Published: 16th May 2020
Canteen fundas: Don’t take your eyes off the finish line until the job's fully completed
Pro Tip: Don’t take your eyes off in hope. Don’t celebrate until you cross the finish line. Be very vigilant until the job’s fully completed
Life’s getting back to normal,’ said Rahul. ‘The lockdown’s ending.’
‘We’ve got to be careful still,’ said Rinku severely.
‘Don’t worry, Rinku,’ said Rahul. ‘I’ve been careful all these days. I’ll continue like this.’
‘No, Rahul,’ said Rakesh. ‘You should be even more careful now. That’s what winners do.’
‘But bhaiyya,’ said Rahul. ‘We went through the toughest part already and followed all the rules. Why be extra careful when the government is lifting the lockdown?’
‘Remember what our cricket coach told us?’ asked Rakesh. ‘When we’re playing well we must not get out before finishing the game. There’s no point in doing all the hard work and then throwing it all away before the job is completed.’
‘We don’t throw it away on purpose do we, bhaiyya?’ asked Rahul.
‘True,’ said Rakesh. ‘However, if we understand how champions think, we can also end up with great results. When we’re closer to our target, we get a false sense that we’re already there. At that moment, when we take our eyes off the finish line, we lose it all.’
‘Really, bhaiyya?’ asked Rinku.
‘I read somewhere that more people die while descending Mount Everest than while climbing up,’ said Rakesh. ‘And in the movie The Walk, based on Philippe Petit’s 410-metre high tightrope walk between the twin towers in New York in 1974, there’s a famous line by his coach Papa Rudy — that most tightrope walkers who die actually fall in the last three steps. They take the last three steps arrogantly, thinking that they have already arrived, and fall. Clearly, we need to be extra careful towards the end. There are umpteen stories of people taking their foot off the pedal before they crossed the line and ending up losing.’
‘Does it hold true for everything, bhaiyya?’ asked Rinku.
‘Yes, Rinku,’ said Rakesh. ‘Exams, résumés, interviews, project work, games — whatever is important to you — don’t take your eyes off until the line is crossed. Towards the end is when we’re tired after all the hard work we put in. We hope that we’ll cruise through and because of that one lapse in concentration, we fail. MS Dhoni is respected as a match-winner because he digs in, handles the last three steps, and finishes things.’
‘Thanks, bhaiyya,’ smiled Rinku. ‘We’ll be careful until the end.’
‘You know,’ said Rahul. ‘I wrote my assignment and was about to send it without a final check. I was taking my eyes off. But now, I’ll get myself a nice cup of chai, and run through it carefully. I’ll send it only when I’m absolutely sure that I crossed the line.’