Have you ever wondered why out of lakhs of students preparing for an exam for several years, only a few thousand manage to get the coveted job? Life is full of uncertainties and no one would understand these uncertainties in a manner that the job aspirants do. They go through a wide range of emotions during their journey towards their cherished goal. Amidst the growing pressure of studies, stress due to increasing competition, financial problems and mounting family pressure, the job aspirants are extremely susceptible to losing their focus. For no fault of their own, the aspirants end up losing track of their progress due to a lapse in concentration midway in their preparation journey. This lapse in focus has led to many heartbreaks over the years. Believe it or not, very few failures in exams are actually caused due to lack of preparation. The differentiating factor amongst the candidates is their ability to maintain the required focus at the times when it matters the most.
The beginning of any journey is usually filled with optimism and excitement. You aspire for your dream job, the power and prestige it would bring to you and your family and a settled future that you have been so desperately wanting for so many months. However, as you progress and start taking steps towards your dream, the reality hits you in the face and you are forced to confront the harsh truth—Realities about the cut-throat competition, the never-ending syllabus and the uncertainties of the path that you chose. Before you realise, you end up in a dark tunnel with no signs of light. If you are expecting me to give you a magic mantra to come out of this unpleasant situation, I am sorry to disappoint you.
This is because the path that takes you towards success has to be created by you only. All the motivational talks and inspiring videos you have watched would count for nothing if you are not willing to implement them in your life and bring your focus back to where it is needed the most. All this is much tougher done than said. But this is where your persistence lies. Preparation is like a marathon and not a sprint. Just like a marathon, there will be multiple points in your journey where you would feel like giving up, where your body would refuse to take a step forward and where you would start asking yourself whether it is a good idea at all. In all those times, remind yourself of the glory that lies past the finish line. Remind yourself of the glittering finisher’s medal that awaits you at the end of the journey. In order to move forward, focus on the gain and not the pain.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. It took years of practice to write Facebook’s algorithm. It took years of focus and persistence to break 100 metre world record by a fraction of a second. All these significant achievements have one thing in common—all required focus on the goal. Distractions are easy to find. A few more hours to sleep, another movie outing, another family function to attend—there can be endless excuses to give a miss to your studies. And all of them come easy because you don’t need to explain them to anyone but yourself. But before you take the decision to prioritise your sleep over your lesson, ask yourself what you would gain out of both and then make your own decision. Remember, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. You are at a stage in your life where your parents are not supervising your actions; where you are answerable to no one but yourself. From here on, you can go either way—a path of hard work leading to eventual long-term success or a path of leisure leading to a life filled with compromises. The choice is yours. Your success and your failure—both belong to you. Irrespective of the final result, it would remain with you for the rest of your life. Be prepared to own up your actions.
(Surendra Kumar Sachdeva)