New Release by Shashi Tharoor
  • Meera

One Day At A Time

Updated: Dec 18, 2019

Welcome to the era of instant gratification! With the progress of social media, the levels of anxiety, fear of missing out, fear of failure are on rise. We see successes around us. How many places some friends travel, how many of our friends have started their own ventures and successful ones, we see people getting married, flaunting their relationship, flaunting their friends. Anxiety grapples us!

We get overwhelmed with ambition. We want everything all at once. We want a romantic partner, travel the world, start successful venture, be fit, look good, have fun friends, win a competition, etc all at once. We feel like 24 hours are very less to achieve all the things we want in a day. We get to thinking about doing things so much that we are hardly able to focus on what we have and the tasks at hand. We end up enrolling for music classes, cooking classes, trekking trips, certificate courses, language courses, yoga class, gym, etc. We want to establish our identity and personality. We want to be known and recognized and remembered. This is the era of self promotion. The person who does not promote himself/herself does not stand a chance to win opportunities.

But we only have 24 hours in a day out of which 9-12 hours are spent in eating and sleeping. So much to achieve and such less time! maybe some of us sleep less and manage to squeeze in extra 4 hours. Some might skip out on breakfast/ lunch/ snacks/dinner. But ultimately most of us give up. Some on account of health reasons, some due to failures and difficulty to cope up with so much. Failure leads to shame, shame transforms anxiety into depression and so again we are back to pressing restart button in life.

We have all heard of 'effective time management', 'mindfulness', 'writing down chores' etc. But we all are humans and not computers and hence not perfect. We attend workshops that teach us 'how to tame the monkey mind'. We are trying to program our extraordinary mind and reduce it to a computer!!! Well, the idea is to reach your maximum potential and this cant be done by just programming our minds or doing what everyone does, like being too busy doing things without having any bigger purpose or vision.

So how do we make our mark in the world? How do we win? How to get noticed? How to be successful?

Being an average kid who was not good at all at anything in school what I always yearned for and prayed for is having at least one talent that the world recognizes me for. I wanted to be known for something in school. Well when we are in school, most of our development happens there. Our deepest desires are often revealed to us in school. What affects us, what impresses us is more often that not our path, our destiny. Read as many success stories as you want , you will find that all successful people, everyone of them were inspired by some one so much that they wanted to be like that person. More than money we all are driven by achievement , recognition, passion and love.

Recent success story of Ranu Mondal has taught me many lessons. She was not good looking, neither did she have any money or contacts. She did not know how to influence. She never tried to be everything. She just wanted to be one thing- SINGER; and she did only one thing - SANG. Though she took her years, lot of struggle but eventually she succeeded. Today the entire nation is enticed by her voice and she has already made her mark as a singer. That was her one passion which she followed with all dedication. So here are few of my learning from her story that can also help you :

1. Follow one goal- We all want to be many things. But deep down our heart we all know there is one thing we can dedicate ourselves to, that thing is something we keep talking about, we cant stop thinking about. It is something that we keep pursuing even after repeated failures. That thing is our passion. Some recognize it early, some late. But its never too late to follow your dreams.

2. Keep working towards your goal - 'The stone was broken by last hammer.' But efforts count. The first hammer was necessary and most important to break the hammer. So start. Small or big does not matter. It matters how you get better along the way. Your growth matters. But remember your goal everyday. You will be what you want to be if you do not stop working at it.

3. Believe in yourself- Don't look for acceptance or acknowledgement of others. Do what motivates you and understand that your passion is bigger than anyone else's opinion. When you are struggling to make ends meet, it is very easy to give up on your dreams, because you see everyone around you, your peers make amazing progress in their life and you start doubting yourself. You are tempted to quit on your dream and follow the others around you. But it is during this time that you realize your true passion and destiny. If your heart wants to hold on to your dream, if even after facing repeated failures, something inside you tells you that you are meant for this, it is this time that if you listen to your heart and continue your work that you finally are able to be the person you always wanted to be.

4. Be child like- We were all big dreamers when we were children. We got inspired easily and we never doubted our ability to achieve our goals. We never thought about the limitations or roadblocks. But as we grew up, our parents and society started dictating to us what we can be and cannot be and our limitations. Start with what you have and keep increasing your goals and honing your skills.

5. Pay close attention to what hurts you the most- What hurts you the most is what inspires you the most. Listen to opinion of others, listen to your critics. Get hurt. Write down in points the statements that hurt you. Think about why they hurt you. Famous Indian comedian - Zakir Khan mentions many instances that hurt him through his comedy. He mentions how his looks made it difficult for him to earn respect in the society, get attention from females. Today he has both. It was because he was insulted and that he could not get over it , he worked towards achieving what people thought he could not. So do not get offended with critics who think you cant reach your goals or who laugh at your goals and efforts. Instead, appreciate and thank them for motivating you further.

6. Have a value system- Let the world not change you. Keep your values intact. Get influenced by positive values. Have a good heart. Anything that is done with a good heart and for betterment of the society will always give results. Have a bigger purpose in mind. Let that purpose define your decisions, your vision and your mission. A good purpose and bigger purpose drives you in a way money never can.

7. One thing at a time- It is possible that a person has more than one passion or more than 5 tasks in a day. Focus on one task at a time. Specially for entrepreneurs. Prioritize your tasks and focus on bigger tasks first. Relax the pace of your mind. Do one thing at one moment. Go to the next task after finishing the first one. Always keep a task book handy. Have a habit of writing down things. Entrepreneurs are the one who enjoy multi tasking and have to take multiple decisions on multiple things in a day. Entrepreneurship is also a passion to run business and it is not just motivated by money making and profitability.

8. One day at a time- Every day is a new day. To make everyday count, live everyday. If today was bad, leave the bad mood at end of today and begin again tomorrow. Success is the ability to bounce back failure after failure and still keep going. Your today does not define your entire life. But the efforts you put today will count tomorrow. Have faith. Keep going. Focus on efforts more than the results. Results will surely come. This does not mean you ignore results. Get a feedback , check the progress report from time to time and make changes to the way you are putting in your efforts. But never for once doubt your ability because of failures of today. Wake up each day with equal enthusiasm and conquer your world.

9. Pay attention to your gut feeling- Since primitive age, we have depended on our instincts and intuition. They have direct ability to guide us. Its important to listen to them. The equation you share with people you work with, people you trust speaks volumes. Some people can be your great support systems while others can be your roadblocks. Critics are important part of life but energy sappers are not. Do not trust or work with people who hamper your productivity or progress. Walk away, you always have an option. Moving on is always better that staying stuck with the rong people.

10. Have a learning attitude- Most successful entrepreneurs, artists, sports persons today are mentors. Teaching is a commonly loved hobby today for most of them. They don't keep their knowledge to themselves but share it with others and learn from others. Most of them also have a reading habit and read extensively. Keep learning and be passionate about learning new things. Keep an open mind. Let all knowledge and information flow in. Let wisdom flow in. Learning does not necessarily mean increased degree or certificates or having more general knowledge, one can also learn a lot from life and others around them. Knowing is not enough one must apply it. So whatever you have learnt, try to apply it in your daily life.

Read whatever books you want, follow your favorite role model, all will have these above qualities in common. Keep growing, keep progressing. Most importantly, enjoy the journey of life. Because wherever life takes you, there is a purpose for it. Open your mind to experiences of all kind. Do not think good or bad. Everything shapes your destiny and takes you a step closer to what you want to be.

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