There is probably no person who was born with an instant recipe for success. Each and every one of us has been when we were asked to choose between our passion and what the society portrays as ‘appropriate’. I believe that in a student’s life, such a dilemma arrives when he/she is asked to take the right step towards the right career for him/her. Making such a colossal decision at such a tender age is quite a pain, but with the correct outlook, it may just be a piece of cake.
The very first thing to be kept in mind is that we all are born with different strengths and abilities. We may not all be good at academics, and that is completely okay. Each and every person possesses one such unique skill that the other person does not. I may be an amazing dancer but poor at Math. Or I may be an excellent student but not a good public speaker. Every person is exceptional at something or the other and it is essential to find that skill of yours. If we spend our energy trying to hone our skills, rather than trying to be good at something which is not our forte, we would definitely stand out among the crowd.
Otherwise, we would all just end up being as average and mediocre as the person next door. A very famous quote by Albert Einstein truly captures the essence of the point that I am trying to make: “If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its entire life thinking that it is stupid.”
The second thing to be kept in mind is that it is okay to make unconventional decisions. That is exactly what NOT following the crowd means. If I have a mesmerizing voice, why can’t I take up a career in singing? If I am a star athlete, why can’t I make my passion my career? A doctor, engineer, or a lawyer are NOT the only career options in the world. It is just societal or parental pressure that makes us drop our true passions and skills in order to do something we would just end up being mediocre at.
As a personal example, I myself followed my true calling when I gave up IIT coaching in order to focus on what I really wanted- studying abroad. Being a bright student, I took up IIT coaching at an early age, only to give it up three years later. The reactions of my friends, relatives, and teachers to this decision of mine were not very satisfying. They believed that my academic finesse was not being utilized well enough. But that day I knew that I had found the right path for myself. One way we can be sure that we are on the right track: when people start criticizing your ways.
Another thing to keep in mind is that it is NEVER too late to start following your dreams. As an example, I would like to cite the experiences of my father. My father gave up his well-paying job (in which he was very successful) at the age of 40 in order to pursue his passion of becoming an author and starting his own tree- plantation NGO. A lot of criticisms came his way when he decided to resign from his job, but he never gave up on his calling. 5 years later, he is much more successful than he was before. He works with India’s biggest publishing house and his books have featured as bestsellers.
In conclusion, it is absolutely essential that we learn to put our efforts in the right direction. For that, the very first step is finding your passion. It is okay to take unorthodox steps. The world does not care if Sachin Tendulkar cannot solve Math problems or if Bill Gates is poor at Physics. We must remember that no dream, no aspiration is too big or too small. Everything is achievable if we just put in the right amount of hard work.