One of the difficulties we have all faced in life is making choices - the right choice at the right time. It is often said that there are two situations where we cannot make choices – choosing the family to take birth and choosing the boss. Looking at the childhood stage, all our choices have been made by our parents; where to study, what to eat and so on. At the age of thirteen suddenly we feel we have grown as an adult and for the first time we start saying no to our parents asserting to take choices of our own.
Many a times when someone else makes our choices, we can blame them for the outcome. There are simpler choices in life which has lesser consequence such as choice of food, and difficult ones which has serious consequences and irreversible (in India) such as whom to marry! As we grow older and take higher responsibilities, we have difficult situations to deal with. One of the qualities of a leader is taking decisions (making choices) at the right time.
At some point in time in the corporate ladder we are paid for taking right decisions as that is the only thing we will be left with in those positions as all others below will execute our orders. The captain in the ship, highly paid, always looks cool and a non-doer! He does everything without doing. He directs the ship without driving. Also, he is the last person to leave the ship while it is sinking and often drowns himself along with the ship; that is the symbol of commitment and leadership.
As we grow, at some point in time we are allowed to take decisions such as whom to choose as our partners and what professional course to study. Whenever parents prevail strongly in these decisions, often we end up choosing some line which is not our passion. I may sound very strong if I say parents choose our professional education which they have missed in their life and often they wish to re-live their life through their children. Alternatively, parents succumb to the crowd behaviour in choosing the career for their off-springs; computer science is the pinnacle of education some time back till the software engineering glamor faded.
I did the same mistake of forcing my son into electronic engineering which I always wished to do (I did mechanical engineering). My son cleverly switched back to mechanical engineering which was his passion (may be my indirect influence!). Parents wish to make their children as their photo copy or re-live their life through their children to make up for whatever they missed. The data will support my view as we see all actors, singers and music directors' children often follow their parents career.
What is the main point I wish to make?
When we were children someone asks us what you want to become? We said “a pilot”, “a doctor” and so on. Often when we reach our school final, we invariably ended up in some professional course or college which is far away from our childhood dreams; may be very negligible cases people would have got what they wanted. In India we have more demand than supply in everything and the people getting what they want is very difficult. In large majority of situations, we have younger generations facing disappointments. Either they give up or understand the realities of life and move ahead with a positive frame of mind.
I happened to counsel a young boy recently who had a dream to join only premium engineering colleges of his choice but could not do so due to his inadequate score in 12th standard. He has resolved to re-write his 12th exam as many times as it is necessary till he gets into the college of his choice. I counselled him saying that there are life situations which are called “Moments of truth” and wise people make right choices without feeling defeated. We might have “lost a battle and not the war”. I narrated my own story (please bear with me for my autobiography). I am re-producing the words I spoke to him.
As a young boy, I dreamt to study in St. Joseph College and college of engineering, Guindy which was one of the premium colleges on those days. As usual it was shattered due to my poor score in my school final which was lower than 60%. I was angry upon myself and the society at large! Thank God I didn’t become a militant! The result was, I sitting in a bicycle shop which was run by one of my friends for one year as I took a break from my education as an angry young man.
It appeared to me at that time it was the end of the road! But it lead to re-inventing myself and beating all systems with an outstanding performance such as “second rank” in the university in Diploma engineering, first rank in my BE with 90% aggregate and “S Grade” (Supreme) in M.Tech at IIT and so on. Where is the boy who scored less than 60% in school final and S-grade in IIT later? No one knows who you are until you dig deep into your being. Problems faced by you act as the active ingredient in finding your true self. In the words of Shree.Ravi Shankar “Problem is the manure; it stinks but it helps you to grow”
- Making decision is an inevitable part of Life
- Only Decision makers become leaders
- Rely on yourself for making choices because you only know your passion well
- Accept the “moment of truth” when life presents what is real.
- Don’t become an “adapted child" - sitting in a dark room, sucking your
thumb and crying – Move on
- No one knows “The path less travelled” is the one which will take you to great heights
- Explore the “Master” within you; only who dare to try new path have brought all their
ability to manifested form.
- The secret of success lies in accepting what is in store and trying new avenues.
Finally, you create your own platform and play as no one else is ready to create it for you.
Jai Guru Dev