Jose Thomas

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OVERCOMING THE PAST
Monday 06th September, 2010



     

 

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Dear Friends,
Your support drives me to come up with inspirational messages for you and improve my writing skills. Thank you all!

The past is something that one can’t forget and is something that will remain a fact. We’ll never forget our school days, the happenings in our families, our childhood, etc. Sometimes we dwell on some incident from the past, something sorrowful or a traumatic event and it becomes a fear psychosis which impacts our present lives. One’s past is not equal to one’s future. Many lives are adversely affected today because people get stuck in their past hurts. Many a success is left unachieved because people don’t put the past behind them.

Mistakes are a part of our growth. They will happen and continue to happen. We all have hurt feelings that, at times, we do not share even with a good friend, which according to me, increases the stress on oneself and we may fear to do something new or different. If one’s experience was good and if it did not hurt anyone, build on it and make it even better. If the results were negative, learn from those mistakes and never think of committing them again.

You don’t succeed in life overnight. It is at the baby steps you take through the long journey of life, where you will tremble, fall, get up again, learn from your mistakes and get to where you have to. Your failure of yesterday has nothing to do with your actions of today. You need to recover from it, quickly.

While I write this, I remember a small little story and that too, when I was very young.

In the 8th grade, my parents put me in a boarding school in a remote town (those days, about 100 kms away from Cochin, my home-town). At this time when I was not very focused on education to build a career, but was always thinking about ‘how to make money’ because I did not have little luxuries like my friends or even some pocket change for my little needs.

I was pretty lonely in this boarding school and terribly home sick. Most of the students came from wealthy, agricultural families whose parents used to deal in cash crops such as spices, rubber and plantations. I saw them having sufficient money to spend. I not only became a loner, but also began suffering from ‘feelings of inadequacy’. I only had my inherent strength to bank on- that ‘killer instinct’ to do things.

I became very focused and said to myself, “hey, I need to make money!” I used to make weekend visits to Cochin and during these trips I noticed something very interesting. Cochin was the only seaport those days where foreign ships called and that was the only way luxury imported goods were made available for people who could afford it. Those days it was a bunch of boot leggers who used to sell these products. One such person called on my father to sell him various things including cosmetics, foreign liquor and little electronic gadgets. I also found that he used to regularly sell Gillette blades, which my father bought. As I observed this man trading with my father, I suddenly thought of an idea. Beside the boarding school was the parish church where we used to attend Sunday mass. Every Sunday, after the mass the offerings were auctioned by the parish priest. Offerings included farmed crops, hens, ducks, etc.

This little town had a lot of rich people, judging from their cars, the way they dressed and the amount of offerings they gave to the church. All I could focus on was my want for a little pocket money and that was it. I also noticed that these rich people, for their ego’s sake used to over bid for the offering and were paying three times the market value of a hen or duck. So, I learnt something here. I knew that this town had wealth and people were willing to buy. In other words, there was a market to sell. All that I needed was a product to sell.

I asked the fellow who supplied imported goods to my dad if he would give me some of his merchandise to sell in this little town where I studied. Initially, he was very hesitant, but I convinced him to give me some stock of Gillette blades. However I had to pressurise him to give me these blades on credit.

Now I learnt there was a market, there were customers, I had a product, that too, on credit. I learnt the four basic principles of business and here I am. I identified a few of these church goers, approached them after the service and offered my product – the imported Gillette blades.
They immediately took a fancy to it. They sold like hot cakes and very soon I started to market it, that too, at double the price that I had procured from the Cochin fellow. Boom! It was an instant success. I saw profits and excess money in my pocket. I did not know how to analyse my profit and loss. All I knew was that I had money in my pocket after I had paid off my credit. That was the money that we refer today as ‘profit’.

Friends, let’s learn something from this. Don’t dwell on your sorrows or your past. Keep trying new things, be innovative, have that desire and fire in your belly to achieve and succeed at whatever you do.

Intelligent people put their past behind them and don’t allow it to mess up their future.

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