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Essay, Paragraph or Speech on “Strike While the Iron is Hot” Complete Essay, Speech for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Strike While the Iron is Hot

Everyone in life wishes to succeed whatever project he or she undertakes. Success builds confidence, failure dejects a person. Success gets one appreciation but failure brands one as incompetent.

There are some people who generally succeed while there are others who often fail in their endeavours. It is, of course, difficult to account for the success and failure in terms of scientific analysis. There are several factors which go into making a venture a success. However, there is one single factor which greatly affects the outcome of an effort. That is taking stock of the situation, and acting when the time is appropriate. The proverb comes from the profession of the iron smith. He strikes the iron when it is red hot, because it is then that the iron is the softest and most pliable. By quickly striking it then, he is able to mould it into whatever shape he wants. But if on the contrary, he misses to strike it when it is hot and soft, later on any amount of hammering will not have any effect on the iron.

Interpreted and applied to daily human existence, it means seizing the opportunity when it presents itself. The wise always remain alert and make use of opportunity (which is a favourable combination of circumstances) and get what they want whereas people who are not watchful, let the opportunity slip by, and then find it extremely difficult to succeed in what they wish to do. It is believed that opportunities seldom repeat themselves. Therefore, an opportunity once missed is missed either forever or for a long time.

Shakespeare expressed the same idea in his play Julius Caesar when he wrote:

“There is a tide in the affairs of men,

 Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune:

Omitted, all the voyage of their lives;

Is bound in shallows and in miseries”

When the sea is in tide, the sailors who are alert, seize the chance to set their ships on sail. Those who are not ready to avail of the opportunity miss the tide. Then they are forced to postpone their journey fur an indefinite period; that is, till another tide comes. Similarly, there is a tide in the affairs of human beings, that is, a certain time is propitious for achieving certain objectives.

We can apply this proverb to any walk of life and evaluate its efficiency. Let us consider the field of sports. For example, in a hockey match, if the goal-keeper does not spring to life, when the ball is near the goal post, his team will be down by a goal. Or again, if one of the players who happens to be in a strategic position gets the ball and does not strike it, he will lose the opportunity for scoring a goal for his team. A player finding a particular side of the ground inadequately covered by the adversary team hits the ball in that direction and scores his ‘four’ in the game of cricket.

If the army, in the battlefield. does not attack the weak points of the enemy, they let the enemy become stronger A soldier has to be extremely vigilant on the battlefield. The moment he spots the enemy, he has to act fast and hit. Otherwise, the enemy will soon be on him and he will be overpowered.

Similarly in love, the lover has to be on the alert for the favourable mood of the beloved, if he wants to secure her as his bride. Women are generally double-minded about their suitors. Therefore, the lover should ask for her hand, when he finds her ardour to be intense. Once he misses on that, her passion might cool off and he might not succeed in getting married to her.

There are certain people who are more often than not slumbering when it comes to evaluating the circumstances and recognising the opportunity. Having missed the opportunity, they curse their stars or ill-luck for their failures. What these people fail to realise is that the fault does not lie with the stars but with themselves. They can easily join the group of successful people if only they are not indifferent to what is happening around them and if they keep their eyes and ears open. If Hitler had launched an all-out offensive against Britain soon after his spectacular victory at Dunkirk, history of the world would have taken a different course. He might then have defeated and demoralized Britain and won the war. But instead he chose to direct his attack against the Russians too, which proved fatal for him. So he lost the opportunity Of attacking Britain and then failed to overcome Britain altogether.

There is no doubt, there are times when individual alertness does not avail of much, end success depends on mere chance. But then such chances are few and far between. Generally, it is those who keep their eyes and ears open for the conducive opportunity, who achieves success. History is replete with instances of the sagacious that struck while the iron was hot and succeeded. When the East India Company realised that the Indian Princely States were constantly at war with themselves, they consolidated their army, and struck at the Rajas fighting among themselves. The result was victory for East India Company and British rule in India.

Aurangzeb struck at the right time, and acquired the throne. Nadir Shah, the Irani plunderer attacked India, when the weakest of the Moghtil kings, Mohammad Shah Rangila, was ruling India. In the field of politics, this maxim holds equally good. A politician’s success largely depends on his exploiting the sentiment prevailing in the public. The opposition candidates make full use of the lapses committed by the government. The ruling party candidates capitalise on some achievement of the government.


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