“Every man is proud of what he does well; and no man is proud of what he does not do well. With the former, his heart is in his work; and he will do twice as much of it with less fatigue. The latter performs a little imperfectly, looks at it in disgust, turns from it, and imagines himself exceedingly tired. The little he has done, comes to nothing, for want of finishing.”
In the above quote read the term ‘MAN’ representing the entire humanity.
Nothing is tough or easy, it all depends on our ability/talent, attitude, socio-economic conditions and perspective which makes a particular task, either impossible, or difficult, or extremely easy.
For e.g, it is easier for a fish to swim because it has gills to breathe in water and a streamlined body; it is easier for a bird to fly because it has wings and pneumatic bones, whereas, for humans, both flying and swimming are a tough task, even though we consider ourselves superior to the above-mentioned beings.
So, the first and foremost requirement for getting admitted into various courses in institution and establishments of high repute that conduct high-quality research and teaching is
1. ABILITY or TALENT
The ability can refer to the capability of performing or achieving certain actions or outcomes through a set of controllable and measurable faculties, features, functions, processes, or services, or to aptitude and definite levels of competence in performing such kinds of work.
“Knowing what you can not do is more important than knowing what you can do. In fact, that’s good taste.”— Lucille Ball
“Natural ability without education has oftener raised man to glory and virtue, than education without natural ability.”
——-Cicero, Oratio Pro Licinio Archia, VII.
“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still, I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”
————–Edward Everett Hale
“Every man who can be a first-rate something – as every man can be who is a man at all – has no right to be a fifth-rate something; for a fifth-rate something is not better than a first-rate nothing.”
———–J. G. Holland
“There is something that is much more scarce, something finer far, something rarer than ability. It is the ability to recognise ability.”
“One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.” ———— Elbert Hubbard
“Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see. With people with only modest ability, modesty is mere honesty; but with those who possess great talent, it is hypocrisy.”
——— Arthur Schopenhauer
“Anyone with a normal brain has the capacity to do almost anything, but when one has special gifts or talents (and everyone has) and takes advantage of and develops these talents – that person is likely to excel.”
———- Ben Carson
I will try and explain with the help of a story.
We all know the Biblical story of David and Goliath. Goliath was a giant of a man. He struck fear in everyone’s heart. One day, a 17-year-old shepherd boy came to visit his brothers and asked, “Why don’t you stand up and fight the giant?”
The brothers were terrified of Goliath and they replied,
“Don’t you see he is too big to hit?”
But David said,
“No, he is not too big to hit, he is too big to miss.“
The rest is history.
We all know what happened. David killed the giant with a slingshot.
Same giant, different perceptions.
Our attitude determines how we look at a problem and a setback.
To a positive thinker, attitude can be a stepping stone to success.
To a negative thinker, it can be a stumbling block.
Napolean Hill, the author of ‘Think and Grow Rich’, as well as many others, have said,
“every problem comes with an equal or greater opportunity.“
Someone once approached Blaise Pascal, the famous French philosopher, and said,
“If I had your brains, I would be a better person.”
Pascal replied, “Be a better person and you will have my brains.“
We are told knowledge is power.
Not really, knowledge is information. It is potential power and it becomes power only when it is acted upon.
Knowledge is potential power, wisdom (ability to apply knowledge, experience, understanding or common sense and insight) is the real power.
Education takes many forms; it is not just grades and a degree. It is:
- Cultivating discipline.
- Learning self-discipline.
- Eagerness to learn.
If you have the desired talent or abilities needed to get a particular degree or a skill, you will definitely get selected for that program, in that particular college or a university; hence, try and recognise your talent, and work in that direction. It will simplify your efforts and help you in the long term.
2. Get yourself Educated
What does it mean to be educated?
Whom, then, do I call educated?
those who manage well in circumstances which they encounter day by day; and those who can judge situations appropriately as they arise and rarely miss the suitable course of action.
those who are honourable in all men, bearing easily what is unpleasant or offensive in others, and being as reasonable with their associates, as is humanly possible.
those who hold their pleasures always under control and are not duly overcome by their misfortunes, bearing up under them bravely and in a manner worthy of our common nature.
Most important of all,
those who are not spoiled by their successes, who do not desert their true selves, but hold their ground steadfastly, as wise and sober-minded men, rejoicing no more in good things that have come to them through chance than in those which went through; their nature and intelligence are theirs since birth.
those who have a character which is in accord, not with one of these things, but with all of them, these are educated—- possessed of all virtues.
——Socrates (470-399 B.C.E)
In a nutshell, educated persons are those, who choose wisely and courageously under any circumstances. If they choose wisdom over foolishness, good over bad, virtue over vulgarity, regardless of the academic degrees they have, then they are said to be educated.
If you want to get admitted into an institution of high repute, these qualities are a must.
3. Finally, time management and revision are a must,
I will again try and explain, with the help of a story.
A wealthy farmer was once offered all the land he could walk on in a day, provided he returned by sundown to the point at which he started. To get a head start, early the next morning, the farmer started covering ground quickly because he wanted to get as much land as he could. Even though he was tired, he kept going all afternoon because he didn’t want to lose this once in a lifetime opportunity to gain more wealth.
Later in the afternoon, he remembered that the condition he had to fulfil to get the land was to get back to the starting point by sundown. His greed had gotten him far from the starting point. He started his return journey, keeping an eye on how close he was to sundown. The closer it got to sundown, the faster he ran. He was exhausted and out of breath, and he pushed himself beyond the point of endurance. He collapsed upon reaching the starting point and died. He did make it before sundown. He was buried and all the land he needed was a small plot.
Time management is the act or process of planning and exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency or productivity.
Activities are ranked by these general criteria:
A – Tasks that are perceived as being urgent and important,
B – Tasks that are important but not urgent,
C – Tasks that are neither urgent nor important. (This list could also include tasks that are urgent but not important)
80% of tasks can be completed in 20% of the disposable time. The remaining 20% of tasks will take up 80% of the time. This principle is used to sort tasks into two parts. According to this form, it is recommended that tasks that fall into the first category be assigned a higher priority.
There is always a simpler and easier way to complete the task. If one uses a complex way, it will be time consuming. So, one should always try to find out the alternate ways to complete each task.
Dwight D. Eisenhower [34th President of the United States from 1953 until 1961] said,
“I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.“
Tasks are then handled thus: those in…
1. Important/Urgent quadrants are done immediately and personally(e.g., crises, deadlines, problems)
2. Important/Not Urgent quadrants get an end date and are done personally(e.g.,. relationships, planning, recreation)
3. Unimportant/Urgent quadrants are delegated (e.g., interruptions, meetings, activities)
4. Unimportant/Not Urgent quadrants are dropped (e.g., time wasters, pleasant activities, trivia)
Image: Time management matrix as described in Merrill and Covey 1994 book “First Things First,” showing “quadrant two” items that are important but not urgent and so require greater attention for effective time management.
- Prioritize – Your time and define your life by goals.
- Organize – Things you have to accomplish regularly to be successful (family and finances).
- Streamline – Things you may not like to do, but must do (work and chores).
- Economize – Things you should do or may even like to do, but they’re not pressingly urgent (pastimes and socializing).
- Contribute – By paying attention to the few remaining things that make a difference (social obligations).
Hence, the following steps should be followed to crack any entrance examination of institutions or establishments of high repute:
- Play to win and not to lose.
- Learn from other peoples’ mistakes.
- Associate with people of high moral character.
- Give more than you get.
- Don’t look for something for nothing.
- Try to think long term.
- Evaluate your strengths and build on them.
- Try to keep the larger picture in mind when making a decision.
- Try not to compromise on your honesty, integrity, sincerity, credibility and humility.
- Try to keep an open mind rather than an empty mind. See the things, the way they are, not the way we are.
- Try to remember, ability without dependability, responsibility and flexibility is a liability.
- The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavour.
- Activity is not the same as an accomplishment — Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
- Choose a mentor. That need not be a coaching institution or a tuition teacher. Eklavya had a mentor in the form of an idol of Guru Dronacharya. Nowadays, Internet network (World Wide Web) can do that job for us.
There are many ways to destroy your enemies.
The first one is “Forgiveness”.
Change is necessary, only the one who can adapt to changing times/fortunes, survives.
One needs to change the way they think, to bring about the necessary change.
Be patient. If you wait patiently, you can even gather water in a sieve, but you have to wait for it to become ice.
Money can help you buy short term smile but never a long term happiness.
More than the enmity of an enemy, enmity of a friend is perilous.
If you tend to rise before the sun, you can develop the capability to even win over the sun.
Does ‘you’ refer to your beauty, your colour, your soul, your life, your name ?
No, none of them, but you refers to your ‘actions’.
A ‘master’ asks you to follow orders, a ‘leader’ knows the way, goes the way and shows the way; it is up to you, to decide, whether you want to become a ‘master’ or a ‘leader’.
If you try to run away from sorrows, they will keep chasing you. Face them bravely, the chasing sorrow will take to its heels.
Try to control or channelise your anger. One who rises in anger, falls down with failure.
My friends, everything is, but for a short while.
Certain sections have been adapted from ‘You Can Win’ by Shiv Khera, Wikipedia and Wikiquote.
Edits and suggestions are always welcome.
“Hard Work” is optional, when one likes something that one does, one does not get the feeling of having done any kind of work.
Do not confuse “Hard Work” with “getting tired”. Both are completely different.
One should strive to convert hard work into smart work.
Your feedback is always welcome.