In the age of the internet, information is on the fingertips of everyone. Access to quality information is just few clicks away. Every student knows that s/he needs to study hard. Every employee knows that self motivation is the key to perform well. Every business person knows that motivated employees are assets to any operation. Every Entrepreneur knows, it is best to learn and move on after a huge fraud. How many use the Stanford Online education space on YOUTUBE? Family Vlogs have many fold higher subscriptions on YOUTUBE than a popular educational channel. However, common knowledge is uncommon after all and many a times the obvious is ignored for short term benefits.

Why is one unable to see the obvious? I will try to explore the topic below.

Concept of one life to enjoy:

Many have a preconceived notion that Life is for enjoyment only. No meaningful work can be done and that one cannot enjoy that work. Very few will question the meaning of life and if they are doing anything worthwhile. To me taking care of a family is worthwhile activity, if done in a legal manner.

Just think about the possibilities a human being can achieve. Many are not aware about the kind of businesses, movies or technologies that are being built. Do you think such extraordinary abilities were given just to lead an ordinary life. If one has a Mercedes, s/he will expect performance, which is beyond competition. It is the same with human life. However, many choose to undermine own Mercedes car called LIFE and live in the dark alleys of desperation, hate etc.

If you don’t have a direction yet , go ahead and explore. No one is stopping you for doing that.

Pre-set biases:

Everyone has a different upbringing. Many in this generation have seen socialism and Licence Raj in India. People used to spend entire lives working for a single organization in the name of job security. Many benefits definitely accrued, however, the zeal to implement innovative solutions vanished. As a result, arcane processes remained and have become a norm. This has probably stifled innovation in the country. We have seen our parents struggle for a decent income. All of these have ingrained deep biases, which few recognize and very few care to think about it in terms of solutions.

The key is to actively think about these biases and break them. Life need not be a struggle and one can enjoy every moment too.

Herd mentality:

I remember during my college days, when the student community was only aware of few career choices in B and C towns. They were either Civil Services, Engineering, Medical, Chartered Accountancy or a Management degree. I don’t remember anyone opting to play sports or teach out of choice. I was witness to a typical herd mentality and your’s truly is also guilty of it. However, I course corrected in between and chose to work in a sector, which interests me.

Part of the herd mentality blame has to be shouldered by society as well. Where following a passion is seen with fear. There are pockets in the country where passion is encouraged. But largely it is absent. Also due to inadequate infrastructure and deep ingrained mechanisms to promote talent. Our education system should also shoulder the blame and try to implement learnings from the best education systems of the world.

Explore career choices early on and fail quickly, if it does not interest you.

Not aware of interests and passions:

It surprises me, when I observe government institutions imparting quality higher education but failing miserably in basic primary education during my 2000s. It not only has a overbearing burden on society by extinguishing numerous talents early on, but also forces parents to spend outlandish sums on school fees in an English medium school. How, can the government live with such a stark contrast? While I do appreciate the efforts of few state governments like the Delhi government, with it’s focus on education and health.

The point I am trying to arrive here is that majority of the students are not clear about interests and passions till intermediate or graduation. Mainly due to them not being exposed to the plethora of vocations available. Most schools lack a career counselling center. I remember, mine was a well known Jesuit School, with sports and everything, but lacked career counselling. Maybe as a student is seen to be unfit to know about own interests and passions. The exploration phase starts very late in most of the cases. In very few cases, God is kind enough to steer the person early on towards one’s own passion as a career. Actors, singers, sportsmen, painters, first generation businessmen fall in this category.

I am sure they would have faced hurdles from near and dear ones. However, they kept pursuing their interests.

Waiting for that perfect moment:

No time is perfect as there would be a zillion things to take care. This is one of the major hiccups, which prevent people from taking action. During the pandemic many organizations forced attritions. It was no surprise to observe that leadership in these organizations lacked the vision to innovate at short notice. A plain vanilla product will sell for only so long.

Many innovate and found out alternative ways to keep the business going. For example many firms, including mine immediately implemented digital collection systems for clients. The initiative helped with the cash flows and saved a lot of physical efforts of our staff. Few others forged new relationships for additional income streams, apart from the main business.

Out of hand circumstances:

Life has a knack of suddenly putting you in a situation, which can’t be controlled. They may come in the form of disasters, pandemic, critical illness, lost investments, fraud etc. One should understand that these can be expected and not to unnecessarily ponder and waste precious energy giving fuel to the negativity. People hold grudges, without even thinking that the ill fate was brought upon by themselves only. Blame is a favorite pass time as it satiates the ego within.

It is so obvious that one should move on after set backs and continue giving the best. Still very few practice it due to the efforts involved. Learning new skills is another good way to mitigate the risks of uncontrolled circumstances.

What next?

Everything that you need is out there. One just needs to reach out and keep trying. No one can defeat anyone, till the other accepts it. I remember a wonderful Japanese proverb in this context. Wishing the best of efforts to everyone. Remember to enjoy the process.

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