Published: 30th September 2019
Canteen Fundas: How to achieve great things and grow bigger than we are
How Gandhiji's ideals and teachings can be used in every day life and how through that we can achieve greater heights
‘Hey guys, what’s up?’ asked Rakesh, entering the college canteen.
‘Looking forward to a holiday on October 2 bhaiyya,’ said Rahul. ‘Gandhi Jayanti.’
‘Holiday’s fine,’ asked Rakesh. ‘But first let’s see what we can learn from Gandhiji’s life and practice
those lessons. That way we will be truly honouring his contribution. What do you think was the Great
Soul’s biggest achievement?’
‘He was a key figure in India’s achieving independence from the British,’ said Rahul.
‘His belief in non-violent struggle,’ said Rinku.
‘And how did he achieve that?’ asked Rakesh.
‘Because he was a wise and great leader?’ asked Rahul. ‘A charismatic person?’
‘Yes, but he was also like you and me, with the same fears and doubts,’ said Rakesh. ‘So, let’s look at
what made him different, what gave him the strength to achieve what he did. Remember the golden
circle concept from Simon Sinek on how great leaders start with the ‘why’? Gandhiji started with his
‘why’ – his purpose – which was complete freedom for India. Not just in non-violent struggle. It was
because he believed in a cause greater than himself and committed himself fully to it, he could achieve
‘Are you saying that if I have a cause greater than myself and commit to it, I can achieve great things
too?’ asked Rahul.
‘Yes,’ said Rakesh. ‘The bigger your cause, the bigger you become. It makes you do things you do not
even know you are capable of. If, instead of merely wanting to top your class, you want to bring glory to
your college, state or country, you would achieve greater heights won’t you?’
‘But bhaiyya,’ said Rinku. ‘A purpose or belief or a cause is just a thought. Can great things be achieved
by a mere thought?’
‘Everything begins with a thought, a vision you nurture,’ smiled Rakesh. ‘With a thought that visioned a
free India, Gandhiji went about uniting warring people, a meddlesome opponent and achieved his
purpose. He carried no weapons like our filmi heroes nor had six packs, but he brought the British
empire to its knees. And, therein lies your second lesson, young learners.’
‘Our thoughts are the most powerful thing we have,’ said Rinku. ‘We can create wonderful new realities
with them in our lives.’
‘Do you mean that things will happen automatically because of a great cause and a strong belief?’ asked
‘Things won’t happen by themselves Rahul,’ laughed Rakesh. ‘But your belief will give you the strength to act decisively, to face tough obstacles resiliently and never give up in seemingly impossible
conditions. Now, tell me, what are you going to practice?’
‘Starting this Gandhi Jayanthi, I will work for a cause greater than myself,’ said Rahul.
‘And I will stay true to my beliefs,’ said Rinku. ‘And never give up in the face of any obstacles.’
‘Now it will truly be a Happy Gandhi Jayanthi,’ said Rakesh. ‘Let’s celebrate with a chai.’
Pro tip: Your thoughts are the most powerful thing you have. When you believe in your cause, you
actions have more conviction.