Secrets To Be A Successful Human
This article is an excerpt from book “How to Reinvigorate Your Self-hood” written by Rohith Namboothiri. The book on the whole will be soon made available for reading. The word ‘Secret” originally meant something that is treasured and set apart for its exclusivity and value. Hence, I trust the contents of this and the coming articles, the secrets, will not be kept a secret but be revealed to all the souls we meet retaining the exclusivity and value. Please don’t forget to share the article and leave your valuable feedback. Sit back and enjoy your read.
SECRET NO.1 – Be a child
“Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment” – Bob Burg
We see many children around us every day. One thing that amuses me about them is that they have no preconceived notions. They talk sincerely and honestly without sugar coating. They just don’t know to cajole. This is genuine innocence. When my niece play with her Barbie, sing to herself as if no one’s watching her and talking with her imaginary friend, I find myself smiling.We all greatly adore and enjoy such innocence. Imagine if we as adults re-create innocence, definitely not by playing with a doll or talking to your-self, but by actions from your heart. I am sure we can bring smile on many faces.
This incident happened when I was in Chennai doing a course in Digital Media. I lived in Santhome, and my college was just a couple of kilometres from my apartment. It became a routine to stop by at Shiva Anna’s tea stall before going to college every morning. The same familiar faces sipping on their hot tea and snacking ‘Medhu Vadai” was a usual sight there. But one thing that caught my interest was Shiva Anna himself. He was a peculiar character that I haven’t seen before. I have never seen him taking his eyes of his work area which was a flaming stove, few vessels that had boiling water, milk and tea and the sight of him pouring hot team for one glass to the other.
He was deeply involved in making tea and not even once his eyes slipped off from his work. Initially I thought that was dedication but soon, I realized it was his personality. He was an introvert by nature and not even once he had opened his mouth, even to ask whether what one needed was a light, medium or strong tea. If the customer didn’t specify while ordering for one, he would by default make a medium tea for them. He had a very jovial sister to take care of the customers and handled cash transactions. There was nothing special about his tea or his snacks but I kept on going there to meet Shiva Anna and to study him.
One day, I thought I should try an experiment on him. I approached him and said ‘good morning’ with a big smile and to my surprise he didn’t even act as if he heard me. That didn’t disappoint me at all. After having my tea and a ‘vadai’, I said “Thank You” and left. I did this every day and it took almost two weeks for him to lift his head up while serving me the tea. This motivated me to talk to him more. I kept asking questions like how he was, how his family was doing and he never replied to any of my questions.
After a month, I didn’t even have to tell him what I wanted, my tea and a plate of vadai would be ready waiting for me by the time I arrived. With a warm smile, he started talking to me from the third month. I still remember people around me whispering with astonishment about Shiva Anna talking with someone. That was an awe-inspiring experience for me as well as for them
Few years back, I had a chance to visit Chennai and without failing, I went to meet Shiva Anna. I was flabbergasted to see how the Tea Stall had turned into a major crowd pulling dhaba. I saw Shiva Anna running around meeting and talking with each and every person at the stall. His sister was nowhere to be found and It was just him and a couple of staff working at the stall. He became a new person. He had re-invented himself. I was surprised to see Shiva Anna running towards me when I went there. He still hadn’t forgotten me. With an innocent smile and a drop or two of tears rolling down his cheeks, for the first time I heard him utter that magical word, ‘Thank You’.
On my way back home, I was thinking about just one thing. Yes, definitely I was happy to know that my experiment gave a new life to a person, but what made this new person become so successful in such a short period of time? This was troubling me.
His tea and snacks tasted just like the ones we got in hundreds of other shops. And then it struck me. Along with the food he served, he did give something more. He gave a part of himself along. It was not for the food people visited his stall over and over again but to spend few moment of their day with Shiva Anna himself. He connected with each and every one and socialized with them. He somehow managed to remember their names, their problems, their good news, and just about everything. From a silent reserved person who ran a tea stall for over a decade that hardly profited turned into a successful figure in just three years.
What did I do for him to thank me? That was something that further troubled me for few days until I found out. I taught him how to be innocent.
“Whenever you connect with people, be your-self to the best, give more from your heart and you will be remembered.”