There are more than 7 billion people in the world—all dreaming differently and living a story of their own. Even though every individual is living a different life, they are working towards one common goal – building a prosperous and stable life. The terms ‘success’ and ‘stability’ are associated with a variety of different definitions. For some, it is to acquire massive wealth, buying a beautiful house, or traveling the world, while for others, it is building a beautiful family, establishing a profitable business, or having their dream cars. Regardless of the different mindsets, every individual has to work hard to achieve this goal, as success does not come easy. People have to face failures and even hit rock bottom to be able to succeed. Unfortunately, there are not many who have the perseverance of patience to complete their journey towards success.
When talking about overcoming failures of life to rise above and beyond adversities, there are a few names that come to mind. The lives of J.K. Rowling, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Abraham Lincoln are the most popular failure-to-success stories in the world. People draw inspiration from these stories and call these individuals mentors. While these are the most highlighted stories in the world, several others often fly under the radar. Out of these, T.M.R.P.K Tennakoon is one that has to be brought under the spotlight. Born and raised in the Sri Lankan city, Kurunegala, this man has covered a long way to reach where he stands today. From the paddy fields of a city where youngsters were more into alcoholism and drugs than they were into education, Tennakoon made his way into the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Despite originating from strong financial backgrounds and having a stable financial standing, not many people have the privilege of working in the world’s most distinguished organizations. Tennakoon, who grew up on his own that too without access to even the basic necessities of life, started from ground zero. Even after living a life in ‘survival’ mode, he did not deviate from his path to acquire stability in life. He invested his time and efforts into academics. His brother, Indrajith Tennakoon, motivated him and pushed him forward in life. He was there to pick him up whenever he would fall. This provided Tennakoon the peace of mind that helped him perform exceptionally in academics. All his way through high school, where he did A/L in English medium, to Dharmaraja College – Kandy, Tennakoon stayed consistent. He even received two presidential medals in school.
Tennakoon did not let the toxicity of society affect his personality. He kept working on his habits and brought considerable changes in his actions. The determined individual worked tirelessly to build a champion’s mindset. Tennakoon’s hard work finally bore fruit when he acquired a scholarship at Cambridge University in 2011. He was surrounded by youngsters who were sunk deep into the darkness. Alcoholism and drug addiction were the fate of these young minds. Despite growing up in such a toxic environment, he landed in one of the world’s most renowned educational institutes.
While Tennakoon acquired academic success, he did not let go of his passion – cricket. He started playing this sport when he was just a kid. As a child with love for cricket, he, along with his brother and friends, created a pitch in the paddy fields. They did not have access to the sports goods needed to play the sport, but their deep admiration for cricket did not let them quit. Tennakoon kept playing cricket even in school. He was not just a star performer academically but was an excellent cricketer. Taking his love for cricket and determination to succeed in life together, Tennakoon landed on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – to work at NASA.
Tennakoon opened his eyes in a small city in Sri Lanka and was hired as an IT Specialist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). While this was an achievement for him, he did not give up on his passion for cricket. He became a county-level cricketer. It is not easy to acquire success in life that too while pursuing one’s passion. T.M.R.P.K Tennakoon not only became a successful professional but also kept playing a sport he loved. His life is, indeed, a source of inspiration for the world!