Dangal is an all-time blockbuster Bollywood movie.
It is loosely based on the story of an Indian wrestler, Mahavir Singh Phogat, a national wrestling champion, who was forced to give up wrestling by his father and seek gainful employment. Dejected that he could not win a medal for his country he determines that he will train his son to become a wrestling champion. He begets four daughters and sinks into depression.
One day, his elder two daughters are bullied. Instead of crying, they beat up the boys who tried to bully them. A light bulb goes off in Mahavir’s head and he determines to train his daughters. He sets an intensive training regimen for his two eldest daughters. Early morning runs, exercises, no junk food, no socializing with friends and much more.
The daughters, Geeta and Babita, hated it. Their mother arranged a rare outing for them to attend a friend’s wedding. They loudly bemoaned their fate. What kind of father, they asked, would put his daughters through such hell. Listening to them, their friend who was getting married burst out crying. “How I wish I had a father like you,” she sobbed. “He cares for you and pays attention to you and tries to make you succeed. My father thinks I am a burden and simply wants to marry me off and get rid of me.”
The next morning, when Mahavir came to rouse his daughters for their run, he found they were already up with shoes laced. They stopped grousing. And they eventually achieved great success in wrestling.
And that is the lesson.
What is the story that you are telling yourself about the things that bother you? Are you facing financial problems, relationship issues, health concerns, career stagnation? How do you face each of these?
If you have a toxic boss, you can be intimidated and withdraw into a sullen silence and perhaps even depression. Or you can consider it to be an interesting challenge. How can you make your boss smile during your interaction? If he does smile, you win. If he remains grim, he wins. Your boss does not even know of this game you are playing but you have become master of the situation you have been placed in.
What happens to you is important. The story you tell yourself about what happens to you is much more important.
Think carefully about the stories you tell yourself.
~ Srikumar Rao
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