From crying over the consistent 6/25 in श्रुतलेख (Hindi dictation) every week in 7th standard to having to find work during a pandemic because I couldn’t travel for my masters, I surely have had my share of ‘things not going as per plan’. Though some setbacks might have been welcomed by dramatic tears or some stupid joke about my destiny, I have learned to treat every kick in the teeth as a bite at the cherry. Keeping my desperate attempt at smart idioms aside, all the hitches in my life have actually helped me build a strong mindset.
Opening up the box that I barely touch, here are some learnings I found nicely wrapped in some challenges and disappointments that helped me build a strong mindset:
Comparison can be a tool for their judgment but can never be the barometer for your worth.
As a kid who was not an eager beaver and found peace in being ‘just okay’, I have been a recipient of comparisons with kids who were taught their fluency in English defines their class and their report cards, their success!
The feeling of being less than others lingered on for way too long with me. Until eventually, I let go of the weight of ‘than others’ and made ‘being less’ and ‘being more’ just a part of being me.
You can’t bloom when you are expected to. You bloom when you are ready, and that’s totally fine!
As a part of this society that has apparently set a timeline for every life decision, I was expected to know what I wanted to do in life even when I barely understood it.
Luckily, taking Commerce in 11th standard turned out to be a healthy long-term relationship while I was expecting it to just be a fling. So much so, that I apparently scored the highest in my class and the same answer sheets that I used to dread till 10th standard became something I wanted more of. *Excuse me ma’am, can I have an extra sheet?*
Why did I ever feel less for not understanding cosec θ = 1/sin θ when the Law of Variable Proportions was really my thing?!
I believe it’s all about finding ‘your thing’, even if it takes long and then just sticking to it.
It’s okay to trust others blindly but if you do let all the consequences slip away from your hands
Wanting to explore more of the Economics and Business world, I took Bachelors of Commerce and later started preparing for CAT and GMAT.
Alongside, I started writing and I got pitched to join a startup where my understanding of business and newly-found love for writing, both had a part to play.
I left all my preparations for competitive exams and placement options behind and dedicatedly worked towards a vision like my only mission only to find that the people I was working with have lost all interest to even reply to my calls and texts. What happened? I still don’t know! Do I regret it? No! I just wish I knew the only consequence of building something on mere trust is not having control on any!
It’s okay to take risks but it just makes sense to calculate the possible outcomes so you don’t end up with the kind of surprises you do know how to deal with.
The dictionary defines success to you not for you- please take note if you want to build a strong mindset!
Like all concerned parents and friends, people around me kept asking me to pick up the next thing as soon as possible. But everything I tried picking up seemed to refuse me for no reason, even though I was all set to “move on” immediately. And maybe that was the problem!
Not having a job in hand or an offer letter for masters, made me feel like a loser as if those are the only barometers for success. – THEY ARE NOT!
Gradually, I shifted my focus towards learning and growing as an individual- be it doing online courses, watching documentaries, or just reading for hours.
You don’t constantly have to run after the defined paths; it’s okay to step back, reevaluate your interests and goals, spend time learning things that might never make their way to your CV but will stay with you forever.
Hard-work doesn’t always pay in instalments; it sometimes makes full-payment with best interest
Finding peace with my zest to learn and grow that didn’t necessarily take the usual worldly forms, brought back the confidence that belonged to me.
One day, I went to meet a senior to seek some advice and came back home with a job offer from the company he was working at. It wasn’t that well-paying but felt like the next right thing. That became my first job and gave me an opportunity to execute all the things I have been learning from the past few months.
Looking back I can just say, every turn leads to something better or at least gives you an opportunity to go back to where you belong
Learning should never stop and if it takes failures for that to happen, it’s worth it
After gaining some work experience and clarity about my “what’s next”, I was all set to do my masters this year till covid reminded me “things not going as per plan” is almost the essence of life. I don’t intend to romanticise a pandemic, but with a strong mindset that I owe the credit to all the bumps in my life, I found myself looking for work again and keeping my love for learning intact.
To end on a sweet note- I believe success like the soft candy, it might stick to the teeth a little but is always quick and easy to swallow while failures are like lollipops- it takes time for the flavour to set in but they always leave a mark behind.