When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That is what the storm is all about.

One of the most agonizing storms of my life came to me at school, albeit seemingly insignificant, at the tender age of 15. It is one that I carry until today and share extensively in my training sessions.

In school, one was allowed to participate in 4 sporting events during the sports day. A scrawny younger version of myself had surprisingly won the Discus, Shot Put and the Javelin contests. The last event I chose was the 100-meter race – a sport that I was decent at, but there were others way better than me. I was aiming for the Athlete of the Year trophy, which was accorded to someone who won all four events or garnered the highest number of points over four disciplines.

I was competing with a nimble-footed young man called Apoorva who was also in the race for the athlete of the year, and it would be decided by whoever finished ahead of the other.

The day arrived with me having prepared with manic practice and a determination to win.

I started the race with a bang. I knew I had a decent lead at around the 60m mark and was very pleased with myself.

Then I made the sacrilegious mistake of looking back to see how far behind the rest were. That ended up costing me the race and the Athlete of the Year award. I ended up 4th in the race with Apoorva finishing way ahead of me. A great natural athlete he was!

The fact that I am talking about it still today showcases how deeply it affected me and became a watershed moment in my journey towards reflecting, learning and changing for the better.

It hurt a lot at the time but looking back that was a great place for me to fail for life is merciless in the real world. I never forgot that lesson. Focus is very important.

You have to indulge in doing and being what 99% of the world will not do and be to get the outcome that only 1% get. Everyone’s goal is different – mine was and has always been to become a better version of myself. It is a daunting journey to undertake and one that I will pursue till my last breath.

I try very hard to let each rub of life polish me as opposed to allowing it to push me down. I believe a boy becomes a man when he masters the art of discipline.

My job is not to make others believe I am perfect. My job is to discover the extent of my imperfection and continuously better it.

Discipline and Focus Matters in Growth!

Abdulhussain Tejani