Class 2020 – 6 Life Lessons I Learned That Helped Me

by | Jun 18, 2020 | All, CEO-Corner | 0 comments

Graduation Time : Dreams, Opportunities, Challenges, and Success

In this very same month of June, long ago in the late ’90s I was on the tender hooks, edgy yet excited as it was my graduation time. Those times were different. Yahoo was an established player, Google,  Amazon,  and eBay were all unveiled at the same time. That was the so-called dotcom boom time. Today, looking back, the Classes’ of the late ’90s were lucky to have hit the market at the right time.

The times now are extremely tough and challenging. The pandemic has disrupted not just the business but the lives of all on earth. These are unprecedented times, unheard of in the annals of human history. And graduating and navigating through these turbulent times when world economies have gone for a toss and future looks uncertain, these times can mar careers more than making it.

Though nobody has a magic wand to turn the tide, having seen tough times in life, here is the knowledge I acquired and the life lessons I learned.

#1 Skillset Versus Mindset :

What we learn in classrooms are the skill sets, the skills are taught and acquired. But what is not taught and acquired is the mindset. A sports peak performance coach once said ” Skillset without Mindset = No Set “

” Skillset without Mindset = No Set “

Elaborating further he wrote, the skill set is visible and tangible, meaning, I can say “I built an enterprise application with my skills in 3 months” ( my skills – coding is visible and 3 months’ time is tangible (measurement), whereas the mindset is invisible and intangible, meaning nobody can see the mindset or can measure it (I cannot say my mindset weighs 10 kilos or it is 12 miles long).

” The BIGGEST ASSET in the World is – MINDSET “

You need to build a strong, constructive, positive mindset that complements and supplements your skillset to confront any challenge in life and come up with triumphs. Basically, what it means is develop a Mindset that matches your Skillset, and together they set up your career.

#2 Speak Less, Listen More :

Long back I read a wonderful story, and it goes something like this…

” A zoologist was walking down a busy city street with a friend. In the midst of the honking horns and screeching tires, he exclaimed to his friend, ” Listen to that cricket! “

The friend looked at the zoologist in astonishment and said, ” You hear a cricket in the middle of all this noise and confusion? “

Without a word, the zoologist reached into his pocket, took out a coin, and flipped it into the air. As it clinked on the sidewalk, a dozen heads turned in response.

The zoologist said quietly to his friend, ” We hear what we listen for. “

” Listening is an ART. And the ART of Communication is When and What to Listen “

Listening is an art and art of communication is when and what to listen to. A research survey has revealed ” Good listeners make good salesmen as they make more sales and better deals than good talkers. So, sharpen your listening skills

#3 Believe in What You Do, Think Unconventionally & Differently :

History of mankind is replete with innumerable stories of how innovations happened with unconventional thinkers, who dared to think differently. And believe in yourself

” The Most Powerful Weapon in the World is – Self Belief “.

Harvard Business School professor Francesca Gino, put out-of-box thinking as ” constructive nonconformity ” behavior. Which in simple words means, out-of-box thinking and approach that brings success. Don’t always take the beaten track, don’t get into the herd mentality, take the untrodden path, challenge the status quo. It pays.

#4 Embrace Change :

We love to stay in our comfort zone. We fear to explore and change, call it our stubbornness or reluctance to accept change. In the times we are living right now, which is dubbed as the ‘new normal’ change is the new paradigm and change is imminent. So, keep your mind open to accept and embrace change as it comes.

” The buzz word now is New Normal, So, Stay Receptive to Change “

#5 Make Learning a Lifelong Habit :

Learning should never end. Make each day a learning day, not necessarily through books, but we can also learn by observing colleagues, friends, neighbors, and even from our own children. Keep your mind receptive to learning new things. It enhances and improves your wisdom.

” Make Learning a HABIT. Learn Something Every Single Day “

#6 Empathy, Compassion, Humility :

Lastly, I said this before and I repeat what I learned – If your head is in the cloud with success, keep your feet firmly planted on the ground. Show humility, compassion, and empathy. Make these three things your best friends forever.

“If your Head is in the Cloud with Success, Keep Feet Firmly Planted on the Ground. This will take you PLACES”

I come from a middle-class family in the southern India state of Andhra Pradesh, started schooling in a small village, went to BITS Pilani, University of Louisiana, UCLA Anderson School of Management to complete three masters in Mathematics, Computer Science, and Business Administration. And I have seen it all.

You can always write to me at anji.maram@criticalriver.com I will be more than happy to assist you.

I wish all young men and women graduating in 2020 the very best. God bless you all.

Stay Safe and Healthy.

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