India were in great nick in the recent Cricket World Cup, and were favourites to win. In our heads, we’d probably won the trophy even before the first ball was bowled in the finals, such has been the team’s form, but we all know what happened on that fateful day. What transpired caused deep emotional anguish on a massive scale, with fans unable to bear the sight of a cricket match for a long time. And sometimes it's in these most painful of situations that we learn our greatest lessons.
Cut to personal life, and you may have been working on a really ambitious project, which would take your personal brand to the next level; you give it your everything, every last ounce of energy. And yet, on that all important day, a variable you have no control over plays up, very much like the cricket pitch on that Sunday. And everything seems to unravel — even things you were incredibly sure of.
Losses like that can hurt a lot, and it's not just the surface scarring, it’s the deep emotional trauma that they leave you with, which if left unhealed can turn septic. You may be able to pick yourself up again, even if with great difficulty, but that emotional trauma begins to gnaw at your own internal self esteem. You start doubting your ability to perform under pressure, shying away from challenging opportunities, choosing instead to walk in the shade.
Less than a week after that fateful Sunday, play resumed in the form of the bilateral T20 series, almost like nothing had happened. The world can seem cruel, but that is how it operates — there is seldom any room to carry baggage from the past; it compels you to live in the now and face that next ball based on its merit.
The often ignored and unreported side of success is the gruelling journey on the road that leads to glory. It's lined with losses, emotional trauma and loneliness, but when we are able to dig deep in times of such crisis, we discover that spiritual strength and inner fortitude, that’s more resilient than we had ever imagined. It’s what powered noble kings like Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj or the valiant Rani Laxmibai when they were waging their war of Dharma, the cause of justice.
The personal lesson in all of this is that there are rewards waiting to be harvested by you, even beyond that ultimate prize that you have always had your eye on. And they may not seem as glorious in the world’s eyes, but only you know the effort, sacrifice, and resilience that you’ve had to put in to achieve those victories. And every trophy deserves to have a place in your cabinet.