The position of stars that Rose essayed by actress Kate Winslett looks up at in the movie Titanic was wrong, said astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Acting on this feedback, director James Cameron rectified it for the 3D 25th anniversary release of the movie. This was unquestionable proof of the fact that James Cameron loves doing, what he does. The visual media of entertainment is bubbling with examples of men and women who have gone to the jagged edges of extremes to fit a particular role—be it Christian Bale or Randeep Hooda. But sit back and take a peek and you would realise that every imaginable field of work is full of people who maintain a laser-like focus on what they do and just love doing it.
Take for example Michelangelo who painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, his exemplary gift to the world of art. He spent many years working on it. The working conditions were bad, so much so that he wrote a poem on it. But one look at his frescos, those giant wall paintings, and you realise that this person was a genius. In his own words, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”
Think about genius, then the famous composer Beethoven who created magical music, not to compete with his peers, but for future generations, constantly reworking on his masterpieces. Challenges did not stop him from becoming great. When he released his Ninth Symphony, he was deaf and could not hear the applause that followed the performance. Another great artist who obsessed over little details was Steve Jobs. His vision of ‘making a dent in the universe’ rings true just by a look at his legacy—the iPhones, iMacs, iTunes, iStore, iPads and the Apple company itself which are the symbols of modern-world perfection. Pristine. Absolute. Beautiful. The innumerable hours that he put in day after day, week after week, year after year could not always be the cynosure of the public’s approving eyes, but he kept on putting in hard work. Think about the Doctors without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) and their selfless contribution to the millions they have saved and uplifted out of unthinkably gruesome conditions absolutely unfit for human survival. Doctors bring up a childhood memory for me. The Japanese anime series, Pokemon had a character, Nurse Joy of Lucid Lake, who specialised in treating and caring for water-type Pokemons. Think of the horror caused to the show’s protagonists (and viewers) when they realise that Nurse Joy hates water-type Pokemons but just does not let personal feelings impair her ability to do her job. Finally, the most striking example has to be O. Henry’s famous short story, The Last Leaf where the eponymous final creation stands for the most startling and sincere effort in a noble cause.
The best part about worshipping your work comes with the added benefit of the realisation that it is not even about recognition. It is simply about doing your work and doing it well. As they say, “The journey is the reward.”