‘Open your mind-Look ahead-make a career’- 12 May 2019.

As the results of the Boards of tenth and twelfth standards pour in, some students will be ecstatic whose names will figure in the newspaper with photographs and some who will be sorely disappointed having missed the limelight by a slight margin and those who will be dejected with their poor performance. There would be celebrations and heartburns and depressions coming their way and for the parents and family as well. Whatever may be the results of the examination performance in the Boards, students are advised to look ahead and think of the future.

The exam results are always a great feedback of your efforts done during the year and your attitude towards yourself and your life. If you have taken your life seriously it will show in your results giving you happiness and if you have taken it casually and whiled away your time with multiple distractions, it is time to take stock of yourself and your attitudes. Instead of blaming your luck, your friends or any other external factors, it is better to take the responsibility of the blame on your shoulders. This is the first positive attitude to cultivate- take the responsibility of your results on you and take the blame. No one is responsible but you. If you are successful then too take the credit and be happy for yourself. Congratulate yourself and celebrate the moment.

After the initial reactions of the results and its acceptance in your heart, you are required to sit down and think seriously of your future. Looking ahead and thinking and planning your future is an exciting and creative process. It requires deep thought and considerations of many dimensions of what makes a good career for you and YOU alone. Try not to get influenced by other kids and try not to copy them. Sometimes there is what is called ‘herd behaviour’ as students begin to follow the trend or the ‘fashion’. You can certainly be creative and be different from all of them.

Children who have done averagely all their life and continue to do so, should never despair nor compare themselves with others who have done well for they too can make a brilliant future and shine. Don’t be surprised for this is no pep talk but a reality understood straight from my experience with life. Many CEO’s of the worlds’ best companies are not top rankers from the best institutes of the world but may be ordinary students from ordinary colleges and institutions. Many leaders are again not the most brilliant students but again simple ordinary people from humble homes. To be ordinary and average in formal education does not predict your future. It is a phase of life which is a must do phase for you cannot and should not remain uneducated. If you can you should gain formal education for whatever value it may hold. I have my list of demerits of formal education as it is today in our country.

Every child is unique and has worth and potential. Each parent and each child should understand and remember what the famous and revered saint Swami Vivekananda who formed the order of the Rama Krishna Mission, believed in. He said ‘perfection is within the person and each one has potential to be perfect and divine. Education should try to help manifest that unique potential within you. That is the purpose of education’. Now you will agree that we are far from achieving what Swamiji believed in. Our school education system does not help in manifesting the potential of each child in the school for its focus is only on the ‘high exam performers’ and not on each one. We appreciate the efforts and the talent of high exam performers for they put their claim on the gold medal but at the same time we appreciate the talent and potential of the ordinary child who is yet to manifest their selves and actualise their potential.

Remember each child makes a career and each child can make a good career in their own field of talent and choice. It requires an open mind and a positive one at that to explore the choices and opportunities. It requires thinking ‘out of the box’ and exploring options without biases. There is a system to it and a good one at that. We see parents and kids getting stuck in the ‘rut’ of ‘closed thinking’ and refusing to open their minds to innumerable choices that the modern world is offering.

The first thing to evaluate is your various abilities in different areas, such as, languages, mechanical aptitude, reasoning ability, artistic abilities and psychomotor abilities. This gets reflected in subjects of your curriculum in which you do well. Do you excel in English language, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology or the social sciences? Besides the good performance in various subjects which are the ones which excite you and make you happy while doing them is another factor for consideration. The ones that generate the most interest as well as bring in the good marks that you deserve are the areas that you should consider seriously on a long term basis as a possibility for your future career. Science seems to be the ‘ruling God’ for the moment for most aspiring lucrative careers but that is a misnomer for sure. All careers are good and dignified. That is the first principle to remember in career planning.

One can choose careers in the field of psychology, literature, geography, mass communication and journalism, graphics designing, music, dance, interior design, fashion design, product design, animation and film making, cosmetology, hotel management, food and nutrition, agriculture, defence services, governmental services, banking and the list is endless. It is the wonderful script of my city which limits itself to a few choices like engineering, medicine, law and chartered accountancy which makes me ridiculously sick! It’s a vicious trap set up by few vested interests into which the entire city parents seem to have been engulfed by! Jump out of the well, open your mind’s parachute and look at the world with a new vision. It is for you to choose and conquer.

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