Sri Amma Bhagawan Sharanam
Sri  Amma Bhagawan Sharanam

Chapter 10: Be a visionary: Keep your vision in front of yo

The train halted at one more place for longer than usual. The night was slowly turning around. Beyond the horizon, the sky was getting pale. Some movements could be seen outside the railway station, though the town itself appeared to be still sleeping. The sound of some roosters crowing from some corners of the railway station was trying to wake up people.


The old man said, “It seems it is time for the dawn. Brother, can you find out whether anyone is selling tea outside?”


Paramanand gestured to Sakthi, and they both got out of the train. Luckily, someone was selling tea, carrying his can, tied tightly to the carrier of his bicycle. They bought tea. The vendor volunteered with the additional information that it might take a while for the train to leave, as there was some problem with railway track ahead, and men were attending to it, for more than an hour. “The previous train that crossed the track had just managed, without getting derailed, thank God,” he added further.


“A few more hours of waiting wouldn’t hurt us. We are used to it,” said the old man. “Why don’t you continue your storytelling? It is beginning to motivate me too, to do something.”

Paramanand smiled and looked at Sakthi. “Yes, uncle! Go ahead and tell me your next story. Also, tell me, how to achieve our goals."


“I would like to tell you particularly about visualization as a very important tool to achieve your goals,” said Paramanand and continued, “Research had adequately proved that we tend to gravitate towards that we consistently see. We must keep something in our front. It may be symbolic, doesn’t matter. It reminds us about what we believe in. The message gets into our subconscious mind. If you wish to own a car, keep a picture of the nice car you like, in front of you in your bedroom, for you to see every morning when you wake up. You want to be a cricketer, keep a picture of a cricketer whom you adore, hitting a ball magnificently, or taking a wicket, or a difficult catch. And see it every day, and imagine that you own that car you like, or you are that sports person you want to be.


It is not just enough, we set goals, make a determination, and put in efforts; we must actually believe in our goals happening to us. Imagine every day that you are fulfilling your wishes. Sooner or later, your dreams will become true.


The problem is: most of us limit ourselves by our poor imagination.


Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, the former President of India is a strong advocate of visualization. He had exhorted the youth of the country to dream their future.


I have read several stories of people who achieved great things because they believed in their goals and visualized them happening in their life. To tell you only a few examples:

  • After seeing an article about Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, Conrad Hilton, as a young man during 1930s, dreamt of owning a big hotel. His dream came true after eighteen years when he acquired the very famous hotel he had seen in pictures.
  • Joel Osteen, the senior pastor of America’s largest Church in Houston, Texas and one of the most influential Christian leaders in the world, stepped into his father’s shoes as the pastor, upon his father’s death. His wish was to write a book. He kept two of his father’s books on his bookshelf in front of him and he ensured that he saw his father’s books thousands of times in his house. Eventually, in 2004, he wrote his first book “Your Best Life Now,” which became a popular #1 bestseller.

But the story of Jim Carrey, the famous comedian, Hollywood star who wrote a cheque for himself for ten million dollars for his acting services and kept it in his wallet is one of the most interesting stories.


“Today, Jim Carrey is a very successful and highly paid actor, comedian, screenwriter, impressionist and film producer, but his success didn’t come on a platter; it was hard-won.

Jim Carrey was born in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. His parents had a modest background; father a musician and accountant and mother a homemaker. He had three elder siblings. The family was shattered when his father lost his job. During the next eight months, they were forced to live out of a beat-up Volkswagen van, parked in a camping ground.


When he was in the high school, he struggled, shunting between a strenuously long night shift, working in a factory and a grueling schooling during the day time. At school, he was a very quiet boy and didn’t have many friends; rather, he was shy of making friends for fear of exposing his poverty. He also suffered from undiagnosed dyslexia.


He had to quit school at his age 15 to work as a janitor, to support the family financially. Around the same time, his mother too was suffering due to a severe chronic illness. He used to carry a baseball bat on his janitor cart so that he could severely beat something or other, to vent his feelings whenever he was angry.


Soon, he discovered his prowess for humor and started using it to make friends, by making people laugh. He started acting funnily in the school, and the teachers labeled him disruptive. At home, he thoroughly enjoyed, making faces and mimicking before the mirror.  His worried mother used to send him away to his room whenever he put up faces, and that gave him more time to practice himself before the mirror. Somehow he learnt to develop a phenomenal memory that he felt compensated his reading difficulties.


He had a teacher, Lucy Dervaitis, who relished the challenge of teaching the hard-to-reach students from the poorest families. She was the first ever to sense his potential and never got offended by his funny faces, impersonating the teachers. Rather than disciplining him for his disruptions, she gave him an opportunity to perform for the class at the end of the school day. Carrey could impersonate popular figures like actor John Wayne or Elvis, would jump around, and contort his face. The students loved his acting and were demanding a repeat of his performances.


“His greatest bursts of creativity were born out of desperation; so was his willingness to take risks.”


Encouraged by the new discovery of his own acting abilities, at his age ten, he had sent his resume to actress-comedienne Carol Burnette, hoping he would get a chance in shows. His first public performance was in Toronto’s Yuk-Yuk Comedy Club. However, his initial impersonation acts bombed.


After several failures, his popularity picked up slowly as a stand-up comedian and he soon turned his attention to film and television industry. When he was first auditioned for the 1980-81 season of NBC’s ‘Saturday Night Live’, he was rejected.


In 1983, Carrey relocated to Los Angeles. In 1984, he was cast as the lead in the NBC sitcom’s “The Duck Factory.” However, the show was cancelled during its first season. Yet, the show helped Carry land in roles in several films. When he returned to stand-up comedy*, he retired his old act of imitating other people.


Carrey was managing with small roles in films and television shows. Eventually, he got a spot on the sketch comedy** show in “Living Color” in 1984. Yet, he didn’t find much success – over the next ten years - till 1994 when he played the titular role in the slapstick comedy “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.” In this movie, he agreed to take up the lead role only on the condition that he be allowed to rewrite the script to suit his over-the-top visions.***


Thereafter, his expressive face, expert mimicry skills and physical brand of comedy gave him several hit movies. He went on to become a huge box office success in comedies. The first successful dramatic turn came from the film “The Truman Show” (1998) for which he won a Golden Globe Award for the Best Actor. Subsequently, he had won his second Golden Globe Award too, for his acting. Though many of his films weren’t greatly appreciated by the film critics, nevertheless they became international hits and made him a box-office star, netting more than $200 m in the box office.


Carrey billed $20 million and more for his subsequent movies. In 2013, He also wrote and self-published a children's book “How Roland Rolls” about a scared wave named Roland – a kind of metaphorical children’s story, dealing with a lot of heavy stuff, in a really childish way.

In May 2014, Carrey delivered the commencement address in Maharishi University of Management at Fairfield, Iowa and received an honorary doctorate for his achievement as a comedian, artist, author, and philanthropist.


Carrey has had ADHD, an attention deficit disorder and had battled depression. Eventually, he took off all medicines or any kind of stimulant. He has been married twice, besides a few short-lived relationships.


He has been a follower of the law of attraction. In an interview during 1997, he revealed that when he was struggling as an actor, he had used visualization techniques to get assignments. He had visualized receiving a pay cheque for $10 million for his acting services, actually wrote a cheque and placed it in his pocket, constantly viewing it and seven years later, he, in fact, received a cheque for $10 million for his role in the movie “Dumb and Dumber”.


He practices transcendental meditation regularly.”




* Stand-up comedy is a comic style in which a comedian performs in front of a live audience, usually speaking directly to them. The performer is commonly known as a comic, stand-up comic, stand-up comedian, or simply a stand-up.

**Sketch comedy comprises a series of short comedy scenes or vignettes, called "sketches", commonly between one and ten minutes long. Such sketches are performed by a group of comic actors or comedians, either on stage or through an audio and/or visual media such as radio and television.

*** ‘Over-the-top’ usually refers to: informal, so unconventional, exaggerated, or excessive as to be considered outrageous, unbelievable, ridiculous, etc.



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