TECH TALK: Letter to a 2005 Baby: Advice for Life (Part 3)

Dear Abhishek,

Understand the Power of Passion

There are two attributes that I have found which can make a big difference passion and discipline. Passion is about the energy that we bring to what we are doing. Discipline is the process we follow to getting things done. Lets talk a little about both of these.

Think of passion as infectious enthusiasm. It is about the force that we bring in the work we do and how we can positively impact those around us. I learnt the power of this during my first year at IIT. I was contesting for the hostel elections standing for the post of Literary Secretary. My opponent was one of the most well-liked seniors. No one gave me a chance to win I was after all a freshie. But having made the decision to contest, I was determined not to end up with the same result as when I had stood for School Captain a few years ago. (I had then lost by a narrow margin after I forgot my speech.)

So, this time around, I decided to campaign hard. I was the underdog, so big deal. I had little to lose. I met with almost every single hostelite, explaining my plans for what Id do if I were elected. I only had my passion working for me. It was a big change for me. I was until that point of me an introvert content to live in my own small world. But having decided to fight, I knew that unless I changed, I stood no chance. It was one evening that one of my seniors in the hostel told me You know, Rajesh, what we really like about you is your infectious enthusiasm. That is a statement I have not forgotten to this day.

As it turns out, I did win the elections by a couple votes. That was the only election I had to fight in IIT as I went on to become General Secretary (Cultural), one of the highest posts in the student government. When I look back, it was that election which turned the tide for me. It changed me for the better. It also showed me the power of passion.

It was the same passion that I had going for me when I started IndiaWorld in 1994 and had to go out and source content from various publishers. I had to make them see a world built around the Internet that did not exist. I had to make them believe me. That is where Passion comes in. It is one of the greatest assets we can possess especially when we are trying to persuade others.

Passion comes from an inner belief you have to let your inner feelings reflect on the outside, and like a virus, infect others around you. Passion is one of the key dimensions of leadership and you will have to demonstrate plenty of it as you make no little plans.

Tomorrow: Advice for Life (continued)

TECH TALK Letter to a 2005 Baby+T

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.