To be an 'Icon' the mantra is 'Ican'

— Subrahmanian


The value of the mantra 'Ican':
The “gift of life can be a challenging one”. To overcome the difficulties I encounter, I rely on my inner strength. I will have a free breath and remain gentle and ensure that I’m doing the best I can to survive. The most exhausting thing in life, I've found, is being sincere.

"The glass is never half full; it’s only just not full of what I am hoping for". It's my own option that shows me what truly I am! Self-belief is what, I believe, most high-performing employees are made of. Let me inspire my colleagues with my works, was always my motto.

It was the spirit that "I can change things" and "I 'can' face real challenges in my career" -was the reason for my gaining accolades during the penultimate phase of my career with All India Radio and Television India (Doordarshan). It was all unknowingly, in fact! Something used to tell me from within "You never miss the chances to take real challenges; 'cause, 'if you succeed', well and good, and 'if you fail', you'll only prove it was a tough job indeed'!

And, yet let's not 'be aware of it' (our great achievements); it would cost all our efforts indeed.
The well known "The Little Engine That Could" is an illustrated children's book that was first published in the United States in 1930 by Platt & Munk. The story was used to teach children the value of optimism and hard work. Based on a 2007 online poll, the National Education Association named the book one of its "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children". I firmly believe, we must make it one of the text books for children.

In the tale, a long train needs to be pulled over a high mountain. Larger engines, treated anthropomorphically, (anthropomorphic is the act of giving the characteristics of humans to other things) are asked to pull the train; for various reasons they refuse. The request is then sent to a small engine, who agrees to try. The engine succeeds in pulling the train over the mountain, while repeating its motto: "I-think-I-can".

The story of the little engine has been told and retold many times. The underlying theme is the same — a stranded train is unable to find an engine willing to take it on over difficult terrain to its destination. Only the little blue engine is willing to try and, while repeating the mantra "I think I can, I think I can", overcomes an almost seemingly impossible task.

In the later versions of the story, another character appeared and remained a key part of the story – the clown ringleader of the toys who attempts to find help with several locomotives but is rebuffed. The number of engines in the story also eventually became standard across the telling: The happy locomotive on the toy train who breaks down and cannot go on, the pompous passenger engine who considers himself too grand for the task, the powerful freight engine who views himself as too important, and the elderly engine who lacks either the strength or determination to help the toys.

The little blue engine always appears last and, although perhaps reluctant (some editions have the engine clarify her role as a switcher not suited for road-work), always rises to the occasion and saves the day for the children over the mountain.

The inspiration, I derive, of such a feeling is from the ‘Literary Icon and Pulitzer Prize winner Harper Lee’, is great. The 'To Kill a Mockingbird' the author spent most of her life shunning the spotlight. Literary icon and uncompromising recluse, Harper Lee, died in her sleep recently, on Friday, 19 February 2016 in Monroeville, Alabama. She was 89. The Alabama-born author lived most of her life having written just a single book. But that single book, "To Kill a Mockingbird", was an immediate classic that earned her 'adoration' from across the world — something she spent most of her life trying to avoid.

Harper Lee famously shunned the public spotlight. Following the success of her publication, she fled to the cosmopolitan anonymity of Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Over the next five decades, she rarely granted interviews. And when she did, it was often under the condition that there are no questions about her novel. Shy but charming, she was known to reject journalist requests by sending handwritten notes. It’s hard to imagine how many of those notes she had to pen. After all, the book’s success was staggering. To date, it has been translated into more than 40 languages with over 30 million copies in circulation — many of which destined for the book bags of American public schoolers.

When success finally arrived, it arrived like a tornado. Shortly after publishing her book, she was awarded a Pulitzer Prize and found herself giving a tour of her hometown Monroeville to Gregory Peck, to help prepare him for his role as Atticus Finch in the Hollywood adaptation of her book. The film was also a success, garnering three Oscars, including a Best Actor award for Peck. After he accepted his award from Sophia Loren, he began his acceptance by thanking the author. The two would become lifelong friends.

Lee was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush on November 5, 2007.
But Harper Lee (born Nelle Harper Lee) was never quite comfortable with her fame. In fact, she compared it to being “hit over the head and knocked cold” and said she found the flood of public encouragement frightening. Her solitary life drew speculation over the years. Some wondered if Lee shunned fame after witnessing the public collapse of Truman Capote, a childhood friend who grew up next door to her in Monroeville, Alabama.

There are a variety of pathways into becoming an 'Icon'.
For many, the first step is an academic qualification. It can also be useful to begin or supplement our learning through work-based placements as a way to build experience, skills to 'bold' experiments and, possibly good contacts could be of immense use. For the qualified, to become and continue to be an Icon, is rather easy. What is required is simple professional standard recognising experience and expertise (it's left to you), and an essential part of Continuing Professional Development (it's to come from the organisation you work for). Opportunities must be there and/or you must always look for.

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