Starting, and Starting late

The last 37signals.com blog on 31st August was about “The first step is to start“. This blog, in short, discussed importance of removing self doubt, and remove any inhibitions to just “get started” on things you like (on the subject of web design). Author Jason Z. cited example of Vincent Van Gogh starting to paint when he was 27 and went on to become great painter by the time he died.

That got some discussions going- and yes some have this grudging feeling of “Oh, yes, but you know Van Gogh was a master and it must be the talent, or even other factors….

And that got more discussions…

Even Kālidāsa started late! So much so that he was considered a village buffon, before the realization struck (his princess wife, who married him for his appearance, humiliated him) and he went on to become THE sanskrit poet of his times…Now, historical records of those times are not very accurate to know his exact age, but yes, he must be on right side of 30s considering his volume of work as a poet.

Not to miss the Prince Siddhārtha– till the age of 29, he was a prince and had lived a life of luxury and abundance and was even shielded from all bad things in life – including religion –  by his father. At 29 he found his calling in life and went on to become great philosopher, spiritual teacher and eventually the founder of Buddhism.

But those are very classical examples and involves people too far removed from ordinary mortals to have some direct comparison. Getting inspired from these historical and iconic figures is one thing, but their individual greatness is a differentiating factor that sets them far removed from normal folks.And thus the actual spirit of starting late, and starting when you feel right, and starting without procastination does not become so obvious.

Then, I saw this

As said by Samir Belvalkar, in a rediff article on the same day!. As per the article, Samir is a 34-year-old photographer, who started his career only six years ago. Call that a coincidence, that makes Sameer 28 years old when he took up a profession- a new profession unrelated to his previous learnings, education and interests, and excelled. Ok, yeah, he is not to be taken as a great master of photography, but then I wanted to look for real-people examples and not the iconic figures…

Oh, when it comes to bollywood, there are more interesting personalities. Another one that comes to mind is fellow Hyderabadi- a chemical engineer turned director- Nagesh Kukunoor. He produced and directed hist first short film “One Culture at a Time” in 1994 when he was just 27. Yes, he was still doing his regular job as consultant, and had no prior experience in film making. in fact, his earlier attempts failed, so he went back to do the consulting jobs as chemical engineer, and in 1998 invested all his earnings into his first movie “Hyderabad Blues”- and that was not only a success, but also paved way for Independent Cinema in India, and enthused a fresh lease of life in the “parallel cinema”. Nagesh’s last commercial success was “Iqbaal” – a gripping story about nurturing passion and coming-of-age, written by Vipul Rawal. Vipul apart from being a school drop-out, a distinguished Navy serviceman, an HR professional in Wipro Technologies, was a film buff who got addicted to movies while still in college, acted as junior artist in some movies, failed, started again and finally found his calling as a writer!

Yeah, these are not-so-significant ones, but examples of how to stop worring and procastinating, get started, apply yourself to the craft, learn- from all possible resources and get going- if not as a genius master, then at least as a successful professional (over the time, both will actually become synonymous).

But then, there is all time great Thalaivar, the one and only Rajnikanth, he also got started late, that is after working all kinds of sundry jobs- including one that was as Bus Conductor in Bangalore- at 24 he got into Madras Film Institute! Rest, is history.

While I’m sure there are more examples of people having a prodigal streak for a given talent, or even people starting late and getting success in an unrelated field – and not just from movie industry, but from all walks of life,  this “stream-of-related-content” was really about getting a thought on “getting started”…and getting ahead. Its about finding your passion, and going about everything that you can do to master all aspects that help you achieve that passions, the calling. Hmm, in my book, for web-designers, it means

… to continually learn about the web including technology, design, people and trends …  it is absolutely essential

Hmm, that’s the closing quote of an earlier post about Apple and its Design! Append that to

For a designer with web as a chosen medium, to continually learn about the web including technology, design, people and trends – by all means available and at all times!

That is some thread between 37signals, Indian Movies and Apple for sure…. food for thought on weekend.

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