Tuesday, 5 July, 2022

Fortune Favours the Bold

A.K.M. Atiqur Rahman

Fortune Favours the Bold
A.K.M. Atiqur Rahman

A major portion of this sub-continental people believes in luck. If someone earns something by dint of hard work, others say that he has achieved such a thing as luck favoured him; he is very lucky. When a person fails to get his desired result (due to his inability or negligence), people say that luck has not favoured him; he is defined as unlucky. People rarely come forward to acknowledge that the success has been earned due to one’s hard work or there are the reasons for someone’s failure. Does anything really exist named ‘luck’ that can bring success for a person who does not deserve? Perhaps, the pessimistic people, who lack self-confidence, might believe in luck.

Sometimes, people use the word ‘fortune’ while meaning ‘luck’. These two words are often used synonymously, but that does not mean their meanings are identical. Luck can be defined, as people think, as success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions. A person gets lucky when the outcome of a randomly decided event is in his favour. Fortune is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as chance or luck as an arbitrary force affecting human affairs. However, we often associate the word fortune with external forces like divine assistance or other supernatural powers. The main difference between luck and fortune is that luck is considered to be a result of chance while fortune is generally considered to be a result of an external force.   

But I believe, if a person wants to do something and he has necessary knowledge and understanding about the job, he is sincere, hard-working and committed, he will reach his goal successfully overcoming all difficulties. Each and every person has enormous inner power. The question is how to utilize that power and when. If someone is committed and he engages himself in doing his work with utmost sincerity and perseverance, then there would be no way that his luck or fortune will not favour him. The most important issue that counts a lot in this case is the involvement, both physical and mental (depending on the field of work), while performing the job. One should be bold minded to get the desired benefit.

There is no doubt that boldness offers us huge opportunities every day in our life, in whatever profession we keep ourselves engaged. The successful people we see around us became successful due to their boldness while doing anything. That means, individuals need to be bold. But what boldness means differs depending upon time, place and the array of technologies available to them. It is said that those who leap sometimes lose, but those who do not leap always lose. Acknowledging this reality, we should keep in mind that there might be failures and we must overcome those.

Ratan Tata, CEO of the Indian conglomerate the Tata Group, said, “Failure is a goldmine” when explaining why his company instituted a prize for the best failed idea that taught the company an important lesson. This sentiment reminds me a proverb we used to use in our school days- ‘Failure is the pillar of success’ when we encouraged our classmates who failed to pass their examinations. But later, in my career, I found the word ‘failure’ most inspiring to achieve something that was not achievable at all. If we try to find out the causes behind any failure, then lot of new ideas and ways might evolve out, which ultimately produce unbelievable successes. 

Henry Ford said, “None of our men are ‘experts’. We have most unfortunately found it necessary to get rid of a man as soon as he thinks himself an expert, because no one ever considers himself expert if he really knows his job ….. Thinking always ahead, thinking always of trying to do more, brings a state of mind in which nothing is impossible.” Here, he has clearly emphasized the importance of boldness of mind, which is able to change the impossible into possible, undoable into doable. It is fact and we need to bear this philosophy in our life.

When I was the Ambassador of Bangladesh to Bhutan fifteen years back, I used to buy books from two bookshops, particularly from DSB Books, in Thimphu. Most of those books were from India (Kolkata and New Delhi), either published in India or Great Britain or the USA. Once I bought a book titled ‘Fortune Favors the Bold’ written by Lester Thurow. This book contains very interesting and innovative aspects of international economic relations, particularly the prospects of globalization. I strongly believe, a reader of this book would find him inspired much in making his working life successful, irrespective of his profession or career.

Referring to ancient Egypt, Mr. Lester Thurow has written, “Ancient Egypt was the world’s biggest economy and had the globe’s highest standard of living in its time. Congruent attitude, social organisations and culture made Egypt’s success possible while most in the rest of the world were illiterate hunter-gathers.” In that context, he also cited the examples of ancient Greece and Rome that had similar histories. He has, even, mentioned the British Empire that became an empire, not someone else’s empire, because of British beliefs and attitudes- it’s social organisation. He wrote, “Each in their day was the world’s economic leader because they acquired new technologies and because they were able to organize them into new productive systems.” The writer has emphasized the importance of a set of congruent attitudes in all social and economic systems to bring any success.

During his visit to Bangladesh in January 1974, Mr. Norman Erik Kirk, the then Prime Minister of New Zealand, appreciating the self-confidence of the people of Bangladesh, had said, “The road ahead would be hard, even cruel. But there was faith. Faith in the spirit of the people. Faith that the nation would rise from the ruins free, united and refreshed. Liberty and equality in democracy were the new goals. Bangladesh was born.” Yes, Bangladesh was born due to the boldness of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the people, who did not dare to sacrifice their lives for its birth. As the people were bold in their commitment and dedication to free their land from the hands of the occupied military rulers of Pakistan, Bangladesh was born. We can also find countries that had to prove their boldness while fighting for their self-determination, freedom and independence. 

On 29 September 1974, during his participation at the United Nations General Assembly, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman said in a television interview hosted by the National Broadcasting Corporation, “We want to live with dignity. We want to be the disposer of our destiny.” Those few words were not merely words, but were the roots of boldness that made a nation to walk and find a place in the world community. Those words of Bangabandhu inspired the Bengali nation to overcome an unimaginable situation faced during the war of liberation in 1971 and the food crisis just after independence. Now the country is running on the way to become a developed nation by the middle of this century. It is nothing but the boldness of our leadership and the general people that has been constantly energizing them to work with full commitment.  

We must agree that individuals need to be bold, if they want to be successful. Boldness is also a source of making people self-confident, which plays a vital role to advance forward. I sincerely believe, our young generation, pushing aside all their anxieties, will be bold enough to struggle against whatever hindrances come on their way and win their race. Their boldness will not only change their life, but will change the entire globe. Be bold and conquer your desired life, a successful and illuminated life.


The writer is a former Ambassador and Secretary