Passion is something you desire to have or do. We all have our own passions but many of us rarely chase them. But also there are many of them among us who have made their passion their profession. It is a difficult road but a road which will lead you towards many rewards and worthy experiences in life. Mahela Jayawardena is a prime example who worked hard to make his dreams come true. He is a hero and an icon for me as well as all the cricket fans out there. It has been a dream to meet him in person for a long time, which is why I decided to attend “Sky is the Limit” organized by the Rotaract Club of University of Colombo, Faculty of Management and Finance.

He came up to the podium after he was introduced and he started his speech by taking us on a journey through his remarkable cricket career. He mentioned many incidents which happened in his life which taught him many lessons. He faced a lot of hardships in life, especially when he lost his brother at the age of 18, he explained to us how it changed him and made him realize that there are more things to life than cricket. While his initial dream was to represent the National Cricket team remained, he built another dream which is to build a cancer hospital. He was able to build a cancer hospital in Maharagama with the support of the government and many others and he pioneered in building another one in Thilippalei as well.

He explained a lot of important life lessons to us using many of his experiences as a cricketer. When he was explaining his attitude in the field and towards cricket, he said “Control what you can control” which really caught my mind. It may seem like just five words but it has a lot of meaning behind it. He said that if you can focus on things which you can work on rather than things which are out of your control and beyond your reach, you can narrow down your focus areas which will help you to work on things within your reach more, and be successful with less frustration. In this way, we can utilize our time effectively without wasting it unnecessarily on things which are not worth your time. He said that this helped him to improve on his game a lot especially when playing in foreign conditions as it always presents batsmen an added challenge.

He spoke about a few values he believes everyone should nourish in their lives which will stand as pillars holding our lives on it. Honesty, respect, hard work and ethics are the values he said that all of us should focus on. He explained all these values using different examples in his cricketing life. It is when he also said “You cannot demand respect; you need to earn it” which was another important thing that caught my mind. He said that it doesn’t matter who it is, but if you give the proper respect to them, then you will be respected as well.

Then it was the Question and Answer session. The audience asked some difficult questions from him but he answered all of them with patience and a smile just like how he used to bat all those long test innings. Then there was a small-time for everyone to take a picture with him. Everyone in the audience was lined up with a lot of excitement to take a picture with their cricket hero. I was finally able to reach the top of the queue to take a picture with him which was one of the primary objectives for all of us who attended the session. It was a great session where I’m certain that everyone had a lot of lessons to learn which can help us make our dreams come true as well.

I’d like to thank the Rotaract Club of University of Colombo, Faculty of Management and Finance for organizing this insightful session with such an inspirational personality and giving cricket fans like us an opportunity to meet him in person.

Rtr. Thisura Ramanayake


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