I know Milind Soman for what he does today. And we have one thing in common – We run and love running.
The second good and common thing amongst us is we have discovered the joy of running late in life.
And we both discovered that running is a deep philosophy of life and living.
Milind runs and he deeply correlates running with the philosophy of health, joy and happiness. Today, he is known more in the fitness world for what he talks, does in the field of fitness than his erstwhile field – Modelling, Acting and Films.
Made in India – the Alisha Chenai Song that made him the household name and the controversial Tuffs shoes ad with Madhu Sapre that made him even more well known on the planet. But, what really connected me with Milind and his work was the repeated mentions of Milind whenever I promoted my image as a joyful runner.
Till then, I had hardly known Milind Soman more than a model or an actor. So, I started to dig into the mystery behind Milind Soman. And Voila! what I discovered about him just blew me off. Milind Soman running marathons, promoting fitness among the masses and being unequivocal about the mental and the physical benefits of running.
And this love started to grow more evenly when a old friend of mine suggested the hashtag on the Instagram – #Milindrunning. And ever since then, Milind Soman’s words of wisdom have become a kind of daily diet for me. I often google “news” on Milind Soman.
I got a deeper and more holistic understanding of a runner, a swimmer and a philosopher by reading his book – MADE IN INDIA. Anyone interested in knowing Milind SOman and the secrets to his joy and happiness should take the plunge into MADE IN INDIA that’s co-written with Roopa Pai.
So, let me now present to you something about Milind Soman – The commencement speech by Milind Soman at Parul University. This speech, I would have listened several times while converting the audio into written word. and this has made my experience of creating this blog around the speech a fruitful and spiritual experience.
The transcript of the speech follows:(after several takes of listening the wonderful speech)
And Success might mean many things to you.
And I did achieve those things to some measure enough for me. But what I realize after meeting so many people and after so many experiences doing different things interacting with different worlds of sports, of fashion, of modelling, of acting and business, I realized that to me these were not the real parameters of Success.
To me, the real parameters of success as you might have known from my recent endeavours as a fitness enthusiast, as a marathon runner, my understanding of success is: health and happiness.
And what I would like for you is look within yourself and understand what it is that success means to each of you. I know that you are told and we are all told, when we are young that this is success and that is success.
And we look up to people and we say, we want to be like that person, we want to be like this person. But at some point in our lives, we look inside and say, this is really what is important to me!
If I remember correctly, there was a poll taken in the United States and many people were asked, “what was their priority in their lives?” and there were a whole list of options given: Career, Fame, Home, Happiness, Health, Family.
And most people chose the top 2 priorities – health and family. Not many people chose career, job and all of that action.
Because in your heart, may be you know the truth. So, they chose family knowing that these must be their priority in life. But when the second question was asked, “How much time you spend on these 2 priorities?”
The answer was – Zero!
So, I would urge you to ask yourself at this time while you celebrate, “What is the meaning of success for you?”
PURSUE IT(your priorities) and DONOT COMPROMISE(on your priorities) on it and then you will find that you will be the best version of who you were meant to be.
Of course, we study and create a life and we think our focus is job and career. But sometimes, WE FORGET OURSELVES. It is important not to do that. It is important that apart from the job and career, you have and anything else that you do for the society in future, DONOT FORGET YOURSELF.
If I were to advice, which I in the normal course won’t do, I will give a tip. I would say “FIND THE THINGS THAT GIVE YOU JOY. There may be some here who have found it as a hobby. A hobby that could never be a job or a career. It is just a passion in your heart. Something that people would have told you is not worth to spend time of that. It is not going to give you stability.
But it’s your passion. I would say, “NEVER LET GO OF THAT PASSION. NEVER LET GO OF THAT JOY”
And if you haven’t found it yet, a lot of you may be so single minded in your focus today with what you are studying and where you want to be that you may not have found it that thing that gives joy, I would say, “LET YOUR SEARCH START TODAY”.
Because it is the thing that gives you joy that will finally give meaning to your life. AND THIS IS WHAT I FOUND IN MY LIFE WHEN I FOUND RUNNING. I had already been a sportsperson. I had represented India in swimming. I had represented Maharashtra in swimming for many years. I was very very fit.
But I also went through bad phases in my life. I was smoking, I was drinking and I was doing all kinds of things. But when I discovered running, marathn runningalmost 20 years ago, it really gave me a new direction to my life. It gave a whole new understanding of life.
And that understanding was – When you have joy, when you have passion, nothing is going to teach you more about life than that joy and that passion. Because, that is going teach you about yourself. And when you know about yourself, when you are aware of yourself, you will understand what you really want in your life.
The speech is about not forgetting oneself, one’s passions and the top priorities in life. So, here we go: