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Monday, April 4, 2011


Over the last 25 years I have had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with students. The interactions I have had with them have left a lasting impact on my life and work. There have been great success stories and some failures as well. Despite all efforts from my end I could not turn around some of them and that is always going to be my biggest regret in life. But in this process of success and failures I learnt that there are so many things in life that are not in your control and there is not much you can do about them. However, there are so many things that are in our control and we fail to take advantage of them at the right time.

Why am I writing this note? Because just a few days back one of my students told me that I am becoming very philosophical these days.  Well there is nothing new in the way I have always thought, it is just that I feel now that I need to start sharing my thought more openly.

We are today, faced with a major transition in our social structure and when you begin to speak the truth it some how takes the shape of philosophy. This is more so because I dont think truth has much value to most people. It sounds like preaching but the fact is that there will be no change in what constitutes" TRUTH". It is for each of us to determine the degree of truth we can live with or without. Once a student asked me.. If you could relive your life what would it be like. My answer is still the same that I would not like to change it a bit.. because if I did change would not be part of my life as a student and that I would not like to happen. I do find that sometimes many of my students have always felt that they are not responsible for any of their actions and that others are responsible for everything that goes wrong. This is what keeps them away from success stories that are written in books of history.

The more I think about what determines success, the more I begin to feel that dependence on destiny is the biggest barrier to growth and success. We are many a times too hung up on good luck and bad luck concepts. But we also know that even GOD helps only those who help themselves. It is possible and I cannot dispute this, as I cannot dispute the existence of GOD, that there may be a possibility that God did send us with some element of destiny but then left it to us to decide how we will shape our destiny in the future.

If we are true followers of God, then the only thing that we need to do is to devote our time in the service of God by doing what we are responsible for in our daily life. Taking care of family, work and society are some of those responsibilities. I dont expect everyone to agree with this view, but I have always benifited from this ideology. We should also learn to enjoy the success of other people around us and give up envy so as to make life better for all.

So moving from philosophy to reality, what determines success is the million dollar question from a students perspective. Well the fact is there is no set formula for it that can be packaged and sold in the market. But I have always felt that our ability to see the future and fine tune our perspective does help prepare us for success. The second important aspect is our ability to act on an opportunity that is before us and to take action that will result in growth. Many a times we are unable to make us of the opportunities because we are so stuck with our pre-conceived notions of growth and success and we become too short sighted. Let me give you an example, as a student you are so fixed on what you want, I want a job that gives me Rs. 10 lakhs, I want to be close to home, I dont need job that has travel..etc..etc. The problem is that this type of thinking does not lead to growth in life. The important thing is to enter the door when it is open.. always remeber you will never get anything before time and never something that you dont deserve. So sometimes it helps to reflect back on our owwn abilities and skill sets and begin to make changes where required so that you can catch up later in life.

The next important area to think is how many sacrifices you can make today for a better tomorrow. The choice is with us and we are the only one who are responsible for it. You can have a lot of fun today for a short time or you can have some amount of fun for a very long time. These are choices that we all have to make in life. We can run away from everything in life but cannot run away from ourself. So lead a balance life where everything you do has a purpose and is designed towards achieving that grand vision you have built for yourself. I am sure that we all will agree to this but it is very difficult for us to follow and probably that is what make the difference between people who can design their success and those that cannot.

Always remmeber, you are the one who has to write your success story, if you dont have passion for it then why should anyone else have an interest in it. So if you are looking to do well on your degree program..reflect back and see what have you done so far, if you are looking for a job..reflect back and see what attempts have you made for it on your own, if you are looking for a promotion.. reflect back and see if you have done enough to deserve it..

These are questions that will give you the answers to many of your frustrations and dislikes in life. Take charge of your life and change everything that you want to for a better life in the future.

Look out for my next posting in the next week. I will continuie to post one entry every week to help you take more responsibility for self and would be happy to answer your questions if any.

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