Published by/ Date:Speaking Tree, The Times of India/ 31st December 2017


DAISAKU IKEDA Click here to view article in Speaking Tree, The Times of India

Life is long. The true result of your daily struggles will be revealed in your 40s, 50s and 60s. So it is important that you find something, it doesn’t matter what, to challenge yourself in while you are young. Regard your youth as the time to study and train yourself. Everyone has a unique mission that only they can fulfil. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should sit around and do nothing, waiting for someone to tell you what it is. It is fundamental that you discover your mission on your own.

Precious gems start out buried underground. If no one puts forth any effort to mine them, they’ll stay buried. And if they aren’t polished once they’ve been dug out, they will remain in the rough.

All of you young people possess a rare jewel in your lives. You are each like a mountain concealing a precious gem. What a shame it would be to reach the end of your life without having uncovered your inner jewel! So when your parents or teachers at school tell you to study hard, they are saying in effect, “Unearth the jewel in your life and polish it!”

Of course, studying is but one means by which to reveal your inner gem.

So please don’t evaluate yourself based solely on the grades you receive at school. Human potential is not so limited that it can be measured merely by one’s aptitude for rote learning. It has been said recently that one’s emotional quotient (EQ) is more important than one’s intelligence quotient (IQ). This attests to the importance of such broad-ranging human qualities as compassion or an indomitable fighting spirit, which no IQ test can gauge. For this reason, it is foolish to think that the grades you get at school around the ages of 16 or 18 alone will determine the rest of your life. There’s much more to human potential than that.

The problem is when you fall into the trap of thinking that school results are the be-all and end-all, and decide that your present grades doom you to a less-than-bright future. If you are influenced in this way, you will prevent yourself from nurturing those abilities you do have. If you give up on trying to mine the gem in your life, your development as a person will cease. And this is something to avoid at all costs.

Some people get accepted into university but fail to work hard once there. Then there are others who stop striving for personal growth after entering a big company or becoming bureaucrats, doctors or lawyers. Many people, upon gaining the careers they aimed for, forget the spirit to work on behalf of others. Such people only give thought to what they want to become, not what they could do to contribute to society. But, actually, achieving these goals is just the beginning, not the final destination….

People should constantly strive to unearth the jewel in their life and polish it. There are countless examples of people who did not stand out during high school but who display a rich deposit of hidden potential when they enter society and gain life experience. Therefore, getting a job is just the starting point for you to begin uncovering your true ability; it is absolutely not the final goal. It is important to make your way up the mountain of life steadily, without rushing or giving up. There is no need to be impatient.