The Making of a Stronger You
It's funny that when a software is improvised the version needs to be changed. For example if it is SW then it become SW 1.2 or SW 2.0 and so on. And as time goes by it needs to be upgraded even though the change is so minor yet improvisation changes the version completely.
This got me thinking one day that there are instances in life that teach you so much and force you to improvise. These life lessons may come from something trivial that with time, it might have become a faded memory but has made you a better you. Unlike a software we humans are told about life before hand and we chose not to learn until we experience a thrashing for our selves.
I am human therefore I also fall under the same category of being told yet never got a grasp of the situation until I was knee deep in a soup or had a miracle get me out of it and yes then and only then did I learn my lesson.
Learn to Speak Up:
Now we all know that we should speak up for ourselves.
Uh-uh not me. In fact, when I was studying for pre-medical entrance exams, I decided not to try more than once.My family on the other hand decided otherwise. They encouraged me to take a drop and get into the medical field. At that time and era that was what everyone knew; medical career, engineering career or well the others didn't matter. Many of my friends also went the same route so it didn't seem so difficult, but the funny part is that I didn't pass and I was encouraged to take another year of drop for preparation.
Well in my mind I said I would give it a go once but by now I had given it twice and the third time it was like I wanted to scream that I don't want to do it. You see my family had nothing to lose but I lost two precious years of my time just because I had no guts to say to them, let it go...I am no prodigy and may be not smart enough to be a doctor but I am smart enough to do something else. So stop wasting my time people and let me go.
But no, instead I listened to them and gave up one more year and by the end of it I was done.
Needless to state I will always regret that decision of not speaking up. I don't blame anyone though since they all were looking out for me and doing what they knew best. But God has made us unique and somehow we all know what we are good at and what we want, that should never be taken for granted. I should have voice out my thought and should have taken a stand.
I over the years have learnt to speak my mind. If I am wrong i will get more insight when someone counters me and there is no shame in that. When they say time and tide waits for none- believe you me it is true and if in the moment you do nothing; you are the only one at loss.Trust me on that!
Learn to Keep Your Word:
Keeping your word or your promise is important, every child is taught that. But who remembers that as we grow up. Certainly not me...
And interestingly a situation came years later when we had to work on a college project. The task assigned by our college was a mandatory project with a company which we had to go seek and work on. I was mortified at the thought of going out on my own and requesting companies for projects. Thankfully two of my friends teamed up with me and we went to a renowned company and stood at the entrance. We weren't even allowed to enter the reception area.
Seeing the magnitude of business, my friends chickened out real soon but I was adamant to find a contact to get in I went in and asked the guard to help and give us some information about the executives. My friends laughed at me and said the guard will not give us reliable information. I somehow convinced them to come along and told them that we have nothing to lose but just have to try.
We some how got a name and we went to meet him and told him our assignment. He was one of the so many people we had already asked but was willing to give us a small project without any pay. My friends and I were elated with pride that we accomplished the assignment without influence. At the same time I was offered another project for a stipend and we were to work. So I had two projects and had to manage both somehow. In the meetings, I would tell my friends to cover for me while I worked on the second project. I might have missed two meetings with the executive and I was there for the rest. We all worked hard and tried to pitch in the best we could.
When the day of recommendation came, I was told I won't be getting one. I was shocked! I worked on this project from scratch and this executive decides to leave me out of it! My friends told me that he had asked me to call him and find out why. I did that as soon as possible. I told him that I had worked on it with all my heart and even though I missed a few meetings I was up to speed and at par with the rest and if it wasn't for me, my friends would have not even got that project and he wouldn't have his work done.
He listened patiently and then said, you know why I am not recommending you; it's because you need to learn to commit to one thing at a time and show that you are sincere. You might have worked hard behind the scenes but when results were to be shown, you were not the one showing them to me. So let this be a learning for you that you need to show up as you promised and that when you are given an assignment you have to be accountable for it.
All my pride and ego just slipped over the phone and I broke down. Not only was I humiliated but now I lost a recommendation and had to work harder for my assignment and what was even more hurtful was all my effort got credited to my friends who didn't even have one project to begin with.
Yeah call this one humiliating lesson for life but it happened and I am glad that it did because at times I would let myself lose and make mistakes but when I recall this incident I tend to focus more and become sincere.
Learn to Have Faith:
Okay, I never was the believing type; in fact people who know me will attest that I am sometimes too careful about things. After a lot of struggling to find a job, I realized I wasn't the smart type and was never going to be selected. I had completed a degree in MBA and was on the list for campus placement. Somehow I was convinced by some relatives that I am not good enough and the demanding line of career I had chosen was not worth it. My mother had put in a lot for me financially while I was studying and I was burdened by the fact that if I don't get a job, my relatives might actually be true. But my mom never lost faith in us. She told us to overcome all noise and just focus on studies.
It took time but eventually I did get a campus placement in a very good company, and even though I had to start out at a low salary I still was making more than my relatives who kept taunting me. Ten years later, I found out that their children dropped out and were not even working while me and my sister were at a decent position to support our family.
Trying to keep everything amicable we never said anything to them, but down the line I realized that if it wasn't for the faith of my mom in me I would have never made it. This is when I learnt to have faith in myself. As I mentioned family has nothing to lose and all noise will still be there, but our life is affected by our decisions. So have faith when you make them.
In the end, these are so small incidents that have happened and I have moved on so far that all these memories don't even matter now; but what I learnt from them has made me stronger and smarter version of myself. You might have such lessons too and they might be really small and insignificant . But I encourage you today to remember and listen to your life lessons, list them down and embrace them and you will notice how you have emerged to be a stronger, smarter and a much better version of yourself!
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