Critic vs Player

In one of the recent employee Q&As at Microsoft, Satya Nadella spoke something which struck me. Imagine an intense football game. This time you are not an audience but rather a player in the sidelines. You may be called into the game any moment. In this case, your mind will be focussed on how to go in and improve the situation rather than lamenting on what’s happening. Being a sportsperson myself, I couldn’t agree more.

It is not unusual to have people around complaining about why things won’t work or criticizing systems that are in place. Worst is that it is quite easy to get sucked into believing the same because yes, there are imperfections everywhere. But should that make us hopeless or optimistic? Realistically speaking, things are not going to be perfect even after we try and probably they never will be. But does that mean we take no action or take some action and bring some improvement? When I think of legends such as Martin Luther King, I admire them the most for their courage when nobody else believed things could change. Did he solve the problem of discrimination completely? No. But did he make a difference? YES!! It is extremely challenging to take a unique stand and even more to act on it. We often admire heroes when they gain popular support over time. But what is often forgotten is their solitary struggle in the beginning – most of them started as lone fighters amid an atmosphere of despair.

We all have those moments in life when we need to decide between being a player or an audience. Being a player is not easy, but there is no joy like it either!

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