me with that arrogance in their eyes. Something in me told that day that whatever happens, I will not leave that place without taking the order. For the first time in my life, I did not see my competitor, rather I saw Tom, the cat, sitting there. And for the first time I got Jerrified.
In the way I presented to the customer, I knew I had lifted that huge hammer and hit those Toms on their heads. I came out with a 3.5 lakhs order that day. I became the topper of the country for that month. I realized Robert was not joking.
Life started changing. Little by little, the scared mouse Jerry, transformed into a jubilant and confident Jerry.
Education terrified me – so I got Jerrified instead. I completed my post-graduation and hit another Tom on its head.
Physical activities and fitness programs terrified me – I got Jerrified. I started running, eventually completing a few 10K marathons, and hit another Tom on its head.
Work terrified me, I got Jerrfied instead. I instilled confidence and secured that order from my toughest customer, and hit another Tom on its head.
This has helped me to fill every page of my book of life with accomplishments I am happy and proud of.
For all of us facing the various Toms at school, college, work and life – they are inevitable. We can’t avoid that. But how we respond to that makes all the difference. Either we can get consumed like a mouse or we can lift that huge hammer and hit the Toms on their heads.
We deserve a Jerrific life.