Of all the people whom I have met in my life, I miss my grandpa the most and I have got reasons for that. He was a great man! In fact, one of the most sharp-minded persons, I have ever met. He would often carve out something new out of his experience—be it yacht like structure out of sticks that would ferry us to the other side of stream or the simple smoking pipe that he used to slice out of the ordinary wood.
I still remember how grandpa would often persuade me to aim high in life. He often used to convince me to set targets beyond my expectations and would often justify it by saying that a man often gets lesser then what he strives for.
He once asked me about the percentage of marks, I was expecting to get in the examination. To my tame reply of “70”, he betted it would be lesser than that. It didn’t surprise me when my scorecard showed 64% because till then I had almost understood his super visionary relationship between the targets and achievements, his life and the life he wanted me to live. His teachings have ever been an inspiration to my life since then.
There are a lot of things which remind me of the great man; be it the display on some matchboxes, suggesting one to be among the stars even if he misses landing on the moon or the recent scientific research that the people who have higher aspirations suffer lesser tangles and plaques in the mind.
While I was reading the research page on the latest discovery, it made me realize the importance of great man’s instruction to have greater purpose in life. Its essence is not restricted to be more successful in life but also to have a healthy mind, which has least effect of ageing and deterioration. This probably was the reason why grandpa was an active thinker even at 75.
The scientific perspective of “aiming high”
The scientific study, I referred to above, infers that aiming high can reduce the harmful changes in the brain even with those suffering from serious conditions like Alzheimer’s Disease. If the patient is in high wits and wills, the plaques and tangles that characterize the disease are considerably reduced.
The study surprised me with a pleasant tinge when I read those thinking high had better cognition despite the plaques and tangles in their brain. I was naturally excited to have owned a so intelligent grandpa. It is a proof that the brain and its functions are not just a product of the food (we eat), the air (we breathe) and the drugs administered to the patients. These have to do with the subjective world of man as well.
Interestingly, it works throughout the life. The study had a wide base of the patients with Alzeimer’s Disease and was conducted over decades. It also covered the physical examination of the brains after the death of patients to correlate with the aspirations, they had.The parameters undertaken in this study included one’s perception about life, expectations from it and the last but not the least, their aims in life.
The subjective ‘will’ plays a crucial role in keeping the functions of brain from being affected from tangles, plaques and also the dementia, even in the older people. I was overwhelmed to know it for the reasons quite obvious to you now.
I later learnt that philosophers had long been associating the subjective spirits with the intellectual and physical performances, but it is only the stamps from the natural sciences that they gain authority. In this sense I was a bit disappointed my grandpa was not first to discover the truth, but he will still remain dearest to me as he was my grandpa.
The Psychological perspective of “aiming high”
Man is driven by motivation and desires in life. You would often see or have read of the scientists lost in their research and are cut off from the rest of world for years together. Isn’t it the burning desire of the athletes to stay on the top, which makes them practice sternly for hours at a stretch?
We human beings are no doubt born with different strengths and weaknesses and more importantly, with different interest areas. Each one of us has his likes and dislikes. Still normal human bodies don’t show considerable difference in the physical strength; so what is it that makes an Olympic runner run for hours and you cannot? This is where the aspirations come into play.
What interests you is not the concern but how bigger your aspirations are what matter most and determine what you achieve in life. If you talk to the successful people from different fields, you would find one thing in common, that is, their higher aspirations and striving for the best.
What I have written above is not intended to create a Michel Johnson or Marion Lois Jones out of you. I personally feel the difference in ranks will sustain. My article is intended to make you understand the importance of thinking big in life. You have to strive high in life for success and now also, better mental health as well. There is a general saying, hinting that mobility is life and the stagnancy is death. You have to keep your mind working and working for big. I can see the difference quite clearly, between an active or aspiring brain and the one, which has stopped aspiring. To me the two are like two water bodies—one the stagnant, dull and lifeless pond and the other vibrant, fresh and lively stream.