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Author Archives: rahul bagchi
Posting after almost 2 years, a lot of lessons learnt and experiences gathered in this time. Eventhough I look forward to posting more regularly, I refrain from expressing my thoughts unless I feel radically about them. This indeed reduces the frequency, but I believe the subjects at hand have a deeper meaning.
We often use the term, “Life is a race.” It is indeed true, and it is this thought that keeps the fire burning within ourselves.
Those of us who are ambitious have planned our moves months in advance and have calculated the best possible approach at every given situation. To ensure maximum results, we have also kept multiple options open to ensure the effort against success ratio never falls to a level that ends up being demotivating.
This sounds perfect for the times things go as per plan. Being someone who thinks ahead and keeps varied options, it seems as though we can handle situations slightly better than others as well. This gives us a sense confidence, the thought of possibly mastering the art of gaining results. But then there are days in the doldrums.
Image Courtesy: – Volvo Ocean Race
Every once in a while, sometimes for months on end, everything seems either stagnant or is going wrong. No matter how hard you try, re-visit old strategies and try new ways, things just do not happen the way they are suppose to. In most cases, things are not moving. Even if they do after a lot of effort, they mostly end in failure. It is at these moments that we loose hope, get irritated, feel weak and start blaming ourselves for becoming inefficient. What is also funny is that these situations often end up occurring together in both the private as well as the professional sphere.
These moments no matter how frustrating, if used properly can be the training periods for every individual to level up. When situations are not fixing itself with the mechanisms that were working before, it is a sign that there is a need for upgrade. This upgrade can be physical, mental, strategic as well as spiritual. Whenever the tides hold still, take a break from going ahead and concentrate on self actualization and betterment. Have those critical sessions, speak to the experienced and analyze the flaws in the processes at stake.
Image courtesy Wikipedia
It is often a matter of time, the right people, projects, jobs, businesses or partners are taking a while to come. Unless they do, focus of self polishing and keep positive towards the possibilities of succeeding again. At every new opportunity, one must leverage their new learned skills/strategies and see if the right results occur. With every failure or redundancy, take notes and prepare for the next opportunity.
Holding on to old failures is something one must get over. Previous relationships, partnerships, assignments and possibilities that had a good run but were cut short need to be left alone. Eventhough they may feel like a waste, the experience gathered and the knowledge obtained is priceless, knowing fully well what gets a particular thing going and for how long and when the change is needed.
If you are old enough to relate to the problems in question, it is safe to say you have overcome a lot of such times to reach wherever you currently are. The fact that you have achieved this little level of support, assurance and sanity is proof that you have the abilities to tackle hard situations and continuously modify your existing self.
Whether in your career, family or love life, we must all take a pit stop. It does delay us in finishing the race, but it is a necessary practice to brush up our abilities, refuels our minds with newer insights and to change existing mindsets and move on with the times. With the right gear, the rest of the race is always a smoother, more efficient ride.
Another delayed post, almost as though I have started expressing my thoughts through some other medium, or have lesser thoughts to express. But neither is true, as one grows more mature, he takes to keeping his thoughts to himself or sharing it with an intimate group of people, and this often leads to lesser debate on the effectiveness of what is being thought as well as lesser learning from the experiences of others with similar mindsets.
We are often left alone at certain junctions in our lives where everything seems to be insecure. A time when your career is yet to take off (most effective statement for the entrepreneurial lot), your personal life is in a mess (an understatement) and every time you zero in on a person you thought you could trust, you realize you couldn’t be more wrong. It is at these moments you feel that life cannot not get worse, and on the immediate next day something bad happens in the place where you least expect it to.
Now frankly, stopping everything and running away is a great option. Just forget whatever you started, remove all those people who you thought add meaning to your life and leave the city, if possible the country. You are good enough to find a job anywhere else, there is no need to take such stress and give birth to an ulcer or overshoot your blood pressure. But then, that is not how it actually ends.
You end up fearing your past, feeling uncomfortable while looking back to who you were and who you wanted to become. There will definitely come a time when you will look back and think to yourselves, “I ran when I could have stayed and made it better. I could’ve done so much if I had the patience to do so and the faith in myself.”
To quote the legendary Steve Jobs, a man who I feel really struggled to get himself to where he did, ” Sometimes life is gonna hit you on the head with a brick, don’t loose faith.” At a time when it all seems to be coming down on you, the only right thing to do is fight it back head on. Fighting it back does not always mean being ruthless in your approach, the best fights are won with a smile and a calculative mind, making note of when to strike enemy to ensure maximum effect. For you, the enemy may not be a single person, it may be a situation or multiple created by individuals around you. It pays to stay quite and let the tide cool, and then take steps forward to fix whatever went wrong, or start them afresh, always with a smile. Be it the struggles of being a budding entrepreneur, the perils brought in by the one you truly love or the inability to trust people with anything important because like before, they may let you down when you needed their support the most (both professionally and personally). This is your battlefield, do not let the enemy take advantage.
Patience is always the key, no matter how old you become, problems will always be there. Multiple problems such as the ones you are facing can only get more intense from here on, trust in yourself that you can pull it off and wait patiently for your opportunity.
It is OK to break down in disappointment, we are all humans at the end of the day. It is OK to sometimes not, “Be Strong” but admitting defeat and running away is something one must avoid from considering. Your enemy I repeat is the negative situation created around you. Fighting it back with a smile and effective thinking, sometimes apologizing first and over performing later is the way the leaders of today can best win their battles for success.
Ask yourself, these following questions every time you feel like letting go:
For your career–
“Why did I start this in the first place?”
“What was I expecting to achieve”
“Do I still want it? How Badly?”
“If I trust this person and am let down like before, what is my plan B”
For your relationships–
“Is he/she still the same person I had originally met”
“Am I gaining the same mental peace and happiness that I once expected from the person”
“Is the effort to stay in touch only one sided?”
With the passing of each day, we become better and more experienced at handling our own problems. The most successful people in the world have learned on what to keep pushing for, and what to let go. Whom to give a second chance to and whom to banish from their life forever. And these decisions happen after a lot of trial and error, the key at the end of it all, is to not loose faith, the rest will fall into place.
So it’s been a while since I last wrote on something personal, especially one with my views on life. But somehow I stumbled upon this thought and felt it’s the most logical thing I could have come across at this juncture of my life. Sitting in my room in front of my system on this day, I am currently in the most decisive phase of my life. A place where I need to do a dozen things with very little time in hand with a bunch of probable solutions that will determine the official starting of my professional life, something that will determine the first few pages of the longest chapter of my life.
I’m appearing for my final graduation exams next month which pretty much marks the end of the 3 year “paid vacation” everyone takes before joining the monotonous office life for the next 40 or so years. As an individual who made precise, calculative moves for the past 3 years, diligently balancing my academics and self-imposed professional excursions, I am supposed to have already made plans on what to do for the next 3 years of my life. It’s wrong to say I haven’t already done so, but then again not a day goes by when I don’t question my decisions and criticize the steps I’ve taken or even the ones I’ve thought of taking. This mostly because some of my initial decisions which were my “Plan A” did not quite work out as planned, and I’m left to decide on my secondary and tertiary options. With everyone around me so confused on why I’m so frustrated even when I have a backup plan, I continuously worry on whether I shall be able to live up to the expectations of my parents, mentors and well-wishers. It is at this point I realize that maybe it isn’t others expectations that we are disturbed by, it is our own.
Contrary to popular believes, people find it much more difficult to live up to their own expectations than to live up to others. They pre-conceive or expect to achieve a range of things over a period of time and then when they fail, or more often when these plans are delayed, all hell breaks loose and impatience takes over the mind. We are so hell bent on achieving something that when plan A fails, even if you do have a plan B or C that is yet to be tried out, you ultimately feel like a failure and loose interest in trying for the second or third option, let alone trying for the first option again after some time. Even though we are advised to be consistent and never let go, we are regularly reminded that “Time & tide waits for no man” and the feeling of the time running out is too intense for most us, young and old. What follows is major level depression which may lead to suicide. Now at this point traditionally I’d get a psychiatrist to write on how to curb these problems, but I thought of sharing my own mantra, something that’s helping me survive the self-imposed mental pressure: –
1. Give Plan B & C a chance- There is a reason why you initially chalked out a plan B & plan C; it was if plan A doesn’t work. So now that it hasn’t worked, you can’t help it, consider the other options, they must be perfect for your current scenario, else you wouldn’t have considered it in the first place.
2. Never look back and say, “I shouldn’t have taken this decision”- When something doesn’t work out, never think back at any decision you took and blame it for where you stand today. If you had taken a decision, you took it because you felt it was right back then. Right and wrong is relative to time and place; any philosopher will tell you this. If nothing, that apparent “wrong decision” has made you a wiser man today, I’m sure that counts for something.
3. Don’t try to escape the situation by blocking your mind with entertainment, start working towards Plan B- Contrary to most believes, giving yourself a “time-out” may not be the best decision when you lose out on something, especially if time is short. You must start working towards your next plan as soon as possible with as much energy as you can spare. Even if the initial momentum is slow, with the right kind of self-motivation, you will take off again.
4. Always do what motivates you- I enjoy discussing my thoughts and ideologies with my peers and elders and that is exactly what I’m doing right, now writing this blog. I am venting out my thoughts on a matter I feel I have managed to somewhat understand and being able to do so gives me confidence to once again take on life as it comes.
It is true that your plan A was your plan A for a reason, but then maybe it wasn’t the best situation for you and your next venture is. In case you can manage to be extra focused about life, and believe in the mantra, Plan A or nothing”, you can always try scoring the home run a second or third time.
Either way, everything happens for a reason, it’s impossible seeing it from front. You need to give life time and look back to see what were the positivity’s of missing the first flight out.
Before ending my post, I would like to quote Steve Jobs, a man whose life and “never say die” attitude inspires millions across the world. “Sometimes life is going to hit you on the head with a brick, don’t lose faith”. I’ve attached his “Stanford commencement speech” to this post, a speech that never fails to make me look at the other possibilities in life and never lose hope.
We have often spoken about how we tend to forget those soldiers who everyday lay down their lives for the nation, who everyday is forced to leave his/her family unprotected and uninsured in this cruel world for the sake of our nation. But how much do we know about those men who have been injured in battlefield in such a manner that they can neither die or live in this earth.
Let us start with the story of a young commando who was a part of the 21 para SF commandos who had finished his training in Bangalore with highest honors. After a few operations, he finally became a battle casualty while serving in Bhutan in OP parakram in 2002. After treatment it came to his realization that his days as a commando was over as he was rendered paraplegic for life. (From the commando’s blog)
This is the scenario of many soldiers who have served in the Indian army but are in a state which is safe to call “undead”.But as much as these points are true, all hope is not lost for these dare devils. Paraplegic Rehabilitation Center Pune, an institution, that can by far be considered the support system for all paraplegic martyrs of war.
The Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre, Pune (Kirkee), is run by the Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre Committee appointed by the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Command,Pune with General Officer Commanding Pune Sub Area as a Ex-Officio Chairman and a Board of Directors. It was started after the Bangladesh war in 1971 and today has 109 beds and is the largest center for paraplegic soldiers in South Asia.
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In this age of extreme competition, academic brilliance and extra curricular activities are not enough to guarantee a resume presentable enough to be called “perfect for the job”. to make up for this problem, interning in companies to get practical exposure and a taste of office life and pressure has become the most common option for us young professionals.
In most cases it is seen that the initial 3 weeks of any internship is the most frustrating period where it seems like the entire company is hell bent over to break you, not to mention a worst case scenario where you are the only person interning and no one is available to share your stress and frustration. The first three weeks are always the worst. It is said that this is the time period between which your employers test if you are up to the mark or not. Whether this is true or not is really not the question, the fact is to stand in life, you must tolerate and live through this test with a smile on your face.
Now is that possible?
It most definitely is. What must always be kept in mind is there should be a smile instead of a frown and the ego should go for a holiday. The thoughts of getting overworked and exhausted must be accepted as a small price to pay for a stamp of success that will help to kick start your career and sail towards your goal smoothly in the future. Your target must be to finish all given work as perfectly as possible and to initiate a good rapport with your surrounding colleagues.
To achieve these things, you must keep in mind some very simple points.
1.Always be courteous and greet your colleagues-sometimes a simple “good morning” or the “thank yous” actually do wonders in building up a good relationship with the seniors, everyone after all, likes to be greeted.
2. Always keep in mind to take notes of whatever is to be done- when your superior is dictating your tasks it is a good idea to take notes no matter how easy it is to remember it. That way it gives an impression that you are seriously paying attention and the chances of forgetting to do something( which will happen with the amount of work you will be given) is not an option no matter how small the thing may be.
3. Never show your temper- in those moments of extreme pressure where the bosses really don’t ask what your working on before giving you more, do not loose your cool. This is one of the main tasks you must learn to master. At these times be polite and tell your superiors that you will do their work once you have finished with what has been given to you. In case they point out their job is of top priority tell them that the person who gave you the previous work also mention the theirs to be top priority.
Start being friendly with the youngest employees- do not expect to have a good rapport directly with the branch head or director of the company. Communicating with them will be towards the end. Start mixing with the youngest employees first, start a conversation with them. Then slowly expand your friendliness. The occasional joke on subjects related to the work also help, but it must be kept in mind to not hurt anyone’s sentiments or go below the belt.
Always remember to have a personal rapport with your boss- this is a point that most definitely must be kept in mind when interning in a group. Your boss will have tons of work to do and will not really remember you by face, it is your job to make him/her know you by face, name and character before your internship ends. Try to go the extra mile, always ask to lend that helping hand when you get the time. After finishing every task, ask how it could have been done better, in case of documentation making like presentations and excel sheets, try and observe any particular style your boss enjoys using, try following it.
Above all these points is the important one, you must always have the tenacity and hunger to not only finish the job, but to learn how to go about it. So that the mistakes you make here, are never repeated again. That is what makes you different.
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The train pulled up at New Jalpaiguri station on a chilled autumn morning, the sun, yet to rise but the surrounding hue promised its arrival soon. The relatively vacant train station and the shops slowly opening for its daily business, overall a significant figure that was symbolizing my own character that was getting ready, slowly and steadily to experience my trip to the land known as that “Goodly region”, Sikkim.
My stay was to be a 6 day tour to that consisted of 3 days in Pelling situated in West Sikkim and 2 days in Ravangla (pronounced Rabong locally) situated in South Sikkim…
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We all have dreams in our lives. We dream that one day, we shall become the masters of our own universe. By far, dreaming big is good, dreaming big gives you courage, dreaming big gives you confidence, but it is also necessary to have stepping stones planned that will finally take you to your dream.
Every constructive advice I have received has always had a common statement that’s sounds like, “the sky is the limit, just go for it!” It sounds truly reassuring, and all those who have told me this, trust me it was a great ego boost. Funny enough, the sky is never ending and vast with too many things in it, how is it signifying a persons particular target.
It is necessary to dream big, but its also necessary to have targets to fulfill so that you know that you are closing in on your final destination. It is necessary to have small targets, fulfill them and then move on to the next. On a personal note (though I am too inexperienced to say much) I have realized that if you keep a target of perfection from the very first stroke, it is not possible, things don’t work that way. Achieving your goal is like making your child a successful young lad. Your target becomes your child’s birth, the hazards involved are the parenting problems and finally, if your good enough, that dream will shine. Its a slow process, its a frustrating process at times, but its the only way. And like parenthood where you expect your child to make it big but you keep small expectations to give yourselves and child fulfillment of someday making it big, your dreams are no less.
I am not telling the people to stop saying things like, “the sky is the limit” but on a more practical forum, even though the sky is a good sign signifying your dream, “considering the dream is success and success is a very broad term” it is necessary to make small targets between the final destination and starting point. Look at it as steps of a staircase, so that in the end when you cannot continue for whatever reason, you look back and can say, “yes, I crossed quite a few steps.” In the end, it should really matter for every step you took, it was an investment of your own sweat and blood and it should all be of some worth.
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