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7 principles of Virat Kohli that have been the biggest influence on my adult life

England v India - 3rd ODI: Royal London One-Day Series
England v India - 3rd ODI: Royal London One-Day Series
Anubhav Jain
Modified 30 Jul 2018, 11:34 IST

If you came here looking for something more than just an Evan Carmichael-style "Virat Kohli's Top 10 Rules for Success", then you're in for a treat. Or that is what I would like to think so.

This caricature presents a more in-depth account of select principles Kohli unflinchingly abides by and the tremendous influence they have had on my mental acuity and physical shape. Please bear in mind that this is by no means an exhaustive list; instead, it is an aggregation of his most impactful values from a personal standpoint.

As a 23-year old in 2012, Kohli had bludgeoned Lasith Malinga to all parts of the park, milking an astonishing 24 runs in an over. The sheer audacity to take on one of the then most lethal pacers in the world meant that even the harshest of critics, if any, couldn't help but admire.

While Kohli was no stranger to the cricketing fraternity at this point, this is when, at least in my opinion, he really announced himself on the big stage as a force to reckon with. Since then, I have closely followed his meteoric rise both on and off the field by being his diligent student.

Anyway, enough with the foreplay. Let's get to the meat of it.


Time and time again, Kohli has claimed:

If I work 120% everyday, I am answerable to no one.Β 

While short on words, this quote is long on wisdom. To maximize clarity, let me break this gem into two parts:

  • work 120% every day

Kohli takes it each day as it comes. While the overnight success story may grab all the headlines, sustainable advantages in life are not based on drama; they are rather the byproduct of carrying out a disciplined routine day in and day out. Winning each day's battle has a tremendously compounding effect, which ultimately culminates in winning the war.

Kohli's regards 2016 to be his breakthrough year and rightly so given the staggering numbers that he amassed. He attributes much of the year's success to keeping it simple. Drawing inspiration from the power of Kohli's example, starting 2017, I sought to conquer each day as it came. This meant following a mundane yet very rewarding daily routine. This entailed being a sponge when it came to learning at work, deliberate practice at the gym, making healthy decisions in the kitchen, amongst others, on a daily basis.

While each day did not materialize according to plan, I was, for the most part, gaining confidence over time. In my short life thus far, I would regard 2017 as being my breakthrough year. Through deliberate practice and daily repetitions, I inculcated certain keystone habits, which continue to pay dividends.

  • answerable to no one

As Captain of the Indian Cricket Team, you constantly come under the scanner. Expectations are sky-high and the number of "experts" even higher. Every action, both on and off the field, is dissected and scrutinized by 1.3 billion+ devotees of the religion of cricket. One misstep and you go from hero to zero in no time.

By conscientiously executing his blueprint and cancelling out all the external noise, Kohli began to accrue tremendous results. He felt more at peace mentally, which allowed him to express himself on the field unrestrictedly.

Over the last year and a half, I have developed the mettle to trust my judgement more. Prior to that, especially in college, I used to allow my mind to be clouded by the perceptions and judgements of others. This led to what Buddhism terms as the 'monkey mind'.

I know full well that the opinions of family members and friends are well-meaning. Having said that, those opinions are a reflection of their respective values, which may not necessarily align with my set of values.

I continue to feel grateful for the well-intentioned suggestions and acknowledge all of them; however, I do not necessarily feel compelled to act on them. I back up my own judgement and take ownership of not just the successes but also the setbacks.

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Published 30 Jul 2018, 11:34 IST
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