Pinnacle of human audacity

After I watched Mumbai Indians thrash Rajasthan Royals, yesterday I could not help but relate it to a facet of human behavior, which we tend to ignore. When I say we, I mean we, the plebeians, the common man, trapped in this web that we so carefully spin around ourselves. That facet is self-belief, the audacity to hope for the impossible, the grit, the determination that no target in life is too difficult to achieve. Having followed cricket for a dozen and half years, I can vouch for the fact chasing 190 in 20 overs, in a do or die game is a mean task in itself, but imagine reducing it to 14.3 overs. Commentators said they made a mockery of Rajasthan’s bowling, I say they made a mockery of me, a mockery of us. Us human beings who shackle ourselves, with our apprehensions and our definitions of what is possible and what is not.

Now is there something to learn from this? Is there something that we can incorporate in our daily lives to reach our own pinnacles? My answer is a loud yes. I had the good fortune of attending a creativity course in IIT – Delhi, couple of years ago. A session I attended helped me develop a different perspective towards life. The trainer divided us in groups of seven, and asked us to make a circle. We then had to pass a ball among ourselves, such that it touched every hand and came back to the first person in the shortest time. Another condition was it should not be dropped. We started rather clumsily and did it in 6 seconds, next we made the circle smaller, and little finished it in little above four second. Then, he said do this in 1 second. We thought it wasn’t possible, how do you reduce the time by 75%. We thought for a moment and came up with an idea, we made a slope with our palms and rolled the ball on it, and well it took a second. His next challenge was to do it in a fraction of a second. We replaced our palms by fingers and it took a split second for the ball of roll over and touch all our hands. This activity may seem like something of a joke, but if we look deeper then there is a lesson to be learnt, until we really believe and push ourselves, we will never achieve the results we think are impossible.

If we look at the modern history, none of the technological inventions was accident. It was not as if someone left a few wires with a screen overnight, and the TV was born. Wright brothers had a dream that they can fly and they did, on this day in 1961, John F Kennedy, promised to the world that they would put a man on moon in a decade and come back, and they did that. Imagine when the computers weren’t even as powerful as our phones are, they put a man on the moon.

Sports are littered with many such examples, but for the sake of brevity of this article, I will mention the one event that stunned me the most. In cricket, the team score of 400 in ODIs was a mental roadblock that teams had. Srilanka had the highest team score for a long time, it was 398. Surprisingly, the first time a team dared to beat the 400 mark in ODIs, the opposition did too. Australia scored 434 in 50 overs, and South Africa replied with a 438, imagine 2348 ODI matches had been played till then, many of them of 60 overs as well, and it was broken twice in a matter of 4 hours. I mean come on, what was South Africa even thinking. This audacity to actually break barriers is one of the reasons we evolved into such advanced creatures. Amongst all such impossibles that we have seen our lives, a pattern emerges.

That pattern is self-belief; no doubt there is a thin line between self-belief and over confidence. But when you have practiced enough, worked hard enough, planned well, had your share of struggle, then the only thing that stops you from achieving your destiny is self doubt. The ifs, the buts, the perceptions that creep in our mind about that moment of triumph make victory all the more difficult. Well I am just 23, and many of you reading this will be my age, I say let’s believe, believe for a better life, a better society, a better country, better relationship but most importantly a better I. If we all can collectively do this, then everyone of us will be a winner in our own right.




How to bell the CAT – Goal Setting

This is 1 of a 5 part article that I intend to write, to share with you what actually went into scoring a 99.49 percentile in CAT after scoring average marks throughout my academic career.

This is for all of you, who don’t have a 90 in boards, haven’t gone to an IIT, BITS, or SRCC etc, and lastly those who doubt their own caliber and potential to eventually become world beaters.

Through these five articles I will give you an overview of what actually goes into the preparation for CAT right from Goal setting, road map building to developing the winning attitude.

(Just to inspire you further, my 10th, 12th, and Graduation marks are 86, 76, 64.5 respectively and my graduation was from a private college in north India, which is 6 years old.)

Goal setting is a self explanatory term, but why emphasize on it so much to write few hundred words on it.

On the outset I would like to attend to those of you who haven’t yet dared to dream big. Well there are many apprehensions, the first one is I don’t have 90 in tenth and twelfth boards, hence, I am not good enough. My command over English is as good as my command over french. Or the most common one, we are not from IIT, NIT or BITS, hence, how do we compete with guys from those planets.

Well to begin with, yes, there will always be people who are “better than you”, who have better opportunities, better infrastructure, better “brains”. But accepting defeat that we can’t beat them, is an excuse that we give ourselves just to run away from struggle and hard work. This is the biggest illusion you create for yourself.

So goal setting, many of you reading this would be either in your college or just out of it working somewhere which you are not satisfied with. What is your dream at this point? Yes, I understand you ultimately want to crack the CAT hence you are here, but your realistic dreams are just getting a placement from college. Hoping that you won’t have to sit idle after you pass out. But then what, assuming you get that job which pays you 15 K a month, then what. Would you be happy? A job where you realize that a domestic cook earns more per hour than you. A job where you will realize that buying that dream motorcycle will have to wait, even when you are spending a better part of your day there.

Ask yourself, is this dream worth it? Is this what you want to end up with few years later? and to those of you stuck here, isn’t it time to dream big. To give your dream life that one final shot.

Hence, dream. Dream big. Dream of becoming something that will give you enough money to fulfill those unreal materialistic and social aspirations you have.

It could be anything becoming an actor, a bureaucrat, a naval commander, an entrepreneur, a CEO, a designer, a technocrat. Anything.

You introspect and find out your dream, and believe in it. Day dream, think about how life will be when you achieve your dream. Create those images in your mind. Don’t let that fear of failure creep in and spoil those images. These images need to be powerful because these are what will drive you when you are burnt, fatigued, disappointed and down.


My dream was to earn a lot of money and at the same time enjoy what I was doing. Making that sound more specific I wanted to be in marketing, but in a designation that gives me a lot of money, and also experience to start a venture of my own at some point. I also dream of becoming a writer and a corporate trainer. So barring writing, doing MBA was the stepping stone into these careers.

So my goal was CAT, not MAT, CMAT or MHCET etc. I don’t have anything against them, it’s just that when you have to aim, aim for the best, the simple reason is when you dream, you dream of the best. Do you ever dream of a 100 CC bike? or of 800 CC car, so when it comes to education why not dream for the best.

Well I hope after reading this you have got a fair idea about how and what to dream.


Next article would be on drawing the road map on how to reach there.