“Nice guys finish… last.”
How many of you have heard this quote?
My name is Abhinav, and I am a nice guy.
I believe that I am a nice guy because I am mostly nice to everyone. I don’t cheat in exams. I don’t honk much on the road. I pay my taxes on time. I stand during the National Anthem in the cinema hall, even when my mouth is full of popcorn. I fill in my appraisals, honestly. I don’t drink or smoke. I am also nice to animals by not eating them. But if you are a non-vegetarian, it is okay, you can be nice too. I am nice and modest. I am modest because I am saying that I am nice and I am not saying that I am great and all. Just nice. This is Toastmasters, not Boast-Masters (h/t to Jenny Locklin), after all.
In fact, I used to be very proud of being a nice guy until my college. Some time then, I used to have a crush on a classmate. I thought that I am so nice, she would never say no to me if I propose to her. When I just hinted my feelings to her, her reply changed my outlook about being nice for some time. She said, “Abhinav…”, I said “Yes…”. She said, “Abhinav, I know you are a nice guy..”. I blushed, smiled and thought, “Yes I know”. Then she said, “But… I already have a boyfriend.”
Being nice has its perks. But it also makes you a bit vulnerable. You make friends easily. But you also get friend-zoned. People consider you are reliable. But sometimes, they also take you for granted.
It is generally believed that being nice won’t take you further. You won’t be able to climb the ladders of success. You have to be clever and cunning to be successful. If you stay nice and average, you will stay nice and average. Never the best. You will lose your voice in the world where only the best of the best is praised. You will not be remembered for long.
But, let me tell you that if you are nice and average, you can achieve more than you think you can.
Despite all the odds faced by nice people, one thing is that their efforts will genuinely be remembered by other nice people. And I believe there are many nice people. Let me share a small anecdote.
I know a bit of photoshop and graphic designing and back in 2012, I made some Minimal Movie Posters which got some popularity on the Internet. Then, after a few days, I got a call. The voice at the other end said, “Hi Abhinav, I noticed your work. It is nice. Actually, I am a film-maker and I am making an Independent movie. I don’t have much cash, but could you help me by making some posters for my movie? I can pay you a bit, but not much.”. Being nice, I said, “Sure, I can try.” I made some posters for him and he paid me some amount. That movie did an alright business and life went on.
In 2016, he was making another feature film and this time, he was shooting in Bangalore. He asked all his friends in Bangalore if they wanted to be part of that movie. I pinged him and asked whether I can be a part too? He said, of course, come down and meet me. So, I went there and became a part of 2 scenes in a proper feature film.
Thus, I am nice, average and I have also worked in a movie.
So, my message to you all is that if you are nice and average, somewhere someone would take notice of you. You will get your due. All you have to do is to be nice and consistent. Never ever get bogged down with average success. Just remember, your day will come too, if not now, little later.
Lastly, when it comes to my family and educational background. In short, I come from Jaipur from a joint family. I have a younger brother and 4 cousins. I work as a Principal QA Analyst. I am married now and this speech is approved by my wife. In Toastmasters, I aim to be a nice public speaker and bring smiles to the audience.
I will leave you with this quote: “Nice guys don’t finish last. Nice guys finish, where they want to finish.” (Did Rahul Dravid say this?)
Back to Mr. Toastmaster!