Finding symmetries in an unsymmetrical world ..

Archive for July 2012

[In hindsight, everything falls in place, everything.. ]

No matter how good I perform, I am never satisfied with my performance in the “Blue Book”. One reason for this, is that my handwriting has always been so bad, that if asked to read it myself- it would take me an hour to decipher my own letters. (Thankfully I now type all my assignments.)

So taking you back in time to 2006, and one of this, “Blue Book Blues Chapter” . As always I was not happy with how I had performed.  And I found myself sitting before the head of my department, Prof. Nitin V Pujari and in tears for a mark- to which he asked- “It is just one mark, does it really matter enough to weep?”

Sulking and clearing my chocked throat, I replied, “Yes Sir, because I have worked for this extra mark.”  He not only did give me that extra mark, but also told me something that I will never forget, and it all comes as Déjà vu to me, even to this day.

“Tomorrow you will graduate and today you are more than willing to work (in Industry). But day after tomorrow you will want to come back and go back to study again. That is life, but you will not understand it today.”

 

Like everyone else, while at college I always considered myself to be a hard working student. But life that it really is, I seldom ever looked at opportunities to grow beyond as a person, to collaborate with network of researchers, or passionate fellow students who were then building software to remotely manage their Personal computer’s , or rewiring the bus(es) in their computer with their new found knowledge of Integrated circuits. As for my version of 2006,  I never understood how to apply my new found knowledge, one that consumed 4 years of my life, and which I got by securing an All India rank of 188, something I am proud of, to this day.

     So we know there is a Gap, with something amiss, “something” we expect “somebody” to give us “somewhere”. Our parents and often we ourselves come to think of this “something” as “Education”, “somebody” as “Teachers”, and “somewhere” to be the “College”.    The question that then comes is three-fold – One,  How to apply and Two, how to make most of your Education and Three, How did I change, and How can you evolve, too ? (Hopefully for better) I will try to answer all these questions sequentially, borrowing ideas from my forthcoming book.

   The reason we don’t apply is because we either do not know, or that we focus too much energy on escaping the rat race, rather than building our skill sets and grooming ourselves. Anyone who understands the basic Demand-Supply , can intuitively understand that if there is a high supply of a skill, a neck to neck competition will follow towards supplying the limited demand.

   Unless you really know what you want to do with your life –  when you leave the college, you will really be Generalists, certified to be moulded into organizations.  And , as the organizations start to demand plug and play workers – this will mean that you will be judged in your respective jobs on what you bring to the table and this will eventually impact how to shape your career and how soon you grow both personally and in your careers.

How to make most of your education – really is much personalized blue print, that I wish all students to develop while still at college. In essence this links to the “Application of ideas“ I mentioned above,  and would require expanding the “eco-system of your skill sets” in the direction of where you really want to grow.  This means to plan your dots backward, you will have to CREATE those dots in the first place.

  And lastly, How do you start – well, knows no one answer, in fact there is no one single answer. It is about stretching yourself and then stretching a little more – for willpower is like muscle that has to be exercised every single time you are faced with something you think you can remotely achieve.  The organizations and their needs are changing, and with that a you have to evolve too, and fast enough – and most importantly, continue to invest in yourself not for a job, but for a life-long process of learning and growing as a person. 

When you really look at life, it is just a series of actions that we consciously choose to do that shape our perceptions, and thought processes – and in these formative years it is this thought process that decide how soon will you get there.  Your mind, can achieve truly miraculous feats, if you let it. It is learning the difference between information,  which is just rapidly aging facts –and to that truly learn we must make sense of this information and use it to build knowledge .

When I was a Bachelors student, I had never imagined I would change lanes completely from Computer Science to Quantitative Economics, my current Masters, which I shortly finish. In between this time, I have travelled 6 countries across  2 continents, failed another exam, and rebuilt myself all over again in a completely new culture and language , I knew nothing about.  I have found in myself the courage to shut up that voice that tells me why I can’t do what I set to do, and to re-evolve and compete with my international peers in a Ph.D. program, when I did not even have a Bachelors Education  in Economics.

I have matured as person, learnt how our inactions count as much as our actions and most importantly –  I have learnt how to listen and express gratitude for all that I have. And for who I am today, I have to thank my teachers, for telling me all this even when I was I was not receptive, for otherwise, I would have missed this boat ;  I now call life, altogether. 

ekta


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