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Five perseverance lessons we can learn from MS Dhoni

by Aripriya Basu August 16, 2020
perseverance lessons from MS Dhoni

The eventful journey of jersey no. 7 drew to a sweet end when MSD announced his retirement over an Instagram video.

But Captain Cool will continue to rule hearts even though he has now officially put down the bat.

His vigilance will still guide us from behind the stumps, and yes, his offbeat team tactics will still make us remember Mahi!

We still remember the 22-year-old barrel-chested young boy with long mane who debuted in the India vs Bangladesh match in Chittagong.

That was 2004.

Then 16 long years have passed and Dhoni finally announced his retirement at the age of 39 having made India win three ICC trophies.

Of course, India has been represented by some fine cricketers.

But Mahi will always have a nook of his own.


For his story is that of a local boy from Jharkhand who rose to the position of one of the most successful cricketers owning to his sheer perseverance.

Even though he has retired from international cricket his perseverance lessons will guide the eras to come.

Dhoni gave not one by five perseverance lessons which should be imbibed by all, irrespective of the field one pursues.

Not giving up

Talking about perseverance lessons and underdog stories, Dhoni’s life has been an example in both cases.

The most successful Indian captain was hell-bent to succeed from his young days. His perseverance lessons rolled out from the days he was in Jharkhand bent on pursuing cricket against all odds.

Of course, he was weighed down by educational, family, and financial pressure but he refused to cow down.

Nothing was strong enough to hold him down. He weighed against all odds to chase his dreams, and this is one of the top perseverance lessons we need to learn from MS Dhoni.

Life is not a bed of roses. Challenges will come, and you will have to cross a few hurdles to reach your destination.

But march on. Stop at nothing.

Make your decision and stand by it

During the 2011 world cup Dhoni took some risk and challenging decisions. Thus he gave a generation of youth some hardcore look into perseverance lessons.

Firstly he placed himself ahead of Yuvraj and played a groundbreaking inning. He also took the fifth position.

Though these decisions went in his favor, not all his decisions throughout his career did.

However, he always stood by them and did not hold anyone accountable for the failures caused, thereby establishing some firm perseverance lessons.

This is something people from diverse professions can learn for Captain Cool. Not everything will go the way you want it to.

However, it does not mean your decision was wrong.

Decisions are usually taken keeping the best-case scenario in front. But situations might change, thus impacting the decision.

You may not be in the position to retract your decision and will have to keep moving while knowing your endeavor might fail.

But that should no turn into a blame-game. As a decision-maker, you will have to stand by it no matter what the consequences are.

Getting out of the comfort zone

Dhoni played another fine perseverance game when he called quits on his comfortable government job.

With that decision not only did he come out of his comfort zone, but also decided to enter a career that was loaded with challenges. In his initial days, he based all his decisions on self-belief and confidence.

Teaching one of the major persistence lessons.

While MS Dhoni pursued his dream to become a cricketer, you should pursue your dream too no matter how hard it might be.

Yes, you may have a well paying corporate job, but if you wish to become a chef, then you have to take that call.

Step out of your comfort zone, challenge the challenges, and most importantly perceive your passion.

Calm as a Cucumber

In addition to all the perseverance lessons that MSD taught the youth, staying calm was one of the major ones!

To succeed in any field, be it sales, marketing, developing, or designing, staying calm when things go downhill is crucial.

Problems will occur, they do in every field. But it’s important to stay calm. Dhoni was one of the coolest captains.

He is not called Captain Cool for no reason!

His calm attitude and proactive behavior have been responsible for winning some tough matches. As the captain, he always looked at the bigger good. Of course, he had to make some tough decisions, and so will you.

You may have to favor the new designer over the experienced one if a project so demand. But to take such risky decisions, you have to stay cool.

Think about still water. Only when a water body is composed can you see your reflection in it. It’s not possible to see anything if ripples form on the water.

Stay calm, play it the Capt Cool way!

Humor is crucial

Though MSD taught some amazing perseverance lessons to all of his fans, he uplifted the quality of humor which is crucial but often underrated in leaders.

Humor is essential to make tough moments lights and is always a fallback approach if there seems to be a clash in the team.

Remember the 2015 match against Australia? Dhoni was asked does it hurt to have a Doberman’s tail, and his comeback was classic.

Even as a somber captain he made the situation light with his quick sense of humor. This is one of the major takeaways for the youth on the journey towards career growth.

There will be times when people will bully you, insult you for your failures. But don’t use rough words to handle the situation. Instead, rely on your action for that.

In the meantime, make it up with humor. A good laugh and that too self indicated humor is always a good way to go.

Be your brand

This is one of the most important perseverance lessons that Dhoni lived by. He was his own brand. While India has been proud of iconic cricketers like Tendulkar and Dada, Dhoni did not try to become any of them.

Even when he was building his career and slowing hiking his way towards success, he did not imitate the style and charisma of other players.

Instead, he became his own brand. He was the first Dhoni to be Dhoni, and that is something everyone on their way towards career growth must imbibe.

Of course, you can be influenced by others in your field. You may have role models too. But do not mold your personal brand to become an extension of theirs.

You are you, and what you can do no one else can. Thus you are unique and better than others in at least one way.
Find that way. Practice that and better it with time.

Though Dhoni has retired from cricket, he will still be scoring a lot of centuries in our hearts for the days to come for the sheer perseverance challenges he took up and addressed.

He is an inspiration, not only for cricket fans but also for the youth in general. An icon for anyone who is building their career challenging multiple hardships.

He could, and you can too. All it takes is perseverance and resilience.

Practice your perseverance sessions the Mahi way!