Today I want to talk to you about zero.
In this era of continuous competition, zero has been getting quite the bad reputation. The Hindi movies your dad loves to watch often even uses phrases like, “Don’t be a Zero, be a Hero”. The thing is, we have become used to always comparing our worth and our progress with others and by doing so, we have become scared of Zero.
I am ofcourse not talking about when you attach tons of zeroes in front of a 1 and become a millionaire (which I hope you become regardless). What I am talking about is failure. Failure is the only way you can learn to do better and I hope I raise you to become a person who is never afraid to fail.
This may sound mean but I have started you early on this path. Since the time you were five months old, you have been trying to crawl. First you used to just dig your head into the bed whenever I put you on your tummy. Then, you figured out you had to raise your bum to go anywhere. And finally, at seven months you have started moving forward a bit. Through this whole period you have cried every time I would put you on your tummy. And, maybe you would have learnt to crawl anyways. But, I like to think that I had a role to play by not giving into your pout or tears and allowing you to struggle a bit before I came to your rescue.
Your grandpa – and my Papu’s – favourite phrase has always been, “You can lead a horse to the water but you can’t make them drink it”. When I was a teenager, I would silently roll my eyes whenever he said this. Now, at 30 with several dry spells (where I didn’t end up having any water) under my belt, I can concede that he was mostly right. Even then, I have never once regretted any of those dry spells because each of those taught me important lessons – like being humble or learning how to trust my gut feeling. I could use my experiences to guide you down what I feel is the right path but really only you can walk down the road of your life. The sooner you learn that the stumbles you have along the way are not the end but just a small delay the faster you will learn to enjoy the adventures life has to offer.
Finally, there will come a time in your life when you will want to cry really loudly and maybe even give up. Just when you think things can’t get worse, they likely will (I hope they don’t but I want to prepare you). While you’re going through this soul- crushing period of life, you may feel that you’ve hit zero. Cherish this feeling. Hitting zero is good for two reasons – one because the only way now is up and second because now that you know how it feels, the next time you are going to do everything in your power to not reach that level ever again. And that my darling is progress.
I want you to remember this quote. “Everybody starts from zero. Everybody.” So don’t ever be afraid of a zero.