Giving it your all

Put in your best effort and you shall reap satisfaction and reward

Here is a wonderful story that my granddad told me. Once upon a time, a man was lost in the desert. His worry was not just finding the way or walking under the scorching heat – the problem was that he only had four sips of water left in his bottle.

He was feeling very thirsty but didn’t want to take any more sips lest the water got over. Exhausted, he walked on. Much to his excitement he saw a water pump at a distance. He ran towards it but stopped when he saw a sign on it. It read, “This water pump is magical. First you have to give it everything you have got… only then will it give you what you want.”

Give the water pump the last four sips of water he had? The man was extremely skeptical. What if the water pump didn’t give him water even after he had given away his last few drops?

After much contemplation, he realized there was no other way out. He would die without water – might as well try giving the water pump what it asked and see if there was hope. Hesitantly he opened his bottle and poured the last of the water into the pump. With his heart beating fast, he pressed the lever and, to his amazement, water came gushing out. Ecstatic the man drank to his heart’s content and filled all his empty bottles as well.

Before leaving, he wrote in small letters below the sign, “It really works! After all, when you give life everything you have, life responds by giving you everything it has.”

The story had a very profound impact on me – I realized that if I wanted something, I had to give it my all. Half-hearted efforts just wouldn’t work.

After hearing this story, I never asked myself why I had got poor marks in some exams. I hadn’t given my best and therefore I wouldn’t get the best. Even after giving my best, sometimes the results wouldn’t be exactly what I wanted. However, in such events, at least I had the satisfaction of having given it my all – and that made all the difference.

Often we expect too much out of life without putting in much. Say a friendship has fallen apart due to a few arguments. We may think just a ‘sorry’ should be enough to rectify all the damage without realizing that if we truly valued the relationship, we would have to give it a lot more.

Everything takes effort: getting into the college of one’s choice or identifying and working hard at a dream career. Effort can be made fun and exciting or be looked at as a chore – the choice is yours. To get all, you have to give it all. All the people who made it big in life understood this. What about you?

(Megha Bajaj is the founder of Wonder of Words, a ‘make a difference’ organization that aims to bring excellent life skills and language skills to adults and children.

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