Leap of Faith..again..

Imagine standing on high cliff. It is warm summer afternoon. Light wind blowing against your face. The cliff’s quite high and you cannot make out the landscape below. You don’t know if there is water down there or rocks. Standing on the edge, you sure have a choice. The obvious one, to stand there and enjoy the view. It is nice and relaxing.. or..or to Jump!

I want you guys to jump. Jump off that cliff! not literally. I want you to take a leap of faith.

Once you jump, there will surely come a time when you will slow down, and start to glide. Know why? Any guesses? Because you have a parachute. You are not gonna die! Your parachute will open and you will glide and soar. You will have an bird eye’s view of the scene below. You will see villages, forests, beaches. You will have the freedom to choose your own path, your own destination. It would be beautiful, exciting and comfortable than any summer nap up there on the cliff.

Everyone takes a leap of faith in their lives, small or big. My big leap was when I decided to shift to Germany to do my master studies. I did get admission in the university and course I wanted. It was a big decision for me. I had planned it well in advance. I worked for 3 years after my bachelors in India and saved enough funds to get me through myfirst year. I was looking forward to move to a new city, new country, a new continent. I was very excited to learn, meet new people and experience different cultures travelling.

Now let me give you a warning. The jump comes at an expense. The parachute does not open straight away. You will collide with rocks and bushes on the way down. You will get hurt, have some bruises and pain. There will be times you will be afraid. Afraid, that what if the parachute does not open, what if you cannot open it in time, what if you have made the wrong decision, by jumping. What if you die!

I had a hard time even before I travelled to Germany. I had money for the first year, but I needed a student loan to show that I could pay for the second year and for the living expenses. The loans as usual need a security. The only way I could get a loan was to keep our house as security, but that was not possible as it was more than 10 year old. Some crazy law in India didn't allow me to do that. Even after I finished my masters, it was an uphill task to get a job. I was excited to learn the language, but never dreamt that I will have to give job interviews in German, make presentation and have a debate or a group discussion in the language. Imagine persuading people in a completely different language. It makes it 10 times as difficult.

The year I graduated, my brother lost his job and my father retired that year. I had exhausted all my saving and I couldn’t ask for money from home as they themselves were living hand to mouth. I had to sustain myself and I took up student jobs around the university. There were times I regretted my decision of taking the jump. Had I not taken it, I would have been in a comfortable job, in my home city surrounded my family and friends. And here I was jobless, thousands of miles away from my family who need my help.

But the jump also teaches you to fight obstacles, navigate your path and to fly. Now that you have jumped you know you have to open the parachute to survive. And you will make the best efforts to open it and you will succeed before you crash.

For me opening the parachute was equivalent to negotiating with the student bank for loan or learning the language. I explained the bank that it was one of the top universities and repayment should not be a problem. After long negotiations they agreed to grant me a loan without security. Once in the university, I studied hard and was the first one to graduate from the course. During job search and giving interviews, I realised the university job was taking a lot of time and energy, which I needed for interview preparation. I gave up my university job. I had money for just 3 months. I gave myself that time and decided to get a job or fly back home. I made sincere efforts to learn the language with help of some German friends and applied to a lot of jobs. In a couple of months I landed with not one but two jobs, giving interviews in German. I repaid my student loan in a year and have continued working ever since in an industry I love working in.

The whole episode taught me, that there is only one thing certain in life, according to Steve Harvey, you have to take that leap, you have to jump. Because, if you don’t jump, your parachute will never open. You will be safe, but you will never soar.

I read somewhere “To those that jump, no explanation is necessary. To those that don’t jump, no explanation will suffice”

I my Aqua-phobic and in this case I was the second one. I am afraid of water and never jumped from that diving board. But now I have joined swimming classes and that is my next leap of faith. What’s yours?