August 8, 2015
Life is like a book, some chapters are happy, some are sad and some are exciting, so said an unknown writer. But if you never turn the page, you will not know what is in store for you in the next chapter. So it is for each individual to decide if you want to "turn the page" or not and understand what are your priorities in life, what is your goal and how can you reach there. From the lessons I learned in the past 35 years of international professional career, I would like to share some of the insights, particularly for the benefit of younger generation:
1. Have a dream and work hard to reach your goal
"I have a Dream" is a famous speech by Dr Rev Martin Luther King,delivered by him on 28th August 1963 at Washington DC. His dream was to transform the lives of millions of African Americans and get equal status with the rest of the Americans. To realize his dream, he worked hard, networked with millions of people and finally sacrificed his life. Because of his dream, the road map he had prepared and the hard work of him and others, African Americans finally got social justice. Over time, the situation has continued to improve, to the extent that today, an African American is the President of the USA. Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and others are shining examples of dreaming big and turning dream into reality.
My message to young people is learn from the examples of great people like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and others. These leaders dreamt big, perhaps at that time it looked like an unachievable task, but they had a vision and worked hard to reach their goal. From a more practical point of view, I would recommend to every boy and girl to start discussing their dreams and goals seriously at the end of high school studies. Key points to consider are:
• What is your dream,
• Where do you want to reach in the next 5, 10 or 20 years,
• How canyou get there,
• Is your goal realistic or challenging enough,
• What support do you need from your parents and professionals?
Discuss the options with your parents with pros and cons based on your individual interest and potential and seek advice from career development consultant as required. As you go along the situation may change and you may have to change your goal and road map, but at least you know why you have changed your goal and can make informed decisions.
2. Be a lifelong student
When you are a student work hard to get a diploma or degree but thereafter, do not stop learning. When you stop learning you stop thinking. Education is a means to an end, not an end in itself. Having a formal degree or diploma is just a stepping stone and it may help you to get the first job. However your degrees or diplomas will not take you very far unless you learn new skills including people management, communication skills etc. This will help you to interact with your colleagues and in the society effectively or deal through difficult situations. When you start working obtain feedback on the areas for improvement from a more experienced friend or mentor in whom you have confidence. Continue your formal education and informal education by attending special classes or reading.
Secondly you will not be successful always in your path to reach the goal. Success is easy to celebrate but failures are difficult to digest. The most important thing is, when you fail, learn something from your mistake so that you can correct and do not repeat the same mistake the next time.
3. Work hard and do your best
A dream doesn't become a reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work - said Colin Powell. Focused hard work is the real key to success. Keep your eyes on the goal, and just keep taking the next step towards completing it. There is no substitute for hard work, not even your education and being extraordinarily intelligent. From my experience I can tell you that it always boils down to three things:
• First of all, do your job, and do it well.
• Second, don’t wait for someone else to give you opportunities, instead widen your circle of influence and ensure that you impact your organization in a variety of ways.
• And, finally, be open to new and different things.
When I opened myself to other work facets, I was always able to gain more insight about the line of business and about myself. In order to get the best results from your hard work, you may have to take calculated risks. Risks and opportunities go hand in hand and taking the right decision at the right time is the key to the success.
4. Be grateful to God and help others
If you want to reach your goal or realize your dream, you need to have God’s blessings. Some people may call it luck but I would like to call it as God’s blessings. Most of the time we need quick results to reach the goal or realize our dream. However God has his own plans and time for us and we need to wait upon Him.
During our lifelong journey many people help us to get to our destination or reach the goal. Make sure you recognize them and never forget their contribution to your success. At the same time help people around you e.g. co-worker who may be struggling to do his job and needs your help or a classmate who may be lagging behind and needs your help or someone may be looking for a job and you may be in a position to help him. Be kind to the people around you and be mature enough to know when to say 'Yes' or 'No' to other's requests.
Finally I think life is full of opportunities and challenges and we need to make every effort to realize the opportunities presented in front of us and face the challenges bravely. If we do not go through the process of learning or do not experience happy, sad and exciting circumstances, our life will be like a closed book.