In my profession, I meet a whole host of people. And they all leave an impact, in one way or the other. But some more than others – for the hopefulness of their actions and the depth of their words.
Meeting Mrs Sudha Murty a week back was one such experience – where I found immense takeaways from the humility, simplicity, and strength of her actions and the wisdom and experience in her words.
When I asked her how she has carved out such a strong individual standing for herself while being married to IT industrialist N.R. Narayana Murthy, the power of her words and the simplicity of that wisdom stayed with me long after that meeting. It’s about giving yourself and your significant other space, she says.
“Because every individual requires space,” she says.
Space to recognise that every individual has a different merit. Space to be cognizant that while life may be a race, we run our own distances, at our own personal pace. And space to allow each other to shine, by being supportive without being pushy or invasive of the other’s space.
And doing all this, without ever feeling like you own your partner or his/her success.
And all through this week, as I’ve sat through many internal performance reviews and external meetings, I realised just how important it is to apply this concept of space and recognition of each person’s individual merit in every relationship we have. Be it with your clients, your stakeholders, your employees, and amid friends and family. And even with yourself.
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Mrs Murty’s emphasis on the need for space has forced me to reflect on how much of “space” is the right amount. Particularly for our closest relationships. The right balance we must achieve when it comes to the space we give in our relationships.
Too much of space and you risk growing apart; too less, and we risk suffocating the other person.
To be clear, we need just enough space to be able to see each other’s merits and gaps, strengths and weaknesses, and sophistication and simplicity. Indeed, our ability to give space in our closest relationships stems from our acceptance of the other person, with all their beauty and faults, without feeling compelled to influence or change the other person.
After all, each of us come armed with our own advantages, strengths, limitations and challenges. Our own quirks. A different past that has shaped us into the person we are. And a different outlook for the future. And a different approach to how we want to get there.
Still, despite these differences, what ties us all together are the common traits that ensure our success. And according to Mrs Murty, these are perseverance, courage and patience. In other words, staying the course, without losing sight of our goals. Much like what Mrs Murty herself has done – when carving out a powerful identity for herself as an impactful changemaker today.
Indeed, let’s not forget that as the wife of Mr N.R. Narayana Murthy, it would ordinarily have been difficult to emerge from the shadows of such a visionary, a larger-than-life leader. But Mrs Murty has achieved that with the quiet, determined strength and wisdom that speaks to the perseverance and courage she so strongly advocates. All while creating the right amount of space for every relationship.
“Sometimes I require space for myself. Sometimes you can make space for your wife or husband. Sometimes for your children and sometimes for others, your own best friends. And in my mind, I have given some portion to everybody but the majority, I don’t. And Murthy respects that.”
And with that, I leave you to reflect on and enjoy the space we get and the space we give.
"(It doesn't matter) how intelligent you are, how well off you are, or how well-connected you are. Your perseverance, your courage - if you keep that intact, only such people will always be successful"
Mrs Sudha Murty