Does it happen with you that you pursue something, but get stuck?
And then, you find no one bailing you out of your problems?
Does it frustrate you if people refuse to help you even when they can?
Have you ever got completely stuck with some problem?

Okay, with this backdrop, read on. I hope you will be able to connect the dots by the time you finish reading this answer.

A short story:

There was one professor of Marketing at IIM Trichy. He was unique in his way. He would come to class, introduce the topic, and never teach anything. Throughout his lecture, he would only ask questions. What, Why, and How?

He left us perplexed in his every single class. He would never give a direct answer to any of our queries. Instead, he would only leave us with a little direction but many more questions in response to the question that we asked him. And sometimes, he would blatantly respond, “I don’t know,” to our questions.

Even today, I have my doubts in my head. He never cleared that. I still have those questions doing rounds in my mind.

Interestingly, different students feel differently about him, but often, the feedbacks have been at the extreme ends.

Some students hate him with passion. They would say he does not know how to teach. Even after attending his classes, we don’t know anything about the subject.

Read: How Is IIM Trichy?

On the other hand, some respect him immensely. For them, he was someone who makes students think a lot, which is very important.

Why did I talk about this professor?

It is because I feel he had a reason for not answering our questions. He did it so that we explore things on our own and learn what actually works in real-life instead of just knowing the answers. Probably, he wanted us to learn to fight alone.

A few days back, when I was thinking about my professor, I had a moment of epiphany. I had some flashbacks, some realizations.

  1. When I was working with Accenture, I was working in a domain that was completely new to me. I did not know of it. I would often reach out to my mentor to help me. Initially, he would answer my questions, but later, he started dodging my questions. He would not give me a direct answer. I felt frustrated. I was seeking spoon-feeding, which he denied. At that time, I felt bad, but today I feel he did a great job of putting up with me. He had been very patient with me. Maybe, I can not spoon-feed anyone today. And yes, I agree, I failed at my job because I did not like it. I did not find my work fascinating enough for me to slog day in day out to learn those concepts. Eventually, I gave up for the greater good. I have no regret because, as Zig Ziglar puts it, that failure was an event, not a person (Nikhil).
  2. I did my whole CAT preparation on my own. No one spoon-fed me. I got guidance, but no one taught me how to solve every single question. For almost a year, I slogged hard every day for around 4–6 hours. I succeeded because I was passionate about learning those concepts. I had the curiosity and the purpose of doing that. So, I could sail through the difficult times in that pursuit.
  3. I have recently developed a website specifically for the CAT aspirants to answer their FAQs. I did not know much about professional website designing, but I had got bitten by that idea. For around two weeks, I had worked, day in day out to get that website in shape. In the beginning, I did get a little direction from a friend but no spoon-feeding as such. I learned everything from scratch, using Google and Youtube. I spent hours doing things wrong and then spent even more hours rectifying those mistakes. But those learnings are fresh in my mind now.

From the above three points, I want to say that whatever I have learned in my life, I have learned it through my efforts. No one has spoon-fed me. I have been through that pain of finding solutions. I could do so because my life experiences have made me realize that it is important to learn to fight alone. And because I learned things on my own, they remain with me for long.

Read: From Corporate To Campus – The CAT Journey Of A Working Professional

Now, let me connect the dots and put forward my piece of advice.

Learn to fight alone

In your life, no one can help you more than yourself. If you expect others to get your work done or if you expect others to spoon-feed you, you will only get disappointment. No one is free in this busy world to do your work from scratch. We often get offended by people who don’t help us the way we expect them to. The fact is that they are not wrong. We are wrong because we set high expectations. So, don’t expect others to help you.

Take ownership of your pursuit. Learn to fight alone. It may not be an easy task at hand. But if you want it badly, you will come through all the hardships, obstacles, fear, and even failure. You will find help in the way you could never have imagined. Just have your heart in the right direction and keep perspiring.

In the chaos that you may go through, you will learn things about the subject matter that you would not have learned otherwise. In this mental turmoil, you will learn some life lessons that you would not have learned otherwise. You will see yourself coming out as a better human who is independent yet compassionate. You will see yourself growing mentally and emotionally.

Read: IIM After 3 Attempts – The CAT Journey Of An Average Aspirant Ft. Debayan

And please, do not compare yourself with others. It saps our energy. It is better that you set an eye on your target and go after it undauntedly without thinking of what others would think. In the end, your achievement counts, and not the time you spend in achieving it.

Read: How Should I Prepare For The CAT Exam?

Related Articles:

  1. From Completing B.Tech In 6 Years To Making It To An IIM At 27, Rohit’s CAT Journey Of Courage And Intent

  2. How Do I Get Motivation For CAT Exam?
  3. I Am Stuck In The CAT Preparation. What Should I Do?
  4. From 2017 To 2019 – The CAT Success Story Of A Tier-3 College Engineering Graduate
  5. From Corporate To Campus – The CAT Journey Of A Working Professional

  6. IIM After 3 Attempts – The CAT Journey Of An Average Aspirant Ft. Debayan

  7. From Rejection To Selection – My Campus Placement Journey
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