My father said, ‘If you keep smiling, your destiny will change,’ Virender Sehwag on living a life that matters

My father said, ‘If you keep smiling, your destiny will change,’ Virender Sehwag on living a life that matters

Thursday May 07, 2015,

5 min Read

Meeting Virender Sehwag was an experience I will cherish for a long time. Extremely humble and soft-spoken with an ever-smiling face, Virender Sehwag is a perfect reminder of what self-made, truly successful people are like.

While I expected some airs about him, surprisingly, there were none. He is a perfect icon for the country and a true embodiment of Made in India. Thanks to Woo App or else this opportunity would have never come my way.

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Here’s excerpts of an interesting interaction with the country’s outstanding batsman, who is in a league of his own. There are many nuggets of simple yet profound wisdom shared by Sehwag. I sincerely hope as entrepreneurs chasing big dreams you find your meanings here as I found mine.

Focus is everything

When I was in school I loved playing almost four to five sports every day. In a way I was good in all these sports. But when I reached the tenth standard, I decided to let go of all other sports except cricket. I knew all my focus, energy and devotion had to be concentrated on one game. I needed to work hard every moment to get better in that one game.

I chose focus. And I was lucky I played for India, and was able to achieve whatever dreams I had. And all this was only because of one thing - focus. You have to choose one particular thing, either sports, studies, or for that matter, any other passion you want to follow -- whether you want to become a sportsperson, engineer, doctor or an entrepreneur. Concentrate and focus on that. Put all your energies into it. If you do that then you are undeterred by hard work and bring relentless concentration to what you are pursuing. That’s how you make everything possible for yourself.

Failure is motivating

Failure motivates you to become better and better. If there is no failure then everyone will become Prime Ministers and Presidents of India (smiles). It gives you a chance for self-improvement, because the only thing you can constantly improve is your own self. I failed many a times while growing up and it did not upset me at all. I was so focused on making my game better that failures only brought more focus to improve. The only question on my mind was how will I improve my game, be it batting, bowling and fielding?

I had little time. My parents had allowed me to play till I was studying. The understanding was that I will join my father in his business after studies. So I had three, four years to make it while I was doing my graduation. I put all my energy and focus on cricket. I did not want to join my father. I played for the Delhi team, Ranji team and India before my graduation. I was lucky that I played for India when I was in the first year, then I was dropped. It was the biggest set-back for me. But I gave all my focus to first class cricket, worked hard and came back to the Indian team.

Smile and the world smiles back

My father regularly said this to me when I was a child, "Kid, if you keep smiling your destiny will change," and I have tried to remember his words always. I keep smiling, come what may.

My family and I have never bothered about others and never get upset with what others say or do. The focus has always been inwards. We are a happy family. We know how much our parents worked hard to give us a good life and whatever we achieved, we are happy with that. At the moment, I am happy with whatever I have done. I have a good and a healthy family. I am thankful for that and there is nothing else to bother about. 

I don't bother about the fact that I did not score 10,000 runs or did not play 200 test matches. I am happy that I scored 8000 plus runs, played 100 test matches, and 250 one days. I am happy with myself.

From a very early age, I have concentrated on things I can control, and have not bothered about things which were beyond my control. Like I said before, my mind only concentrates on things like how I can improve my game and work hard. I go to the gym regularly, meditate and do yoga to train my mind to focus, and I prefer not to bother about how to handle a slow bowler or a fast bowler.

I want to live a healthy and a happy life. Even if you have crores of rupees and you are not healthy, then no money or fame is of any use. Rather than going there, I only desire a happy and healthy family. It is a blessing and an achievement.

And yes, he ends with a promise to be on the Woo App and converse with his fans.


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