I am here 2 share my thoughtz

August 23, 2008

So motivating and life-changing speech! by chetanbhagat

Filed under: friends for u — karthikuu @ 11:45 pm

hi friends ..

i thought my friends should read this ,that y i copied it from chetanbhagat blog -http://www.chetanbhagat.com/blog/

know abt life ..

so read and leave ur comment to him@http://www.chetanbhagat.com/blog/ 🙂

Keep the SparkInaugural Speech for the new batch at the Symbiosis BBA program 2008

© Chetan Bhagat

Good Morning everyone and thank you for giving me this chance to speak to you. This day is about you. You, who have come to this college, leaving the comfort of your homes (or in some cases discomfort), to become something in your life. I am sure you are excited. There are few days in human life when one is truly elated. The first day in college is one of them. When you were getting ready today, you felt a tingling in your stomach. What would the auditorium be like, what would the teachers be like, who are my new classmates – there is so much to be curious about. I call this excitement, the spark within you that makes you feel truly alive today. Today I am going to talk about keeping the spark shining. Or to put it another way, how to be happy most, if not all the time.

Where do these sparks start? I think we are born with them. My 3-year old twin boys have a million sparks. A little Spiderman toy can make them jump on the bed. They get thrills from creaky swings in the park. A story from daddy gets them excited. They do a daily countdown for birthday party – several months in advance – just for the day they will cut their own birthday cake.

I see students like you, and I still see some sparks. But when I see older people, the spark is difficult to find. That means as we age, the spark fades. People whose spark has faded too much are dull, dejected, aimless and bitter. Remember Kareena in the first half of Jab We Met vs the second half? That is what happens when the spark is lost. So how to save the spark?

Imagine the spark to be a lamp’s flame. The first aspect is nurturing – to give your spark the fuel, continuously. The second is to guard against storms.

To nurture, always have goals. It is human nature to strive, improve and achieve full potential. In fact, that is success. It is what is possible for you. It isn’t any external measure – a certain cost to company pay package, a particular car or house.

Most of us are from middle class families. To us, having material landmarks is success and rightly so. When you have grown up where money constraints force everyday choices, financial freedom is a big achievement.

But it isn’t the purpose of life. If that was the case, Mr Ambani would not show up for work. Shah Rukh Khan would stay at home and not dance anymore. Steve Jobs won’t be working hard to make a better iPhone, as he sold Pixar for billions of dollars already. Why do they do it? What makes them come to work everyday?

They do it because it makes them happy. They do it because it makes them feel alive. Just getting better from current levels feels good. If you study hard, you can improve your rank. If you make an effort to interact with people, you will do better in interviews. If you practice, your cricket will get better. You may also know that you cannot become Tendulkar, yet. But you can get to the next level. Striving for that next level is important.

Nature designed with a random set of genes and circumstances in which we were born. To be happy, we have to accept it and make the most of nature’s design. Are you? Goals will help you do that.

I must add, don’t just have career or academic goals. Set goals to give you a balanced, successful life. I use the word balanced before successful. Balanced means ensuring your health, relationships, mental peace are all in good order.

There is no point of getting a promotion on the day of your breakup. There is no fun in driving a car if your back hurts. Shopping is not enjoyable if your mind is full of tensions.

You must have read some quotes – Life is a tough race, it is a marathon or whatever. No, from what I have seen so far, life is one of those races in nursery school. Where you have to run with a marble in a spoon kept in your mouth. If the marble falls, there is no point coming first. Same with life, where health and relationships are the marble. Your striving is only worth it if there is harmony in your life. Else, you may achieve the success, but this spark, this feeling of being excited and alive, will start to die.

One last thing about nurturing the spark – don’t take life seriously. One of my yoga teachers used to make students laugh during classes. One student asked him if these jokes would take away something from the yoga practice. The teacher said – don’t be serious, be sincere. This quote has defined my work ever since. Whether its my writing, my job, my relationships or any of my goals. I get thousands of opinions on my writing everyday. There is heaps of praise, there is intense criticism. If I take it all seriously, how will I write? Or rather, how will I live? Life is not to be taken seriously, as we are really temporary here. We are like a pre-paid card with limited validity. If we are lucky, we may last another 50 years. And 50 years is just 2,500 weekends. Do we really need to get so worked up? It’s ok, bunk a few classes, goof up a few interviews, fall in love. We are people, not programmed devices.

I’ve told you three things – reasonable goals, balance and not taking it too seriously that will nurture the spark. However, there are four storms in life that will threaten to completely put out the flame. These must be guarded against. These are disappointment, frustration, unfairness and loneliness of purpose.

Disappointment will come when your effort does not give you the expected return. If things don’t go as planned or if you face failure. Failure is extremely difficult to handle, but those that do come out stronger. What did this failure teach me? is the question you will need to ask. You will feel miserable. You will want to quit, like I wanted to when nine publishers rejected my first book. Some IITians kill themselves over low grades – how silly is that? But that is how much failure can hurt you.

But it’s life. If challenges could always be overcome, they would cease to be a challenge. And remember – if you are failing at something, that means you are at your limit or potential. And that’s where you want to be.

Disappointment’s cousin is frustration, the second storm. Have you ever been frustrated? It happens when things are stuck. This is especially relevant in India. From traffic jams to getting that job you deserve, sometimes things take so long that you don’t know if you chose the right goal. After books, I set the goal of writing for Bollywood, as I thought they needed writers. I am called extremely lucky, but it took me five years to get close to a release.

Frustration saps excitement, and turns your initial energy into something negative, making you a bitter person. How did I deal with it? A realistic assessment of the time involved – movies take a long time to make even though they are watched quickly, seeking a certain enjoyment in the process rather than the end result – at least I was learning how to write scripts , having a side plan – I had my third book to write and even something as simple as pleasurable distractions in your life – friends, food, travel can help you overcome it. Remember, nothing is to be taken seriously. Frustration is a sign somewhere, you took it too seriously.

Unfairness – this is hardest to deal with, but unfortunately that is how our country works. People with connections, rich dads, beautiful faces, pedigree find it easier to make it – not just in Bollywood, but everywhere. And sometimes it is just plain luck. There are so few opportunities in India, so many stars need to be aligned for you to make it happen. Merit and hard work is not always linked to achievement in the short term, but the long term correlation is high, and ultimately things do work out. But realize, there will be some people luckier than you.

In fact, to have an opportunity to go to college and understand this speech in English means you are pretty darn lucky by Indian standards. Let’s be grateful for what we have and get the strength to accept what we don’t. I have so much love from my readers that other writers cannot even imagine it. However, I don’t get literary praise. It’s ok. I don’t look like Aishwarya Rai, but I have two boys who I think are more beautiful than her. It’s ok. Don’t let unfairness kill your spark.

Finally, the last point that can kill your spark is isolation. As you grow older you will realize you are unique. When you are little, all kids want Ice cream and Spiderman. As you grow older to college, you still are a lot like your friends. But ten years later and you realize you are unique. What you want, what you believe in, what makes you feel, may be different from even the people closest to you. This can create conflict as your goals may not match with others. . And you may drop some of them. Basketball captains in college invariably stop playing basketball by the time they have their second child. They give up something that meant so much to them. They do it for their family. But in doing that, the spark dies. Never, ever make that compromise. Love yourself first, and then others.

There you go. I’ve told you the four thunderstorms – disappointment, frustration, unfairness and isolation. You cannot avoid them, as like the monsoon they will come into your life at regular intervals. You just need to keep the raincoat handy to not let the spark die.

I welcome you again to the most wonderful years of your life. If someone gave me the choice to go back in time, I will surely choose college. But I also hope that ten years later as well, you eyes will shine the same way as they do today. That you will Keep the Spark alive, not only through college, but through the next 2,500 weekends. And I hope not just you, but my whole country will keep that spark alive, as we really need it now more than any moment in history. And there is something cool about saying – I come from the land of a billion sparks.

Thank You.




  1. well said man, u knw smwhr m lackng d spark in me, coz i thnk i hv hurt many people in my life. but after reading dis,lots f positivity hz cm into me. so thanx man. i really respect u 4 dis.
    tk cr f urslf.
    n lots f love 4 ishaan & shyam.

    Comment by VAISHALI — September 26, 2008 @ 12:16 pm

  2. those peple r heard who have fortunate voice ,lend ur ear n hear me ,the atmosphere will change

    Comment by radhe singh — September 30, 2008 @ 1:15 pm

  3. First of all, THANKS A LOT Chetan, i’m 16 yrs old and have read all ur boks and i m a great fan of yours becoz only 600 pgs of your book (1 nite@colcentre & 3 mistakes of my life) taught me what my parents and teachers could’nt teach me in these 16 years. I was one of the student who was struggling to get through my life only according to my parent’s and teacher’s wishes killing my inner spark and inner-voice only 4 them. But after reading this you have changed 80% of my life. I think you are the most humble succesful man with a true teacher.Thankyou again.

    Comment by nikita — October 10, 2008 @ 2:44 pm

  4. This has got to be one of the best speeches ever. The points you have raised are so true. I just wish I was there when you delivered this speech.

    Comment by Aun — January 3, 2009 @ 10:33 am

  5. Great speech, love the way you put the points together, and it’s a good personal balance.

    Comment by SP — January 29, 2009 @ 2:39 am

  6. well its really very great to read ur speech n ofcourse five point someone which resembles upto sum xtent 2 my college n hostel life too.chetan u r amazing..so keep it up wid bright spark…….3 cheers take care wid love

    Comment by ruchi — March 28, 2009 @ 11:03 am

  7. HELLO SIR. This has been the best speech ever,ur novels are super duper and too interesting. FIVE POINTS SOMEONE is my first novel which ihave read in my life.ur all the three novels are really too.. good .I’m biggest fan of yours,and let me tell u ,u r the fantastic writer.u r humble and successful writer.Take care and keep writing…….

    Comment by Khushboo — May 19, 2009 @ 6:29 pm

  8. hello Mr. Chetan,
    I m one of the person who was struggling to get through my life only according to my parent’s and brother’s wishes killing my inner spark and inner-voice only 4 them. I did Ph.D. from a reputed University in Genetics and molecular biology field..Now i am going to be 36 in September. Now when i look back i found my self a person who got very less success. Still not get a good and permanent job…not a family life….some times this creates very much negativity in my life…but a spark which is still hidden in me make me rejuvenate and make some courage to live life king size in the hard condition whatever i have…and feel that still i am very fine from the millions of people….
    I am a good oil painter (people says) but spoiling. Because we have upbringing like this that only academics give carrier and financial support. These painting like things are not very fruitful. so dumb this activities. If you want to do than very less support and only for decoration of your drawing room’s wall…not exhibition…
    Well nice to read your book…but practically its still tough…we can’t change our mentality…It’s a good reading material but very tough to change the society mentality…
    i myself running in very adversity but give courage the person who r very much depress in their life…
    at my point of view u did a great job to write these books…Ur talent of writing gave so fame otherwise your IIT and IIM (i know the value of IIT and IIM) can never give you such fame….
    I Salute to your talent…..keep going in your life…wishing you a great life with your family

    Comment by Archana — July 28, 2009 @ 12:46 pm

  9. This is THE simlest way to understand the SPARK of life in the most easiest way.
    No management GURU can make u understand by delivering the long speeches full of difficult words and phrases,as it has been delivered in ur speech.
    ur art of STORY TELLING in ur novels(5 point someone and a night at call centre)is superb.
    and this speech is so very lucid and practical that if we can not understand the real meaning of SPARK in life,then we are not LIVING THE LIFE.

    Comment by ashok purohit — July 30, 2009 @ 1:33 pm

  10. u r so inspiring and u hav very motivating way of writing.U R THE BEST WRITER IN THE WHOLE WORLD MAY U LIVE LONGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG

    Comment by achu — August 14, 2009 @ 8:32 am

  11. i like all these things about sparks. it makes you want to relight your old forgotton sparks that you cared less when it faded.

    Comment by tobgyel — October 6, 2009 @ 6:58 pm

  12. hello sir ,ifeel that there is so much burden on me. iam the only person who has to face sooo.. many problems in life.but after reading this speech;ifeel very calm & quit.thank you very much!your books are always to be new for me.

    Comment by tejashree — November 11, 2009 @ 12:39 pm

  13. hello sir,it was a great pleasure to read your speech.i am also an iit aspirant but frankly speaking sir iam like that person who rare laugh,who thinks watching t.v and talking to frieds is wastage of time but your speech has transform my life completely.thanks for changing my thinking and ultimately life sir.

    Comment by varun — November 19, 2009 @ 11:00 pm

  14. hello sir, i have a lot of negative thoughts n lack confidence in whatever i do! after reading this i have gained a lot of hope that i too can do something n and face new challenges with a spark which i do lack now! thank you sir! your speech had really made me think to achieve some thing best in my college days!

    Comment by ashreya — December 20, 2009 @ 8:28 am

  15. Thank you so much Chetanji,Love your writing God bless your family.

    Comment by Shantha — December 22, 2009 @ 5:25 pm

  16. In our busy life, we forget to laugh. But your novels specially “Two states” n “Five point someone” make me laugh again n again. Waiting eagarly for your next novel.

    Comment by Piyali Chowdhary — December 22, 2009 @ 7:05 pm

  17. Hi,Sir u r really a very special personality 4 youth generation

    Comment by gauravDHA — December 23, 2009 @ 4:38 pm

  18. Hello,sir a great motivatig speech given by u which change life of youth.I m really thankful to u for motivaing us and changing my life.keep writing motivating books bcoz youth really need it for their survival.thanks again for motivation.

    Comment by papiha — January 2, 2010 @ 3:10 am

  19. hi chetan i find ur novels realy interesting n i read d speech vry nicely n it was a knowledgeable.

    Comment by riya malhotra — January 6, 2010 @ 11:47 am

  20. hi chetan i find ur novels realy interesting n i read d speech vry nicely n it was a knowledgeable.its a speech wish can change millions of minds n yought wil benifit a lot 4m dis.Thanks lot for giving such information to us.

    Comment by riya malhotra — January 6, 2010 @ 11:50 am

  21. hi chetan i find ur novels realy interesting n i read d speech vry nicely n it was a knowledgeable.Its a speech which can change millions of minds n youth wil benifit a lot from this.Thanks a lot for giving such information to us.

    Comment by riya malhotra — January 6, 2010 @ 11:52 am

  22. thanks

    Comment by ayush — January 5, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

  23. Hi,,
    I have read your one night @ the call center..I like it very much. Now I am suffering too strees in my life not now but from so many days..

    But after reading your novel the spark came into me I dont fear about my problems in my life.I take it as a challenge for me. I am believing that after sad days there will be happy days too.


    Comment by Swati Abhyankar — April 28, 2011 @ 2:39 pm



    L&T ECC

    Comment by ARUL THATHEYESH — May 5, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

  25. hi chethan ur novels are wonderful i’m the big fan of urs. seriously i was in need of ur sparkling speech i really feel good and enjoyed. wat my parents fail to tel u told it. Thanking to u.

    Comment by sahana.B — July 28, 2011 @ 5:55 pm

  26. hii, sir its nice knowing u more . hv a grt day.

    Comment by sargam jain — August 21, 2011 @ 9:10 pm


    Comment by JOY CHAKRABORTY — September 4, 2011 @ 4:45 pm

  28. Its just simple but powerful.Being sincere than serious is what i do but my surrounding consider it as my drawback

    Comment by Nikhitha — September 21, 2011 @ 12:38 pm

  29. Hi Chetan,
    im ur hardcore fan.Loved all your books……im eagerly waiting for your next book .
    keep on writing. Your book “2states” is ma fav. . All the best!!!!!!!!!!!
    take care……!

    Comment by aditya — September 30, 2011 @ 12:41 pm

  30. hi sir.. Thanks a lot.. I dont have any special words to thank u as u wil be hearing all those everyday.. I wanna be as succcessful as u r. Wish i could hear that marvellous speech live. May god shower happiness in all ur ways..

    Comment by naila sadaf — October 2, 2011 @ 7:37 pm

  31. nice

    Comment by richa kumari — October 20, 2011 @ 8:05 pm

  32. Hello Sir.. First of all ur speech was vry nice..I hd read ur book ‘Revolution 2020’ whc was my first evr novel in my lif i purchasd it n read.. Wow m so glad i got ur novel.. so beautiful so pure love n heart touchng story abt a boy Gopal.. Thank Chetanji for gvng such a beautiful novel 2 India. Ur my first n fav author..

    Comment by Neha Gohilot — November 12, 2011 @ 1:17 pm

  33. Thankyou Chetan for such an inspiring speech to polish the sparks of youth .It’s so worthy to read.

    Comment by ashina n ramesh — January 15, 2012 @ 8:23 pm

  34. Namasthe chetan sir. I am puneetha studying bsc 2nd year. By next month my exams are starting . I wrote 3 sems in that two sems i have back locks i am trying to clear it but ,i have lots of problems sir. My mind is blasting . I am failing to make my inner sparks and inner-voice glow. I am still young but i dont no what to do and how to get out of this problems sir. Everyday my friends only will hurt me so much i feel , my life is ending . If i go on searching the solutions i fail in that to . I have parents but they think there job is only make me grow and give me what i need but they dont no how i feel inner. Chetan sir i read your revolution2020 novel. Its great sir.life is challenge we must not trust any one its correct na sir . I will read your all novels . Chetan sir your speech is great but i want it to hear in live . I want someone power in my life . I will face problems . But i need someone to guide me. Because to understand life we need a teacher its write know sir. Any way i feel glad to send you a reply . In my life once i must see you lively .Thanks thank you so much thanks a lot . For your great greatness . You are inspiration . . May your life be blessed always . . Take care. Yours faithfully. . Puneetha……

    Comment by Puneetha — March 15, 2012 @ 12:15 pm

  35. hi chetan sir i m totally impressed by wat u write nd ur speech … i always want to b like u .. ur my ideal person nd a gr8 motivator , when i get depressed i jst read dis speech this makes me feel alive… jst keep on writting:-)

    Comment by shivani... — April 22, 2012 @ 3:42 pm

  36. Hi chetan thanx for all these great thoughts

    Comment by Dhiraj verma — May 14, 2012 @ 9:31 pm

  37. wow seriouly it maks to life perfectly

    Comment by mukti rao — May 17, 2012 @ 3:45 pm

  38. chetan sir seriously i alwas read ur dainik bhaskar colam i never forget to read. ur my inspiration nd in ur colam alwas a new topic but i want to u should write a matter of a yong genration they fallow a right way to get success because ur our yuth idiol i hope u think about my idia i wating ur next colam

    Comment by mukti rao — May 17, 2012 @ 4:11 pm

  39. rockin man, u r d shining star of our cntry, & looooooooooots of thnx 2 u for this speech.

    Comment by NITISH PRASAD — May 20, 2012 @ 3:40 pm

  40. rockin man, u r d shining star of our cntry, & looooooooooots of thnx 2 u for this speech.

    Comment by NITISH PRASAD — May 20, 2012 @ 3:40 pm

    Comment by NITISH PRASAD — May 20, 2012 @ 3:41 pm

  41. thanks chaten sir, your speech really giving me a spark.

    Comment by neham — June 10, 2012 @ 1:16 am

  42. Hello sir…
    This has been best speech ever,ossam..
    I have read all u r books..

    Comment by kajal — July 1, 2012 @ 5:38 pm

  43. hi chet an sir you are the most inspirational person in my life. i really like this speech a lot i am a college students i was under depression and fustration for last 2 week but when i reed your speech online i felt better thanks a lot…………………

    Comment by nisha — November 1, 2012 @ 7:00 pm

  44. Bhiya really! You are a glorious sun of sucess.

    Comment by Amit Ranjan — February 8, 2013 @ 3:40 pm

  45. Hi,
    Chetan ji u r a best best writter in india . I read all ur books (i love all ur books especially Revolution 2020 )

    Comment by K. Gayathri — March 22, 2013 @ 3:59 pm

  46. hi…
    its a nce speech sir evry words it mean alt….i gt lots of inspiratn as my life r totaly fraustrated being in medcal field…Thnks alt sir my eyes r wet knwng m nt dt much late 2 realze abt my lfe..

    Comment by sambiang lakiang — March 26, 2013 @ 9:19 pm

  47. great writer of india. i love 2 states.u r my role model.(telling truth).

    Comment by lakshmi s breezevilla — March 31, 2013 @ 12:13 pm

  48. hi sir m sabin.i m a gr8 fan of urs.m aim is also writer.i dnt hav much 2 say but i really lik ur style of writing.
    i m frm sikkim and i want to be a great writer.sir,u are my inspiration.

    Comment by sabin pandey — December 5, 2013 @ 5:40 pm

  49. 2states is the first book which i read in my life. Thank you for prevail me to read more and more.Now i am really enjoying the wonders in books.

    Comment by yasmin — June 30, 2014 @ 1:28 pm

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