Art of Living

A good half of the art of living is Resilience ’– Alain de Boton

This quote of the Swiss philosopher Alain de Botton defines all our lives in two lines.

Here is an interesting story. Amidst the ruins of World War 1, there was a boy who dared enough to dream. When he returned from World War 1, after serving as a red cross volunteer, he wanted to make cartoon motion pictures. At the age of 19, he started his own company. He lived with his friends as he had very little money to pay the rent. He failed to sell a single cartoon. At the age of 22, he went bankrupt after the failure of his cartoon series. He went bankrupt several times. He was fired by a newspaper editor, who felt that he lost creativity. Three years later, he left for Hollywood to pursue his childhood dream. He converted his garage into his office and produced short animations. But even this success was short-lived. His cartoonists left him and he went back to being homeless. Then finally he got his golden opportunity when he created the famous character of ‘Mickey Mouse’.

Yes, the boy was none other than Walt Disney, the guy who made our childhood memorable.

Now, wait! Let’s go back into the story to that 22 years old boy who had no financial backup. It was an unstable time between the two World Wars. Nothing was in his favor but he still chose to pursue his dreams. All his efforts were received with regular failure. Nothing stopped him. Life had tested him many times and he proved his worth and never gave up. Now, for a second put yourself in his place, how would have you reacted?

97 % of us would have given up at the very moment when the boy went bankrupt for the first time. Only 3 % of us would have kept on putting constant effort and that’s where life starts differentiating between successful and average people. The battle of life is not just about being smart, talented or rich. In fact, only a small portion of the population is blessed with all these things. What makes this trait meaningful is resilience.

Life does not work according to our plans all the time. At times, we come across some unexpected obstacles. The real art lies in dealing with those obstacles. One is supposed to change plans as per the call of the situation. Sticking to one’s plans and not evolving and adapting with time is not a trait of a successful person. The only resource that successful people rely on is their passion and ‘belief in themselves’. To put it in the words of our protagonist, ‘If you can dream it, you can do it ’- Walt Disney.