“Why fit in when you were born to stand out.”
– Dr Seuss
Once the king of the jungle (Lion King) called all the animals for a meeting. All the animals assembled at the given time and place. The king then told them that he has designed a program to get them ready for the future and to make them geniuses.
He continued, and said that, there would be a selection process to get into the program. For a fair assessment and selection, there would be three levels of tests they would have to go through. First, they had to climb a tree. Second, they had to swim in a pond and lastly, they had to trek across a cliff. Whoever scores the best in all the three tests would go through for the fulltime genius course. All the animals were puzzled. Elephants, deer and a few other animals thought, how would they ever climb a tree? Birds thought, why should they climb when they could fly. Can you, dear reader, draw a parallel between this task and the modern-day education system, in most of the countries? Eventhough one excels in a particular subject, they still need to do well in a host of other subjects, which may not even interest them.
One should not assess oneself only based on the scores they have, from their exams. They could very well be talented in something else. So what is the solution, should they stop studying and focus on the talent, or should they work towards changing the education system? Before we answer this question, stop for a minute and check, do you know the talent you have in you?
Spend some time to understand what you are good at. Some of you could be good at sports, some others in arts and singing, some in social service etc. Know your talent first. According to a survey, 80% of people are not even aware of what their strengths and passion are. Once you identify your passion/strength, the next question is, how do you harness or sharpen those skills?
There is this myth that, you will have to quit all you are currently doing, if you want to pursue your passion and only then you will be successful. This is absolutely not true. What if your passion is associated with what you are doing currently? Or, what if it’s not the primary income source right now? Let’s be practical and assess if we can afford to quit everything we are doing right now. The answer may be, you can continue to do what you are doing and sharpen the skills required to pursue your passion and slowly transition into it. This will bring the genius out in you.
Another worse thing that people do is, comparing themselves with others. If you indulge in it, stop it immediately. You are unique, and your talents are different from others. For instance, you are talented in people management, but you are comparing yourself with a colleague who is technically very sound. You can end up competing with that person doing all that you can but, you will still lag far behind. You must realise that both your domains are different and both your strengths are incomparable and not interchangeable. Instead, you could focus your energy on helping your manager getting things done for the team and maintain the level of technical skills required to get those things done. This way, you enjoy what you do and you do not demotivate yourself by comparing yourself with the talent you do not possess. The point we are driving is everyone is unique, and it’s essential to bring your talent out.
Consider the kids of today. Is it possible for all the kids who appear for an exam to score 95% and above? It’s practically impossible. Does that mean, those who did not secure 95% or above are not talented? This is not true either. In this rat race for marks, both parents and students themselves are destroying their real talent. What if one of them is a great musician, an inventor or a fabulous sports personality? We are killing these talents at the roots, comparing them to others who are scoring high marks and creating unnecessary stress for all. Some parents feel their kids are not made for the rat race and want their kids to excel in other fields. This is a good decision, but again, they end up deciding what that field or skill is, which their kid should pursue, rather than understanding the kid’s strength and helping them honing it. Let us not do that. Let us first observe the kids to know their strength and interest. Then, let us help the kid in taking a decision based on their interest.
Nowadays people undergo a great deal of stress just to keep their social status “up” (so to say) and approved or looked up on, by the society they live in. Unnecessary stresses of owning a house, a particular make of car, going on one of those expensive tours etc etc. Sometimes people get so obligated that they spend more than their capacity and fall into traps. One important thing to remember is, you are unique, so do not compare yourself to others’ social status and try to lead a life like them. Make sure you enjoy your life the way you want to, with no strings attached and within what you have. Don’t forget, it’s ultimately you who will have to payback.
Go out there and be who you are, lead a good life of your own!!
“Do not compare yourself to anyone; you are unique and special.”