Here are some of the underrated lessons that everyone should take from the incredibly talented cricketer and former captain of Indian cricket team, Virat Kohli.
Listening to your inner calling
Virat is a firm believer that change comes from within. When things are not going well, the only thing you need to do is listen to your inner-self. Sometimes, the answers to our biggest problems are already within us. We just need to pay attention to our inner-voice as Virat did in 2012 during the IPL tournaments.
In an interview with Graham Bensinger in 2019, alluding to his poor eating habits prior to IPL 2012, Virat shared how it had always been his inner voice that guided him in life. To quote him,
"Luckily, everything that has been bad in me, somehow I get that calling myself that you need to get it right. There's hardly anyone coming in and telling me, you know, that you're messing up. It just comes from within.... I saw myself in the mirror and I was like, "you can't look like that if you're an international cricketer".... from next day onwards I changed everything about my diet."
Doing things with right intent
Virat believes that when opportunities are presented to you in life, it’s important that you grab them and work towards your goal with right intention. For him, focusing on “why” something has to be done brings more clarity, which is needed in order to make the right decisions. In a recent interview with RCB podcast, Virat said:
"Anything done with the right intent eventually becomes beautiful because you are present every moment and you’re doing what is required in that particular moment. If you play in an environment, for some personal gains, you might succeed but you’ll be found out very quickly because the same template doesn’t work all the time."
Break the limits
Virat is the kind of guy who strives to excel in all aspects of his life. For him, excellence is attained when one really expands the horizons of mind by seeking things that go beyond the established systems in society. He admits that “understanding systems” is a prerequisite to laying foundations, however, building your entire life within those systems is growth-limiting.
In an interview with RCB podcast, on being asked how he felt for being misunderstood by others, he responded:
One thing that I know about myself is that I've never really tried to fit into any kind of systems. I understand that systems are important for creating decorum/discipline but if you want to achieve excellence, then you need to keep the systems in mind but not confine yourself to the system.
One must fight many battles to be declared ‘victorious’. Success only comes to you when you prepare yourself to face the worst again and again. It is through perseverance and resilience that you make your way toward success. Virat has been constantly tenacious against the storms of life.
In an interview with Graham Bensinger in September 2019, referring to how his success wasn’t immediate after the passing of his father and the struggles that he had to overcome, Virat said:
"The thing is that an incident happens in your life, then you move on with it. You don't know the kind of motivation it registers in your heart. I always knew that nothing else could distract me from achieving my goals but immediate distractions were too many....but one thing that remained constant was every time I was down.., somehow I was able to put everything aside and say, "Right. I'm gonna work hard and I'm gonna get back up." So, it's not like I made a promise that I'm never gonna fall down, obviously I was gonna fall down. That's life... But the ability to come back again became so much more stronger."
Do not seek validation from others
When you work hard and you work sincerely, you don’t feel the need to be answerable to anyone but yourself. You realize that what others have to say about you don’t make any difference in your life. People’s opinions no longer matter for you stay true to yourself and your work.
During an interview with Sportstar in 2015, Virat was asked why he looked so angry on the field. To this, replied that people mistake his seriousness for anger, however, he never makes an effort to explain himself to others. He also said,
"It is not for the whole world to know who I am. It is not important. If I give credence to it then I am making myself weak in terms of going out there and validating myself. It doesn’t matter people judging you because inside you know who you are as long as you are working hard as you can in your profession. Nothing else matters".
Build a confident mindset
Having immense talent or skills but no confidence will only take you so far. Believing in yourself and your abilities help you develop a confident mindset. It is one of the most important attributes of incredibly successful people. According to the legendary cricket, having a strong mindset is what matters the most.
Even till today when a youngster comes into the team, my first chat to them is about the same thing. It doesn't matter whether I have played hundred test matches or whether you've played two. If on the day, your mindset is better, you will perform better than me.