When life gives you lemons

When life gives you lemons

When life gives you lemons

Just the other day I was sharing the story with my Dad on how Facebook had to spend $19 billion because it did not hire the founder of Whatsapp when he applied for it and my Dad said “Then there would have been no Whatsapp”. Indeed! After becoming an FB employee he may or may not have come up with this or a similar idea, or he may have come up with it but it could very well have been rejected or he may have worked on the idea but not put so much effort into it and or it would have been launched but not become so popular and the story goes on. We don’t know what actually may have happened and we can only speculate – what if?

He didn’t succeed in-spite of FB and twitter not hiring him but precisely because of it. And in the end it worked out better for him as well as all the app users(World in general) , no?

There is a similar story we all have heard of The Verger. When a new vicar joined the church he found out the verger couldn’t read and write. He gave the verger an option to either learn to read and write or quit. The verger thought he was an old dog to learn new tricks and quit .On the way back home, he badly wanted to smoke but couldn’t find a place that could sell him tobacco. Citing an opportunity he decides to open a shop and very soon his business is flourishing and he becomes a very wealthy business man. On one of his visits to the bank, the manager finds out the business man cannot read and exclaims “what would you be if you could read?” and the businessman replies “A verger at the church!” 😉  His success wasn’t in-spite of he being illiterate but because of it.

Indian Mathematician Ramanujan’s(considered to be in the same league as mathematicians such as Euler and Gauss) works lay without being understood for ages and the relevance of his work is found in fields which didn’t even exist when he wrote them. He had no formal training in pure mathematics. Because if this his works contained no proof or shoddy proof or it was presented in a manner that was not understood by other mathematicians. Intuition was the basis of most of his theorems!  People thought if only he had a formal education in that area, he may have come to light earlier or worked on more profound theorems. But it is equally possible that the formal education would have messed up his way of thinking and he would have never come up with all those brilliant theorems!

With all these examples I am not saying that people should stay illiterate or reject formal education or that everyone should quit jobs and start spawning start-ups. The point I am trying to make here is so many times what we think as our handicaps or shortcomings may be the best thing to have happened to us. Who knows how things work out in the long run.

The most oft cited handicap I hear is, I could have done it much better or I could have done this differently if only I had more money or if I had an inheritance. Aha then in all probability you would have squandered off all the money and never amounted to anything.

The only thing we can do is try and make the best of the things we have and hope for the best. Like they say, When life gives you lemons, make a lemonade. Some people think tequila is better while some others use it to squirt someone in the eye 😛 I am just content having it with some soda and salt 😀

How about you? What do you think ought to be made of those lemons?


2 thoughts on “When life gives you lemons

  1. Good post.
    When there are setbacks in life, successful people will somehow detect an opportunity in it and capitalize on it.

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