- When I was in 6th standard, I had to go and meet my coach for some reason. I wasn't on the athletics team back then. My coach looked at me and said "MG, you are so tall! How come you never considered joining the team? Are you interested in trying out high jump?" I agreed on the spot and was immediately put to work. I trained hard and by the end of two months, he sent me for a competition and I happily walked away with the bronze medal (I actually got that only because I was taller than the other girls. Pure genetic factor, no talent!). After I got back, My coach dragged me to meet the principal and told her "Look at this girl! She has been training only for 2 months now and she has already got us a medal! You can expect big things from her here on the field". That was what inspired me to continue with athletics and work even harder.
- Another episode when I was on the athletic team. Our coach had taken the entire team for a major competition. As usual, I was doing high jump. On the field, the high jump bars were set up in such a way that the part of the stadium where my team mates were sitting had a clear view of what was going on. My coach was also sitting there. I cleared my first jump and as I was getting off the foam bed, I heard very loud clapping. I looked up only to see all my team mates AND MY COACH (:O) giving me a standing ovation! The event had just started! That was what pushed me further that day and become the only athlete from my school to win a medal there. I wouldnt have been able to do it if I didnt know that my coach supported me so much and had so much faith in me. (by the way, my coach isn't the type who would just praise you or support you like that. He always has something to complain about during practice sessions. So it IS a big deal when he praises someone)
- After I finished writing my 10th standard exams, when the results came out, I was extremely disappointed. I wasn't anywhere close to the toppers of my school and I thought I had done a lousy job. But when my parents saw my marks, they were quite thrilled! I was truly surprised that they were happy because I thought they would be quite disappointed in me. They pointed out that the only reason my marks were low was because of english and hindi. But my science and maths marks were brilliant. That inspired me to work harder for my 12th exams and I came school second!
- During these three months of summer vacation, I had taken up violin classes. A few people thought I was crazy. I mean, how far can you go in a matter of three months? As it turns out, you can go pretty far. My violin teacher was just like my coach. He hardly praised. I can't blame him. I made too many mistakes! What the hell, I was a beginner! But one day, just as class got over, he did ask me, "Why didn't you learn violin earlier when you were in school? You could have gone much further. You seem so interested in learning. You are not a bad student." That inspired me to practise harder and try to become better at what I was doing. I was trying to make up for all those years when I could have signed up for violin but didnt.
- After I came back to Singapore, my mom told me that she was talking to the lady who had helped us arrange for the violin teacher. Apparently, he told her that I was quite a fast learner. He had even told me before I left that I managed to finish 50 classes worth of lessons in 35 classes and that didn't happen too often. That is what inspires me to spend atleast an hour each day, here in Singapore, practising whatever he taught me, so that when I go back home, I will be able to learn a lot more.
- And finally, what inspired me to write this post. I was invited to perform in a welcome tea over here and given the notes to learn and play. I was to play with the entire orchestra. When I went for my first practise session, I freaked out. Everybody was so good at what they did. I seemed to be the worst musician there. The vocalists, the veena players and everybody else seemed so perfect. But then, my friend told me that I wasn't so bad. These people had already practised and performed that piece before. This was my first time and inspite of that I was able to keep up with them. So there was really nothing to be scared of. If I thought they were better than me, then maybe I should learn from them instead of getting nervous. Yesterday, there was another practise session. And this time, I wasn't scared. In fact, I learnt a lot from all my seniors and am now confident enough to perform with them.
If you ever have something nice to say to someone, and you really mean it, then say it. It just helps the person you are saying that to. Whenever anybody has said something nice to me, I have been inspired to try harder to become a better person. So why don't you also inspire people to become better at the things they do? A few nice words can go a long long way :)