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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 --
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".
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 --
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?
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 --
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,
what happens to ordinary Pakistanis?
That was the reason. So I campaigned for the hospital,
that it would primarily be a free hospital --
and secondly, it would not distinguish between the rich and the poor,
because when I took my mother for treatment in England,
she was in this hospital where there was
a national health patient, and she was on the next bed, paying [for] it.
No difference, the nurse and doctors didn't treat them any differently.
So the other ambition was to have a hospital where there were no VIPs.
Anyway, when the hospital opened in 1994-'95,
we had this American administrator
and the first thing he said was that
"You would not be able to treat more than 5% of the patients [for] free,
if you do, the hospital will close down."
So here we were, the board,
we [were] not the technocrats, he was the technocrat,
him telling us that the hospital will close --
you won't be able to afford it, you will go bankrupt.
You know 15 years later, we overruled him
because that's what we stood for.
All the money I've [collected, for the majority to] be treated free.
15 years later, we were awarded by the WHO as a center of excellence
and the only private cancer hospital anywhere in the world
which gives over 75% free treatment.
And then I was in my constituency in Mianwali, I was campaigning,
I discovered a lot of young men who were unemployed
and who ended up either on very high rate of drug addiction
and secondly crime.
So I thought I'll build a little technical college
so that they can come in, give them few skills
and they could be employable.
I went to people, they gave me beautiful a piece of land,
by a lake, hills behind.
And then as I was thinking of building this little technical college
I got approached by Bradford University to become their chancellor.
So I thought okay, if I can get Bradford University to come here,
which was a technical based university,
I could have a technical based university here, in Namal.
Everyone told me that you can't build it in a rural area
because you can't get faculty.
It is now the first private sector university in the rural area and in a wild area.
It's only about 40-50 miles as the crow flies from Waziristan.
So imagine building a university
with Bradford University degrees in that part of the world.
And you won't believe it, not only has it taken off,
the first batch comes out,
but we've created another revolution --
in Mianwali, where there is no concept at all of coeducation,
we have, for the first time, girls from poor conservative families
studying at the university with the boys.
Of course now the dream has been upscaled
into making it into a knowledge city.
The people have given me a thousand acres of land
-- a thousand! All by the poor people around.
So we've got a thousand acres of land
now the ambition is to build a proper knowledge city there
and have other institutions from other medical colleges, textile colleges,
so that it's like Oxford University, and build on beautiful premises.
And not only did we have faculty come from outside Pakistan,
young Pakistani PhD's have come there
but from LUMS, the PhDs who have qualified,
they've come and started working there.
So in my opinion, if you create the conditions,
if they are the right conditions, you can do anything.
Now something which Raja Saab said and what he has done.
In my opinion, in Pakistan all you need to do is to create the right conditions.
You just need an enabling environment in Pakistan.
You basically need good governance here.
Just one thing, good governance.
There's so much vibrancy in the society, that it will take off.
I draw my experiences from two areas,
one was cricket --
in Pakistan, we produced the world cup winning team
despite having no system in the country,
despite the system, not because of the system.
There's no cricket system in Pakistan.
And for all of you sitting here, if nothing else I am a triple PhD in cricket --
and I can tell you, never nowhere in the world
have I seen such sporting talent as in this country.
And who else? I was just with Dave Richards in India during the world cup
and Dave Richards on television said
that the best talent anywhere in the world he had seen, was in Pakistan.
So we have all this talent --
I have never seen a player of the ability
of that boy Mohammad Amir who got disqualified.
I've never seen a talent like that.
I saw Wasim Acram, he [Mohammad] is even better than Wasim Acram,
and Wasim was one of the best.
So you have this talent: Jahangir Khan and Jansher Khan
Oxford University has more squash courts than the whole of Pakistan.
Both world champions for 10 years.
In my opinion, Pakistan is a country which is oozing with talent.
It does not have a system, does not have institutions,
does not have rule of law.
Has criminals running the country.
No country can prosper [like that] --
it's impossible, if you are in a factory and put criminals,
the factory will collapse.
How can a country go on?
And the only problem in our way is apathy.
The one thing, which in my opinion -- there is a verse in the Koran:
"Those who have faith, Allah removes their fears."
Fear is the biggest problem in this country.
We are scared, people are so scared to take on these vested interests.
We are sitting and watching this charade in front of us
and people are reluctant to do anything.
In Britain, 2 million people came out in the street against the war in Iraq.
2 million people -- it wasn't even an injustice being done to the people of Britain,
it was in Iraq,
and 2 million people came out to protest.
To sum it all, Pakistan in my opinion --
this country has everything.
We have two great institutions in this country
which are vibrant and functioning:
one is the supreme court,
although there are all sorts of efforts to stop it functioning,
and the other is a very vibrant media,
despite -- I know Fasid said something, they do get carried away --
but, despite everything, the current affair programmes
have created [an] awakening,
a sort of awareness which didn't exist here before.
All we need is an independent election commission
and the next election you will see, inshallah, a revolution in this country.
Thank you.
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【TEDx】TEDxKarachi 2011 - Imran Khan - Never Give up on Your Dreams

9451 Folder Collection
阿多賓 published on April 27, 2014
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