Every now and then someone says something to you that really sticks. Something that changes your perspective, it changes the way you think, that invigorates, motivates, and allows you to be more than you ever were. One such occurrence slammed into my life just a few weeks ago..
I was at an “after hours” networking gathering trying to meet some new people, find new contacts, ya know that sort of thing, soon enough a conversation was struck up between me and my soon-to-be new friend, Vivek. Vivek is from India and although he has been in America for many years, his Indian accent is still hanging on strongly. Because of this, when Vivek is spinning a story one must listen very intently in order to clearly understand all of his story. This is really a good thing because when Vivek is telling a story he makes it so fun. He is quick witted, uses only a few words to make his point and his perspective on life is unique. Somehow we got started on our life’s story (this is a frequent thing for me, shocking right) and when Vivek started describing to me his journey to America I found myself completely mesmerized by it all. How did he pull it off? How does someone go so far from his home without being paralyzed by the fear of it all? You have to understand these questions are running through my mind because I am a person that still lives less than 10 miles from the very spot I was born, so my perspective is very different from his. Listening to him explain how he fought very long odds when coming 1/2 a world away just to pursue his dreams, HECK, people around here complain about going 1/2 a block away just for a cup of coffee, me being one of them.
As Vivek carried on I couldn’t help but feel that this was going to be one of those nights that sticks with you for a long, long time. As this thought began to overtake me, I listened even closer as he explained some of his adversities because I knew that this was going to be one of my new favorite tracks in the songbook of my life (cliché and cheesy, but I really do have a songbook of life). Sure enough, that is when it happened. That is when Vivek said something to me that indeed did change me. Being the quiet guy that I am, I gasped out, “HOW DID YOU DO IT?” “HOW DOES SOMEONE HAVE SUCH STRENGTH?” Vivek stopped, slowly took a sip from his cocktail, turned to me looked right dead in the eyes and said, “Jeff, for me, failure was not an option.” With those simple words from Vivek’s mouth my outlook on life has changed for the rest of my days on this Earth.
Failure was not an option. Such an easy phrase and one I had heard many times before in my travels, yet this time those words just felt so different. This time they took on a whole new meaning. Perhaps it was the way Vivek delivered those words? Perhaps it was because I had just realized that I too had actually been living that way for the past 15 years while helping run Morgan Miller Plumbing. Who knows really, all I knew was that looking at Vivek and remembering those simple words had changed me forever. I walked out of that meeting repeating those words over and over again, and over the last 3 months not a day has gone by that I have not thought of that. In fact, when days get tough or I start to want to back down I will think of Vivek’s simple words “failure is not an option”… Thank you, Vivek.