Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Let me start by saying that my first challenge was cricket.

  • I was nine years old when I decided to become a test cricketer.

  • I watched my older cousin Javed Burki scoring a century

  • at what should not be called Gaddafi Stadium now --

  • (Laughter)

  • and I remember I made up my mind that I would be a test cricketer.

  • Never after that, did I ever think that there was any possibility

  • that I would not become a test cricketer,

  • it was only a question of when.

  • So along the way, there were a lot of problems which

  • I hadn't foreseen at the time when I decided to become a test cricketer.

  • But the thing about achieving the impossible is --

  • It's a question of handling the bad times.

  • Because whenever you have a big goal or you take the untrodden path,

  • be prepared that you're going to have some bad times.

  • You will face setbacks, there will be failures

  • but the people who actually win in the end,

  • have this quality -- number one -- they never give up.

  • You only loose when you give up.

  • And secondly, they have the ability to cope with the bad times.

  • Now my first bad time came when I played my first test match,

  • I was dropped and when I came back the headline was "Imran Khan't".

  • (Laughter)

  • And I didn't play for the next three years, I was out of the team

  • and everyone thought that that was it.

  • But then I made my way back in the team

  • but the first shock I received, which I am telling you --

  • the bigger the goal, the more shocks you are going to have,

  • the more setbacks, the more failures you should expect.

  • So I played my first test at Lahore

  • and I am walking out to bat

  • and the right side, through the pavilion,

  • there's a whole -- from right and through the hall,

  • the whole Lahore was sitting there.

  • All along the way as I walked to the middle

  • and remember it's 70 yards to the middle,

  • all 70 yards it was cheering Lahore and "long live" the Lahore cheered, and so on.

  • And wonderful noise all the way I walked to the wicket.

  • But unfortunately in cricket you have something which no other sport has --

  • you can be out the first ball.

  • And that's what happened.

  • So now 70 yards back -- the same crowd --

  • (Applause)

  • There are ladies sitting here

  • so I will not tell you what they actually said to me.

  • But I am telling in Lahore Punjabi, what I went through the 70 yards back,

  • it might have been 70 miles I was walking.

  • Anyway, I came back and I was in a shock.

  • I said, "How can the same people who were just calling me lion,

  • how could have they turned around and be saying

  • all those things they've said to me?"

  • And [it took] quite a while to get over it.

  • But then over the years, I got used to it.

  • The other big time I can [tell about] was --

  • the sort of defeat that was very difficult,

  • it was the first time we toured India and we lost.

  • Now imagine that we've lost the series

  • and we are flying off to Pakistan the next day.

  • There is a team meeting going on.

  • What is the team meeting [about]?

  • How can we arrive in Lahore when everyone is asleep?

  • (Laughter)

  • So we came on a flight that arrived at 4 am in the morning.

  • The custom people kept us there for three hours,

  • until there was light

  • and everything was confiscated, I still remember it.

  • Everything we had -- this is India, in those days

  • the custom laws were much more strict.

  • So everything was taken away from us by the custom official

  • and for days we couldn't go out of our houses.

  • The players had to hide in their houses, really,

  • because the sort of anger the public felt.

  • And the other setback I can tell you [about was] when I contested my first election.

  • Our party was only five months old.

  • I kept telling -- I was roaming around, everyone was due,

  • there's doctor Alvi sitting there,

  • they were all founding members of Tehreef-e-Insaf.

  • So we had just formed this party, all well-meaning people

  • wanting to do good in Pakistan, but with no experience in politics.

  • So I went around campaigning everywhere

  • and I saw a lot of people turned up. But, during the campaign,

  • I realized clearly a five-month old party cannot contest elections.

  • So our idea was that we would just go all over Pakistan,

  • take the agenda of corruption to the people --

  • that corruption is the number one issue in Pakistan,

  • and then just before the election we withdraw.

  • So of course I was all prepared and quite enjoying my tour

  • thinking that we are not going to contest election

  • and loving all this sort of first time, going all over Pakistan.

  • As I came back, about ten days before the election,

  • we had a meeting, and we sat down

  • and I said, "Look, now it's perfect, the party is all over Pakistan,

  • we've got candidates all over the country, best time now

  • to say that we boycott because at the time

  • the match was fixed.

  • So we thought,

  • "We are not going to win anyway. Best time to leave!"

  • Of course, my team overruled me.

  • They said, "No! We are going to win the election!",

  • because they had no idea what elections were.

  • I warned them, I said, "Look, you know this could be a big disaster."

  • And they had no idea what elections were -- all new people.

  • So of course, the polling night,

  • Tehreek-e-Insaf has a clean sweep, the other way around --

  • not one seat. (Laughter)

  • Anyway, by this time, I am conditioned,

  • I am conditioned to seeing ups and downs.

  • So I had exactly developed the mechanism to cope with failure.

  • First thing you do is, don't read the newspapers. (Laughter)

  • What is the point of reading the newspapers

  • when you know whatever is going be written

  • is not going to be complimentary.

  • Secondly, do not go to any public functions

  • because when you go to a public function,

  • you will get plenty of advice, because advice is free

  • but the only problem is, the advice you get when you've lost,

  • it's like rubbing salt on your wounds.

  • So [the] best is to avoid people.

  • Number three, try and go away somewhere where there's no one,

  • like go to the Karakorum for a treking holiday,

  • best time to be with the family.

  • But the problem is, when you have a sound thrashing,

  • failure has its own dynamics.

  • What it does is, you will find that even your close friends

  • view you differently, even they change their view.

  • So if you expect all of this,

  • then you can deal with failure very well

  • because what failure does is something invaluable --

  • it gives you time for soul searching.

  • It enables you to analyze your mistakes.

  • It is the one time when you can learn.

  • Failure can be the best teacher --

  • provided you do not get demoralized by failure.

  • If you get demoralized, you've lost.

  • If you can assess and analyze your mistakes,

  • it is a stepping stone to moving higher.

  • All the people who I knew over my life who are successful

  • have one quality, they could handle failure

  • and they had the best analysis,

  • they were the best critics of themselves.

  • And if you have this ability --

  • and this is really what education should do,

  • it should give you the ability to analyze yourself very well --

  • that is the time [when] you work to eliminate your mistakes

  • and you get stronger.

  • So the secret of success is that,

  • each time you have a setback

  • -- and remember the higher the goal, the more the setbacks --

  • each time you analyze,

  • work hard to eliminate the mistake in anything you do,

  • and then you can move forward.

  • The biggest problem when you have a setback,

  • is that there is a big temptation to scale down your dreams,

  • to scale down your ambition,

  • to suddenly expect something less of you.

  • This is the biggest trap.

  • Most people fail when they compromise on their dreams

  • and the vision in times of weakness.

  • It is the time when a person is vulnerable

  • and in this state of vulnerability,

  • you will make a fatal mistake

  • by scaling down on your ambitions.

  • I'll give you examples.

  • When I started playing cricket, I was only 18,

  • I saw Dennis Lillee, this great Australian fast bowler in England,

  • and I wanted to be a fast bowler.

  • Whenever I went to the coaches,

  • the coaches would draw the senior players

  • when I was playing country cricket.

  • Everyone said, "You don't have the physique.

  • You don't have the bowling action to become a fast bowler.

  • You can't become a fast bowler."

  • And every time they told me that if you try to change your action,

  • you will lose all your natural gift.

  • I am probably the only bowler in history

  • who completely remodeled [his] action to suit [his] ambition.

  • Because your body adjusts to your ambition.

  • Your body will adjust. The body follows the mind.

  • Mind is what is the power in a human being.

  • The power of mind -- you can only discover

  • this power when you look inside

  • and put yourself against challenges,

  • the more you challenge yourself,

  • the more strength you will discover inside you.

  • And then, later on,

  • When I used to play for the Pakistan team, I always remember.

  • The captain -- all the captains -- before we went out to the field,

  • in the team meetings, we used to be told,

  • "First priority is not to lose."

  • And then winning was a bonus.

  • Now this is a big difference, remember,

  • the positive mindset is, "We will win,"

  • [the] negative mindset is, "We should not lose."

  • Any policies you make out of fear, are destined for disaster.

  • Whenever you make your own policies in life

  • they should never be determined out of fear of anything.

  • And the worst fear is the fear of losing,

  • because the fear of losing stops you from winning.

  • During a match, for instance, and in life also,

  • your opponents will always sometimes make a mistake.

  • The people who [are] champions, who have positive outlook,

  • in other words are looking to win,

  • they would grab that moment.

  • But players who go on the defensive, scared of losing,

  • they will miss out on these moments.

  • So the killer instinct is that, when your opponent

  • makes a mistake, you grab it.

  • You don't let him get back off the mat.

  • But you can only do that

  • if you are going in with the right frame of mind.

  • And it's exactly the [same] thing in life.

  • Whatever your dreams are,

  • never think that you would not achieve it.

  • I have never ever thought that whatever I put my mind to,

  • never hesitated in my mind that I won't achieve it.

  • And in politics, I have been 15 years.

  • So you would have thought that I would have been

  • now feeling -- that a lot of people --

  • (Urdu)

  • A lot of people tell me,

  • "You've been [in politics for] 15 years and you haven't succeeded."

  • But it depends what you are aiming for.

  • What is it that you want?

  • What are the goals you've set yourself?

  • Is it just to become a prime minister?

  • Is it just to become a member of the Parliament, a minister?

  • What is your ambition?

  • The greater the ambition, the [harder] work you've got to do.

  • There are no shortcuts in life.

  • If you want to achieve something big,

  • there's no such thing as a quick way of achieving anything great.

  • You have to go through the process,

  • because it is the process what makes you,

  • it's the process what strengthens you,

  • and each time you fall and pick yourself up,

  • you come back much stronger.

  • But the secret is, you never ever give up.

  • You only lose when you give up.

  • And the ability to handle the bad times --

  • know you should develop a mechanism,

  • [for] vulnerable times, [not] suddenly giving up on your mission.

  • So we wanted to build a cancer hospital,

  • I wanted to build [it] because [of] seeing my mother in pain --

  • but [also after] realizing what happens to a poor man when he gets cancer,

  • because I realize the cost of cancer treatment,

  • and I realized that if people like us can barely afford cancer treatment outside Pakistan,