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Chetan Bhagat wants you to be like cockroach


Popular Indian author and

motivational speaker

Chetan Bhagat is back with a new book this year– which is also his first

non-fiction book

. Titled ‘

11 Rules for Life

‘, in this book

Chetan Bhagat

shares his own 11 rules and learning from life which can help others too. Written in his trademark simple and straight-forward manner, this book can guide readers to rewire their brain and achieve success in today’s competitive world.

Here we share an excerpt from the book, wherein Chetan Bhagat writes about being like a cockroach in order to succeed in life. Wondering why? Read on to know more.
This excerpt is published from Chetan Bhagat’s ’11 Rules for Life’, with permission from HarperCollins India.

‘In nature, it is not the strongest or most intelligent
that survives, but it is the most adaptive that does.’
—Charles Darwin
Adapt with the changing times, situations and the opportunity on hand. Only those who adapt survive.
What feelings does a cockroach invoke in you? Disgust? Do you think they are yuck? Ugly, horrible, cringe-inducing insects? You aren’t alone. Nobody likes or respects cockroaches. However, I will make you look at this creature differently. It is a creature which is my role model. Maybe after reading this chapter, it will be yours too.

A cockroach as a role model? Aren’t role models supposed to be more like strong tigers and fearless lions? Or the majestic eagle or hawk? Why a cockroach? It is even used as a derogatory term.
I will tell you why I admire the cockroach. It is because of the one amazing quality they have. Cockroaches are amongst the most adaptive creatures on earth.
The ability to adapt is extremely important in life. Those who can adapt continue to grow. Those who can’t get stuck and decline. This isn’t just my theory or opinion. This is an observation from nature. Let’s look again at the quote at the start of this chapter from Charles Darwin:
‘In nature, it is not the strongest or most intelligent that survives, but it is the most adaptive that does.’
Charles Darwin wasn’t a motivational guru, business leader or life coach. He was an evolutionary biologist. He spent his life on remote islands, studying wildlife and nature.
He made an extraordinary observation. Nature doesn’t care how intelligent, or strong you are. If you don’t adapt, which means to change according to the needs of time, you will perish. Let’s take an example. Millions of years ago, there were large animals called dinosaurs. Some of these creatures were the biggest animals on earth, far larger than elephants. Nobody could mess with them. They ruled the world. Then, the ice started melting, tectonic plates shifted and other natural changes occurred. The dinosaurs couldn’t adjust to the new environment. Eventually, they became extinct. Today, you only see fake ones in movies with special effects.
Cockroaches also existed millions of years ago. They were there then; they are there now. Today, they don’t merely exist, they thrive. You will find them everywhere—in kitchens, bathrooms, cars, restaurants, offices, airports and just about everywhere else. That’s because cockroaches can adapt and live anywhere. When their environment changes, they don’t freak out and worry. They are chill about change. That’s what an adaptive attitude is all about—chill about change. With any change in their surroundings, I imagine they just shrug and say, ‘The world is changing, but it’s fine, we will change too.’ Or, ‘Okay, we used to live in the jungle, now we have to live in Gurgaon. It’s okay, we will adjust!’ Or, ‘We used to eat leaves and insects, now we have to eat cereal. It’s okay, we will adjust!’
This ‘It’s okay, we will adjust!’ said with a smile is the attitude that gets you far in life. Most people find it hard to adjust or change. Cockroaches don’t worry about it.

Chetan Bhagat on his ’11 Rules For Life’, evolution as a writer, and more

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