Sunday, 28 June 2015

Degrees don't make you successful

"To be successful in life what you need is education, not literacy and degrees." -Munshi Premchand

How important is it to have degrees from the top schools? Do these degrees make people successful?

I don't believe that degrees make people successful. Don't get me wrong, but too much emphasis on degrees is changing the outlook of students towards learning.

Degrees define "education" in today's world. Youngsters define themselves in terms of which school they have got into. And then there is a certain pride in being from a particular school. But is it the degree that makes the difference? It might give a little head start in a career, nothing more.

Let us look at the world of success today. It would be unfair to limit ourselves to define success in terms of only careers in the corporate world. We need to look at all fields. What makes a good singer? What makes a great dancer? A painter? An author or poet? A politician? For that matter, what makes a good entrepreneur? Is the answer "degrees"?

My answer has multiple keywords. I have words like passion, commitment, discipline, desire, knowledge, skills and hard work. We can add more such words to what makes one successful. But I would not add the word degrees here.

I have seen toppers from schools fade away and are never heard of again. On the contrary I know so many people who are successful in spite of not having high degrees.

"Economists who have studied the relationship between education and economic growth confirm what common sense suggests: The number of college degrees is not nearly as important as how well students develop cognitive skills, such as critical thinking and problem-solving ability." -Derek Bok (American lawyer and educator and the former president of Harvard University)

So, what is more important is the education and learning that one gets, not the degree. The degree is taken as the symbol of having got education, but it certainly doesn't guarantee so. On the other hand, having got the education doesn't mean one can apply the knowledge successfully. Interestingly, there are numerous examples of people who have got degrees on some subject and then went on to become successful in some other area altogether! 

If only degrees defined success, we wouldn't have heard of Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Carnegie, Barbara Lynch, Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, Bill Gates, John Lennon, Steve Jobs, James Cameron, Ray Kroc, Rachael Ray, Will Smith, Dhirubhai Ambani, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Richard Branson, Simon Cowell, Bryan Adams, Gautam Adani, Adele, Andre Agassi, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Aniston, Mary Kom, Amitabh Bachchan, Harper Lee, Mark Twain, Henry Ford - the list would be a pretty long one!

If you are in a top school pursuing education, enjoy the learning; think about the subjects and their applications. If you haven't got into one of those schools, don't you worry. You can always pursue your passion, work hard, develop knowledge from various sources, become an apprentice and succeed. Remember what Henry Ford had said, "Whether you think you can, or you think you can't - you are right." That is what makes the difference!

Sunday, 21 June 2015

10 Things To Do Everyday

Ever wondered what can make you happy? Although there is no specific system or process, there are some things which help.

So, here is a list of 10 things to do everyday that could make your life a lot fuller and happier:

  1. Read 10 to 15 pages of a self-help book.
  2. Read an article related to your work or industry.
  3. Call a friend and speak for 5 minutes.
  4. Exercise for 15 to 30 minutes.
  5. Write an article on any topic that you are passionate about.
  6. Spend 15 to 30 minutes doing one task that will take you closer to an important goal.
  7. Do 5 minutes of deep breathing.
  8. Think about what you have learnt and what you have achieved during the day.
  9. Listen to an inspirational song.
  10. Complement someone or just give a smile.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

15 Inspiring Quotes on Books

"Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life." -Mark Twain
"The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who'll get me a book I ain't read." -Abraham Lincoln
"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." -Walt Disney
"The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries." -Rene Descartes
"The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them." -Mark Twain
"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." -Saint Augustine
"You cannot open a book without learning something." -Confucius
"There is no friend as loyal as a book." -Ernest Hemingway
"I must say I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go to the library and read a good book." -Groucho Marx
"Every book you pick up has its own lesson or lessons, and quite often the bad books have more to teach than the good ones." -Stephen King
"A book should serve as the ax for the frozen sea within us." -Franz Kafka
"A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting." -Henry David Thoreau
"Every book is a children's book if the kid can read!" -Mitch Hedberg
"A book is kind of like a river; I simply jump in and start swimming." -Melody Carlson
"If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all." -Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

8 Things Successful People Do

1. They keep themselves optimistic and smile
Mindfulness comes with practice, and more importantly with intent. This is the first step to become optimistic. That is what successful people do. They practice mindfulness and stay optimistic. This state of mind helps them to smile and smile again!

2. They read books instead of watching television
Ask successful people what they do with their time and you will find they don’t watch television. Even if they do it is not more than 30 minutes in a day.
On the other hand they make it a point to read books. Self-help books are a favourite and a minimum of 30 minutes of reading everyday is a discipline that they maintain.

3. They take action instead of dwelling in thoughts alone
Yes, successful people think, but they proceed beyond just thoughts. They take action. Actions always speak louder than thoughts! Imagine you have thoughts and ideas, but don’t take action, would you achieve any constructive result? Successful people know the importance of taking action and making things happen.

4. They will get up every time they fall
The truth is that successful people fail a number of times. They fail because they take risks. Remember the old adage – No risk no gain?
What is more important to note is that the failures don’t stop these people from taking more risks and further action. Every time they fall they get up – and stronger! This is a great characteristic of successful people.

5. They live in the Now
Successful people don’t dwell in the past – be it achievements or failures. The only time that we live is NOW. They live in the NOW and think and do this moment. They also don’t dwell in the future – with only hopes and dreams. Dreams are like goals for them, but they dwell in the present and do things NOW!

6. They always keep their goals in sight
Without a target, what is there to hit? Successful people keep their sights on their goals, always. That is what keeps them on track. What you do right now is either taking you towards your goals or away from it, or you may just stand still. So keeping the goal in mind helps take positive action.

7. They do more than what they are paid for
Money is not the primary motivator of successful people. Achieving goals, doing the work with passion is what does. Thus, they always do more than what they are paid for. They know that not doing more would restrict their own personal growth and development.

8. They keep themselves healthy - both mind and body
Health is wealth, it truly is! And successful people understand that. Keeping the mind healthy through positive thinking and mindfulness and keeping the body healthy through relaxation and exercises is what they do at a regular basis. Stay healthy to achieve more and be happy!

Sunday, 7 June 2015

What makes you a Winner?

Every now and then we have a feeling of not being able to achieve. I hear a lot of people hiding their true feelings in the garb of smiles and brags. The veracity lies deep within the heart - not getting the raise or promotion, not being able to buy things that are needed, not being able to cope up to competing with the neighbour or friend - you name it and there is so much to worry!

But how can you come out of the rut - this feeling of inadequacy and at your wit's end? Is it you alone who is feeling that way? Let me assure you, there are many, in fact most people feel that way one time or the other.

Winners somehow control their feelings. You cannot avoid the situations or feelings, but you can definitely work on them. The first step for sure is to push the negative thinking out of your mind through constant practice. But the key lies in thinking long term - the short term approach doesn't give you the best results. The short term is about survival, the long term is about the creating the life that you want. So the graph doesn't go steeply up and then suddenly fall down. It grows gradually and steadily. Trying to win the lottery has thrown a lot of people deep into dark abysses. So take the path on which you have more control and you have better assurance of success.

Here is what most people don't do. They don't set goals. I am not talking about the goal setting exercise only in your job - the ones that lead to the appraisals. I am referring to all goals in life - all of those things that you want. Of course, you need to be realistic in your approach, but remember that in the longer term almost anything is possible. So, if you know that you are leaving your home to go to office - your goal is reaching office - you will carve out the best path to reach your destination. You will find the way, the transport required, you will calculate the time required and you will move and reach your goal!

Then why can't the same process be applied in everything else that we want to achieve? Again a bitter truth stares at our face! There are times we have some goals in our thoughts, but that is where it remains and then evaporates. We don't work on the thoughts, we don't believe in the possibility of achieving them. This where we can change ourselves to become winners. Act on those thoughts! I mean, take action. Period.

I can list a big list of skills required to achieve success, but none of it would be applicable until you are ready to take action.

Winners are optimistic. They set positive goals. They plan and carve out a path. They take action and move towards their goal. In spite of some challenges that would be found on the way, they solve the problems, find alternative paths, and finally reach their goals. That is why they are winners. They have the conviction to see things through and achieve!

So, are you ready to be a winner?

-Zubin Rashid

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

The Perfect You!

Don't try too hard to be someone else, like that model shown on television, or that friend who looks perfect in that dress, or whoever else you might think has the look you want. You are so unique that trying to be someone else would be like trying to kill the person called you. Why would you want to do that?

You have what it takes. It is just that you haven't realized it yet. No one is perfect. What is perfection anyway? Perfection is a mirage, the more you try to get it the further it gets away. It doesn't exist.

Look inside you. Look at what you have achieved in your life. You are alive. You have lived through so many challenging days. You have been able to bear all the negative thoughts and comments. You have passed examinations. You have loved people and made them happy. You have helped animals. You have watered plants. You have given a smile to your friend, or maybe that man on the street who really needed it!

If you would ask me I would say you are just the person the world needs to make it a whole. Without the real you so many things would not be in place. You complete the world!

So just be who you are, yourself, just the way you are. If people love you it is because of who you are. We can't fake it to get love. Just keep thinking positive, keep taking great actions, move ahead in life, and enjoy every moment of it. Remember, someone in the world loves you even if you feel otherwise. So change that feeling, be happy, love others and see how much of the same love and happiness you receive in return!

- Zubin Rashid