Aamir Khan’s Dangal is breaking box-office records and is all set to be one of the actor’s – and India’s – greatest commercial successes. The biopic on the real-life story of Commonwealth Games Gold-winning sisters Geeta and Babita Phogat is gritty, realistic and inspiring. Trained by their father, Mahavir Singh Phogat, the girls realised his dreams through sheer grit and determination.
If you find yourself wrestling with your job and sorely lacking motivation, turn to Dangal for inspiration.
Here are seven ways director Nitesh Tiwari directed Dangal inspires you to persevere and persist:
If Plan A didn’t work, there are 25 more alphabets
Thwarted by circumstances and unable to fulfil his dream of winning an international gold for India, Mahavir Singh Phogat pinned his hopes on having a male child who would realise his dreams. He was blessed with four daughters instead and one fine day, after his girls beat up the neighborhood boys for abusing them, realisation dawned on the wrestler. “Mhaari chhoriyan choro se kam hai ka,”he asks his wife, and proceeds to work on his girls’ talent.
So remember, when one door closes, another one opens. Don’t waste time feeling resentful and angry about your career situation. Instead, think of it as an opportunity for personal growth and positive change and channelise your energy towards finding an even better position.
Set the bar high and your goals higher
Average goals will lead to an average career. If you want to rise above the rest, you will have to set the bar higher. The national coach sets Geeta the goal of bringing back a bronze, but Mahavir Singh wants her to win gold. As he explains to his daughter: “Je ek baat hamesa yaad rakhna, beta. Gar silver jeti toh nahi toh kal log tanne bhool jaavenge. Gold jeeti toh misaal ban jaavegi aur misaal di jaati hai beta, bhooli nahin jaati.” (Always remember – if you don’t win at least a silver medal, people will forget you tomorrow. But if you win gold, you will set a precedent that people will never forget.)
Shun mediocrity, aim for the top slot and keep persevering till you win.
Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day
Even if you have the talent and the skill set, you can’t expect success overnight. Geeta and Babita’s journey to the international wrestling ring wasn’t easy. They had to give up simple pleasures and follow a rigorous routine for years, expending blood, sweat and tears before they made it big.
Don’t expect things to be handed to you on a platter – be it a new project, a promotion or a raise. Work towards it, and you’ll have it. As Mahavir Singh says: “Medallist ped pe nahin ugte…unhe banana padta hai…pyaar se, mehnat se, lagan se…” (Medal winners don’t grow on trees; they are cultivated with love, hard work and perseverance).
Use the resources you have to forge your path
A resident of a small village in Haryana, Mahavir Singh doesn’t have too many resources to help train his daughters for the big league. But the intrepid coach makes do with what he has – he creates a makeshift akhada (ring) for his girls, haggles over chicken prices to stay within his budget, makes his girls wrestle with boys so they have ample competition, and won’t be fazed even when he can’t take them to a wrestling ring – he just makes one with mattresses. This helps his talented daughters skill up and become champions.
At work, try and emulate this philosophy and use whatever resources are at hand to skill up and get ahead.
Look back and analyse
Whichever industry you work in, the collection and analysis of data is critical to reviewing past work, understanding work and team dynamics, and staying agile. When Geeta fails time after time in international contests, Mahavir Singh studies videos of her past performances to understand the reasons behind her failure. This helps her minimise mistakes, after which he suggests to her the best plan of action for future matches.
Modern trappings can’t always replace old techniques
When village girl Geeta lands in Patiala and is exposed to the vicarious charms of a small town, she forgets all about the path that got her to this high point in her career. She also begins to feel that her new coach and his modern techniques will help make her a champion. But over time, when she ends up losing a series of international wrestling matches, she turns to her father for help. His traditional techniques that got her into the competition help her win.
It’s important to remember that technology can’t always replace the human mind and spirit.
Keep persevering till you make it
Mahavir’s elder daughter, Geeta, may have moved to the National Sports academy to train under a new coach and may have forgotten all that Daddy Dearest taught her, but Mahavir Singh doesn’t for a moment believe that his dream won’t be realised. He steps back for a while, but leaps into the forefront when his daughter approaches him for help. Together, they win India the gold medal.
Always remember that a rejection doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the road. Persisting will slowly, but surely, take you to the top.
There are more interesting reads below to get you going and help you Find Better!
- 5 key takeaways from India’s winners at Gold Coast Commonwealth Games
- Workplace lessons we can all learn from SRK’s Ted TALK
- What Baahubali-2 can teach you about managing your team more effectively