Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained Essay Writer

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

“If you want something you have never had, you must he willing to do somethingyou have never done.”

These words by Thomas Jefferson hold true even till date and will hold gravity till time immemorial. There is a huge paucity of audacious people, who venture towards unexplored horizons to achieve something big in their life. The world teems so much with such timid souls that those who go off tire beaten path and add a different meaning to their lives by taking risks appear like a tiny bubble in the vast ocean of hesitant people. But time and again, this tiny bubble sends ripples across the waters compelling us to ponder whether it is really wise to merely stay safe at the harbour rather than sailing into the infinite unexplored expanse of the seas.

Let me take you back to the period when humans had just started asserting their dominance on the earth. The time when the entire animal population used to fear the elements of nature, a man dared to create one of them by himself.

Fire, an element of nature that remained elusive for ages, was produced by the early man by rubbing stones and producing heat through friction. He also invented the wheel that facilitated locomotion. If man had not ventured out to achieve these feats, could we ever have had such a thriving civilisation on the planet?

Millenniums later, different continents were largely disconnected with each other. There was a widespread misconception of the world being flat and ships falling off the edge if they went out far in the sea. Nevertheless, a brave-heart named Christopher Columbus set out on his ship to debunk this theory and arrive at the knowledge of the planet being round. Had it not been for explorers like Vasco de Gama, Magellan and a few others, new lands like America would not have been discovered and the continents would have been largely disconnected from each other.

Let me teleport you to the year 1879. This is the year when the electric bulb was invented by Thomas Alva Edison. Do you know that Edison failed innumerable, number of times before he created the incandescent light bulb? If Edison had not failed, he might not have lit up a revolution and might not have become one of the greatest inventors of all times. He said, “I have not failed.- I have just found 1,000 ways that won’t work.”

“Both fortune and love befriend the bold.” These words said by Ovid 2,000 years ago, clearly demonstrate the need for aspiring entrepreneurs, academicians and change-makers to take risks in their lives. It may seem easy to take risks when one has nothing to lose. However, it becomes an arduous task to do the same when your dream depends on sacrificing your bank balance and happiness and financial security of your family. This can deter even the best examples of thrill-seekers to succumb to the warm reassuring embrace of caution.

I would like the reader to know a little about the life of the late Dhirubhai Ambani, the founder of Reliance Industries. Can you imagine that Dhirubhai Ambani stunned people at Aden by diving into the shark-infested waters from a ship and returning to the shore safe, in response to a bet? His risk-taking ability, that was far higher than the contemporary business of his time, was one of the factors that contributed to the laying of the foundation of one of the greatest examples of entrepreneurship in India. He had been advised by his father not to foray into business; however his bravado pushed him to sink his lifetime savings of $3,000 in the business of textiles, spices and cotton. The initial days were tough but as it is generally said, ‘smooth seas never made a good sailor’, Dhirubhai Ambani never gave in to the tribulations of venturing into the off-beaten path.

The same was the case with Infosys. Narayana Murthy along with his friends launched his company in 1981 with the money each founder had from his wife acting as the ‘seed money. At that time, India was considered to be quite backward in technology and nobody in the world could trust technically unsound India to be a hub of business process outsourcing. Could India ever have boasted of a  company being listed on NASDAQ as early as 1999, if Narayana Murthy had not taken the risk of quitting his job and launch a start-up even after failing once in the field of entrepreneurship? Could he have got featured among the 12 greatest entrepreneurs of our time by Fortune magazine, if he had not ventured out of his comfortable job and had not fathered the IT industry in India?

I am sure, dear reader, that you must have for at least once in your life, borne the aspiration of touching the peak of excellence in any field of your interest, be it being an IAS topper or being a soccer wizard or even a billionaire. If you have failed to achieve your goals, please ask yourself what stopped you. Was it age, experience or money? These are some of the factors that provide a friction to our movement towards our goals. But for a few in this world, these three things do not matter at all.

After having fathered and nurtured Apple for years, Steve Jobs was thrown out of his company. Did Jobs halt being creative and intrepid? No! While most of the entrepreneurs might consider this as an end to their aspirations, Jobs went ahead and gave birth to two companies “NeXT” and “Pixar”, both of which would go on to become epics in their own fields of service. He eventually returned to Apple. Jobs had that ‘fire’ to carry on and that made a difference to him, helping him gain back his prestige and company at the same time. The first lesson for all of us is to have that ‘fire’ within ourselves to surge ahead towards our goals.

When a new officer joins the Indian Navy, he is taught how to swim. In fact, the word “taught” is too mild, because if any of the officers is scared to swim, he is simply pushed into the water from a height of twenty feet! The result— the fear is gone. So what the officers are essentially taught is to face their greatest fears and hence they become fearless. The second lesson we need to learn is that failure is often caused due to fear in our minds and the best remedy to overcome failure is ‘impudence’. As Jordan Belfort once said, ‘The only thing that stands between you and your goal is the story you keep telling yourself as to why you cannot achieve it.’

If you had ever observed sportspersons, you would have noticed that they do not sell themselves an excuse for failing. They remain honest to themselves to the extent that they are point-blank about the feedback they give to themselves. This has been the attitude of Sachin Tendulkar and even the sports legends like Williams sisters and Roger Federer live by it. Each one of us needs to learn from the great sportspersons that it is fatal to revel in the excuses and self-justifications. One needs to say a big NO to excuses.

So, to sum it up, if one aspires to gain something in life, he/ she needs to imbibe the following three elements of achieving success, viz. ‘Fire’, ‘Impudence’ and ‘No to excuses’. This forms the ‘FIX’ for all types of procrastination and the fear that plagues most of us in the world. Many a times, we come across such a junction in life where we stand confused and plagued with indecision whether we should follow the trail left by the crowd ahead of us or shall we be non-conformists by creating a path of our own. The mediocre world might leave no stone unturned to take you along with it, but if you have the will to end the vacillation and resolve and curiosity to explore where the uncharted path leads to, you may end up adding a lot of meaning to your fife. One cannot gain anything without venturing into the unknown realms. I would like to conclude with the fines written by Robert Frost, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.”

Nothing Ventured; Nothing Gained

If you never take risks in life, you’ll never see anything new.

~Blake Lewis

In 1990, I sent a letter to the editor at The Dallas Morning News. I was a young mother with strong opinions, and I thought my local newspaper would be the perfect outlet for whatever was bugging me or blessing me at the time. Never mind that hundreds of other readers had the same idea. I figured: Nothing ventured; nothing gained.

When my letter was selected for print, I was beyond thrilled. Although it was only three paragraphs long, seeing my words in a major newspaper was a huge reward, and I determined it wouldn’t be my last.

One letter led to another, and after almost a decade, I had a bushel of printed letters about a myriad of things. Around 1997, the Letters to the Editor section launched The Dallas Morning News’ Golden Pen Award. Here’s how it worked:

Nothing Ventured; Nothing Gained

If you never take risks in life, you’ll never see anything new.

~Blake Lewis

In 1990, I sent a letter to the editor at The Dallas Morning News. I was a young mother with strong opinions, and I thought my local newspaper would be the perfect outlet for whatever was bugging me or blessing me at the time. Never mind that hundreds of other readers had the same idea. I figured: Nothing ventured; nothing gained.

When my letter was selected for print, I was beyond thrilled. Although it was only three paragraphs long, seeing my words in a major newspaper was a huge reward, and I determined it wouldn’t be my last.

One letter led to another, and after almost a decade, I had a bushel of printed letters about a myriad of things. Around 1997, the Letters to the Editor section launched The Dallas Morning News’ Golden Pen Award. Here’s how it worked:

At the end of each month, a printed letter was selected for clarity and writing style. It was then reprinted in the Sunday paper, along with a short blurb about the writer’s accomplishment. I really wanted to win the award. Not only would it solidify my abilities as a writer, it would give me the confidence I needed to pursue bigger things.

However, I didn’t want to “write to win” — that’s never a good idea. So I resolved to keep expressing myself about topics that affected me and let the words fall where they may.

Imagine my shock a few months later when I opened Sunday’s paper and saw that my latest letter had, indeed, won the Golden Pen Award. Within a day or so, a delightful Dallas Morning News coffee cup arrived in the mail. It was love at first sight, and you’d have thought I won the lottery. Fifteen years later, the cup still brings me cheer.

While that’s all well and good, I’m really writing to share what happened next.

Winning the Golden Pen Award was a defining moment in my writing journey. Not only did it give me that boost of confidence I needed, it propelled me to do something I had always dreamed of doing: write an op-ed piece.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term “op-ed,” it is abbreviated from “opposite the editorial page” (though often mistaken for opinion-editorial), and it is a newspaper article that expresses the opinions of a named writer who is usually unaffiliated with the newspaper’s editorial board.

I was an avid reader of op-eds and had my favorite writers. Not only did I follow them faithfully, but I dreamed of being one of them — of seeing my words next to theirs, of sharing my thoughts and having people “listen.” For the first time in my life, I felt my dream was within reach.

Of course, writing a full-fledged column would require lots of research, editing and time — much more than a letter did. And the competition would be fierce. But no matter the odds, I had to pursue my passion. Nothing ventured; nothing gained.

I remember exactly where I was the day the Viewpoints Editor called to say that my article would be running in the Sunday paper. I had seen this man’s name in print for years, and here I was speaking with him on the phone, listening to him say gratifying things about my writing, and giving me goose bumps, head-to-toe.

Needless to say, I didn’t sleep a wink Saturday night. As soon as the paperboy threw the paper in the front yard, I was out the door and all over it.

That was the first of many published op-eds, I’m happy to report — years of op-eds, in fact. And it began a writer/editor relationship that I draw strength from even now — all because I wrote a letter to the editor, once upon a time, and had the chutzpah to mail it in.

I can’t guarantee where your writing journey will take you, of course, but you’ll never know if you don’t start driving. Nothing ventured; nothing gained.

~Gayle Allen Cox

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