ONE MILLION GOALS, ONE WAY

ONE MILLION GOALS, ONE WAY

                                                        A MILLION GOALS, ONE WAY

                                                                                          -Yugika Mital

If we were to be stuck in the bubble where we resided 5 years or even 6 months ago, then could we say that we did justice to the time given to us? That we learnt and grew and in turn helped others grow? Could we say that we hold the right to complain about the numerous things even if we did not take a step to improve them? If we spent all the time not amending ourselves and becoming better people who understood the ropes of life, becoming people who were empathetic, people who were not taken in by the thought that their reason was the ultimate but that there still exists more to explore, then have we understood the point at all?

Varied experiences shape us. They mould our thinking in a certain way. They make us look for answers; some that stay with us for longer periods of time and others that help us act in the moment alone and then possibly are forgotten. To add to this, experiences need not be in first person at all instances. We learn, absorb and observe through others’ experiences as well. Others who have stood on different but similar paths. Others who have experienced a little more than we have. Others who are ready to share their experiences, provided we are ready to listen. The point is, there is always something to learn and there is always scope to understand and explore the opportunities that can help us improve emotionally, physically, spiritually, morally or in any way we want to.

It would be a good experience to reflect back on a certain period of time and think –

Have I done any good to this planet?

Who are the people who’ve shaped my life?

In what areas do I need to monitor myself?

Have I grown significantly to say that I am wiser now than I was at that moment of time?

Other questions that are necessary to determine who we are, where we stand and for what we stand?

Self-scrutinising or rather understanding one’s growth besides that in an organisation over a period of time is not that popular an activity. Some answers may be displeasing but again, they say that understanding there is a problem in the first place is the first step to solving one. We concern ourselves way too much with the affairs of others and barely leave any scope to understand our own. We know more chaos than we know ourselves. We tend to not give ourselves the privilege to stop and think or thank or do both. Maye that’s why we get lost so often. We need to pick the battles that we have to fight and not step into everything that comes our way. Observe. Decide.

We tend to follow a set of fixed beliefs and values and refuse to alter them. Alter them in a way that adapts to time without harm to others or ourselves. Alteration that is not depreciation. There are people we can look up to in order to learn from them because perhaps they know more than us, in any field – academics, management, humility, kindness, street smartness and innumerable others. We won’t always find company where frequencies of people will match. We need to find common ground for mutual benefit.

Through the varied commercials that are increasingly basing themselves on social and emotional issues and YouTube like TED Talks and others that popularise ideas, one thing is evident, that the connect that the human species share is unique. We can be triggered by something emotional. Emotional in any sense; makes us cry, intrigues us, excites us, saddens us, makes us guilty, makes us feel privileged or anything that makes us aware that we have feelings that are waiting there to be noticed and come to the conscious surface.

Let’s not be so involved that we forget to notice. Let’s not be so involved that we miss what can possibly make our future better in ways more than money ever can.  Let’s look for the good. Let’s accept the fault and endeavour to improve. Let’s talk to ourselves and see if we are actually traversing a path or are just stuck, counting the days.

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ARE WE INSPIRED ENOUGH?

ARE WE INSPIRED ENOUGH?

                                             ARE WE INSPIRED ENOUGH?

                                                                                    -Yugika Mital

 

Waking up and having something to look forward to is one of the most inspiring feels a person can experience. It instills in you that urge to achieve something, that thought that the world is an abundance of surprises and you have more to explore than what all human kind together can fathom.

Inspiration, speaking in the most relatable manner, is a person, place, experience or anything that makes someone want to do something. Inspiration is an empowering feel. A liberating one that gives you the jitters to get the work done.

It is found everywhere. Everywhere. The spiders inspire us to strive despite failure as they continue to build their webs, never giving in to any fall. The wildlife is inspiring of team work and being loyal to your circle. Some shall find it too philosophical but the undisputed truth remains that when life hits you hard, inspiration of any kind gives you life again. A quintessential prerequisite of being inspired is to observe. Inspiration won’t come to you when you need the most. It is your observation of sorts that’ll come back to inspire you. Thus, keep renewing you’re your box of observations so that the appropriate one can present itself to you when required.

That friend from high school who couldn’t make it for most of the days because of a persisting nerve problem in her legs but how inspiring it was to see her make an effort to collect weekly notes and not let the circumstances become an excuse. It is inspiring enough to see another friend go ahead to pursue theatre despite her family’s excellence in law. Inspiring enough to keep you up at night until you have tuned that one song, written that one poem, painted that one canvas or even finished studying that one physics chapter.

Commencement speeches made by people like J.K. Rowling at Harvard or Steve Jobs at Stanford embolden us to achieve against the most unfathomable odds. People like them found inspiration in circumstances. None dressed in luxury but ‘rock bottom became the solid foundation’ on which they built their lives.

However, inspiration alone is not enough. One needs focus. Once the spark is ignited, let it turn into a fire that gradually consumes everything that holds you back. Focus, determination, prioritizing, diligence are not big words with small meanings. They are the small keys to big doors. If you’re hit with an inspiration, not all times, shall be it your eureka moment. Moments can also build up. Finding inspiration to work, that enthusiasm to complete one thing before you take on anything else is a process of persistence, passion and evaluation. Optimism is the one take away in this process. Consistency and hard work are a given.

Strive and be at both the ends. Someone who gets inspired by others and achieves a goal or does a good deed. The other being where your deeds inspire others to follow a better path in one-way or another. If you are true to what you do, your positivity shall propagate the message for you. Inspiration is addicting and you can never have enough of it, if you have even the slightest goal to achieve. The most approachable yet the rarest one could be where you inspire yourself. You know that one time you managed time so well that by the end of day, all your pending work was complete. If you could do it once, you can do it again. Fear it or embrace it. Lastly, everyone has a story to tell. We can only make ours worth telling. The moral is up to the audience.

PRESSURE IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT

PRESSURE IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT

                                   PRESSURE IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT

                                                                                               -Yugika Mital

 

It’s never a cake walk if you want your work to have quality and substance. Many a time, you have to uphold the bar you’ve set for yourself while at others, one must strive to raise the bar and upgrade the final product. Thus, be it time or self-set standards, we always work under some degree of pressure.

It is indisputably your view of the situation. It is how you perceive a long and empty road, whether you think that the isolated path can lead you somewhere no one could ever fathom or simply that it is abandoned by the world and thus, a futile expedition. Similarly, for a stressful situation, it depends whether you  at it as an opportunity to reach heights of creativity and instant solutions like never before or just another excuse for the lack of commitment. With this thought, one can conclude that we have the power to let the circumstances overpower us or otherwise.

Self-discipline is a quintessential prerequisite when producing quality work under certain limitations. These limitations can be that of resources, ideas, mental health, team work, creativity, execution partner or the most common-time. Pressure is anything that pushes you out of your comfort zone and challenges you to work with certain restrictions and deadlines. Here, if a person falters on self-discipline, he has probably lost the ‘opportunity’ to discover a new and worthy dimension of himself. Self-discipline has myriad categories for people. Some of them comprise of following a time table, eating healthy from time to time or not eating until your target for that period is accomplished, limiting recreation or concentrating your recreation for a particular portion of the day and working in the remaining time, keeping a self-monitoring system or anything that inspires you enough to accomplish the task in hand in the best way possible.

There were once two school students who had an assignment essay due in 2 days. One fell for the time pressure and ended up plagiarising most of it while the other fell for the pressure of quality of content and prioritised tasks to achieve his goal. The results were obvious in this technology dependent world. Both had an equal chance of submitting worthy assignments but their approach made all the difference.

Keep calm and take a minute to analyse your strengths and weaknesses to work smart and not always hard. Someone said that if you can do the same work in less time without compromising on the quality, then what’s the harm?

Working under deadlines, we all are bound to commit mistakes. Do not give in to them. The moment you lose faith and confidence in your competency, you just give others a chance to move ahead of you. Pitfalls happen and they hit you hard but the key is to keep going because beyond the finish line only the focussed survive. Never doubt that you don’t deserve to be there, if you want it with all your soul.

One must learn to deal with pressure else survival is tough. Being under some kind of work pressure gives you the will to perform and then the break taken after that seems more valuable. This obviously doesn’t mean postpone your work till the 11th hour, it means try and surpass your previous work in terms of presentation etc. while you have the leverage of time. It’s a different thrill being on your toes and challenging yourself and it’s worth a shot to see if that works for you or not. If it does, you shall never be bored in your life and if it doesn’t you know that setting adequate tasks and breaks are must for you to perform exceptionally. Pressure is what you make of it- be it an opportunity or a self-help school or even a reason to stay unhealthy or simply an excuse.

THE DISCOVERY KID

THE DISCOVERY KID

                                                                 THE DISCOVERY KID

                                                                                         –  Yugika Mital

Didi, batao, India ka first Prime Minister kaun tha?’

‘Aditya, English!’

‘First prime minister of India?’

“ ‘WHO WAS THE first prime minister of India?’ ’’

‘Okay! Dr. Jawaharlal Nehru’

 

‘Didi, apko pata hai? Black hole se light nahi nikal sakti. Isliye, use black hole kehete hain.’

‘Really? Where did you learn that?’

‘Meine Discovery par dekha.’

“Say, ‘I watched it on The Discovery Channel.’ ”

‘I watched it…on Discovery Channel’

‘Yes!’

Aditya Gholap, a last bencher of 6th A wasn’t a popular student or the most contributing part of the class. On the first day, I gave him drawing for home work but the next day that page was as clean as his entire math notebook and clearly, reading and comprehension was a distant reality. However, nothing of this kind could weaken his smile. His confidence was fascinating. It seemed like he sat on his own throne and played his own game. There was this membrane around him that I wanted to penetrate. To see what I was missing until due to a Spoken Language activity, he spilled out his admiration for The Discovery Channel and made the class journey through Saturn’s rings, Egypt’s pyramids, India’s politicians and Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. His mind was full of facts that none of his peers could match.

As he was slowly rewarded with more facts for good work, he started showing improvement. Everything you told him, he demanded a validation, an internet article (little did he know that nothing on the Internet is verified). He took 45 minutes to read a level one book but the point is, he did finish it. Not only that, he wrote sentences from memory to reproduce what he had written. He sat voluntarily for an hour after school and completed his work.

There are several like them, at least a few but why doesn’t the education system get that their books are not of pages written or printed, they are a collection of episodes of The Discovery Channel. These students have grasping power so strong that different methods of study shall take them places. Not only at the grass root level, but even in higher order schools, more verbal tests, researches for assignments and practical work should take place to get the best out of the student. Not a different technique of teaching for every student is possible but it cannot be disputed that under the burden of syllabus, even students can’t recognise their true potential.

Aditya helped me realise that curiosity is a virtue because it is rare and difficult to uphold but it is rewarding. A person’s enthusiasm should never be let down just because he demands to walk on a different path but on one that is equally correct. He bought books on computer hardware, math and science that spoke with pictures and he grasped more than his entire batch. I sincerely hope that the wonders my Discovery Kid produced in just a month are not the only ones that he’ll ever produce.

‘Aditya, why do you want to study English?’

I go to America so speak English.’

 

ONE OF THE MANY MISTAKES

ONE OF THE MANY MISTAKES

                                          ONE OF THE MANY MISTAKES

                                                                           -Yugika Mital

Understanding yourself is one of the most difficult and time consuming tasks of all time. Some people figure it out soon, midst all the chaos that happens in life while others take decades to do so and sometime they even take time off to only focus on themselves, their preferences and priorities. Yet, we aren’t able to decipher every bit of our soul, and it cannot be disputed that we might walk on path A today but then tomorrow we might change lanes and tread path B. However, the most striking and unfortunate event in the process of discovering yourself is losing yourself.

When we speak of ‘losing yourself’, let us speak beyond the conventional understanding of the same that just deals with substance abuse. An aspect of ‘losing yourself’ is giving way to the desires and choices of others and trying to mould yourself with that. Trying so hard to fit in that you don’t even attempt to preserve your individuality, forget the originality. Being someone else when you can perfectly be the best version of yourself, as they say. We must understand that ultimately company matters but if it changes you into a person you’re not and where you don’t feel the warmth because you constantly have to be someone else to keep your position, it isn’t worth it. An instance of this would be, if you have an inclination towards science and when you have the choice between a Sci-Fi motion picture and a Drama motion picture and you choose the Drama one simply because you don’t want to seem like a nerd forth the ‘group’. It is as ridiculous as it sounds. You don’t have to be rebellious and go for a different movie altogether when everyone else is going for a particular one but suppressing your choices just to be accepted is unacceptable. That acceptance is transient and not strong because it not based on the kind of person you truly are. Sooner or later you’ll get exhausted and will not be able to continue it.

Our originality is what makes us different from every other person that has ever walked the soil of the earth. We might have the same talents, the same passions, identical dislikes and discomforts but no two souls are identical. The degree to which two passionate people are inclined towards a particular art, event or anything is different and that is what makes us stand out. A and B both might be passionate about music but A is so desperate to make it into the music industry that he rehearses for twelve hours daily and goes for every audition possible while B rehearses for eight hours daily and only goes to local auditions. None of them are wrong, they have their own space and it is best when they accept their individuality in the same. Writer X may be excellent in narratives and romantic novels and writer Y aces every mystery he pens down. Now if Y attempts to become like X because romantic novels are more popular than mystery stories, his chances of success are not as concrete as first, as X’s in the same genre and second, as his own as a mystery novel writer. Everyone has his own style in whatever they do and we must aim at perfecting that.

You must look for the right people in whose company you shall improve but not transform from being one person to a totally different person. Give your choices some importance and when you are in doubt, examine where you need to improve. Why must your choice change in a particular situation or why something else is better fitting? Do not be adamant but at the same time, do not be submissive either. You don’t always need to accept what the majority says.

All you need know is that those who are like you shall be drawn towards you, sooner or later and you shall have the company of those you deserve. It is a gradual process because everyone is more or less on the same boat when it comes to discovering and understanding oneself. Everyone is struggling in some form. Thus, we all change paths but do land at the place that suits us the best. Give yourself some time and don’t rush. Give yourself respect and value that you have something that no one else does. Your conscience. You can only be at peace and comfort with yourself when you do justice to being yourself because many a time, we need our own company to stay grounded, seek answers and find solace. That person needs to know your entire day, your journeys, your thoughts and principles, everything. Only then can this person’s company benefit you. Be that person for yourself. The world itself is a maze and nothing comes easy here, so the least we can do is not get lost in others’ personalities.

THE BEGINNING

THE BEGINNING

                                                      THE BEGINNING

                                                                               -Yugika Mital

Everything in the world is transient. Our existence, our happiness, our work and contribution to society and yes, even our evil, praise the Lord! Yet, we have heard innumerable number of times that we must do good to others to make the world a better place. This thought is so concrete that it is hard to argue against it because despite being aware of the fact that one day, we shall all perish in the soil, we do not hesitate to measure the span of our lives and of those we love, and this motivates us to do our bit to make the earth a place worth living, no matter the time span.

Though great inventions are achieved by accidents, they say; our lives do not aim at inventions alone and so we cannot rely on accidents for a smooth sail. Here, when we say a smooth sail, we mean that at every step, we learnt and then we propagated that learning, thus, did our bit towards the universe despite the hindrances. When we look back, we must see something achieved, be it a lesson for a mistake (and that lesson should be taken forward) or success in a task. Thus, for the limited time that we tread the earth, we need a plan, a plan that starts from ourselves and probably never ends but is simply carried forward, with or without us. This is just the beginning.

Begin by looking inside yourself and see what you want to improve. If that manner of yours frustrates you, then imagine how harmful it can be for the human race if you carry it forward and implement it everyday. For instance, lying. Everytime you tell a lie, you create a chain of lies to hide that previous one. So overpowering this becomes that ultimately the truth is suffocated. Life is real, do not dwell in falsehood. If you make a mistake or have held a grudge previously, it is absolutely fine to confess or clear it out, respectively. The other person might not understand you at that very moment but he shall understand gradually, hopefully. The biggest thing, you would have moved forward in life and can concentrate your energy on something better. You must focus on yourself before you choose to teach someone else because until you are convinced, you cannot possibly convince anyone else to be on your team. You have no better access to anyone but yourself. As a sibling, you influence your brothers and sisters and set a benchmark, as a parent, you set a benchmark for the way of life. As a teacher, benchmarks are set by you in conduct and life goals. Above all, as an individual, you are right now probably setting a benchmark for yourself. You compare your present day’s conduct with that of yesterday’s and realise that either you have improved or you could probably do better. These tiny things and evaluations add up to frame your future. Your future ultimately impacts those around you like relatives, siblings and family at a later stage. Each day, you must understand that making mistakes is fine but only when you grab the lesson when it comes your way.

Ultimately, conducting yourself is not a burden at all. You must be you. Let not others define what you are comfortable and happy in. Focus on those whose benchmarks are inspiring for you. Life is about symbiosis, after all. Just the parameters of comfort, happiness and mutual good should guide you. Figure out who you want to be and work towards it. Be inspired! Benjamin Franklin too maintained a chart where he marked himself on his good deeds and the not so good ones. This was just because he had a certain goal for himself and the future he envisioned for himself had a better human being than what stood forth him on that day. You are not the person you were ten years ago and so ten years hence, you possibly cannot be the person you are right now. That person is yet to be moulded and you have the chance. This chance is inevitable and you cannot be deprived of it. Use it well. Filter what you see around you and incorporate what motives you in yourself because improvement is the key as learning is limitless. So, mark the beginning.

COURAGE

COURAGE

                                                                 COURAGE

                                                                                  -Yugika Mital

Listen closely, it’s your heartbeat.

It’s how you’re alive. But that’s not all.

You’re treading the earth for a purpose.

If not to bring a change in society, then to keep its positivity, peace and humanity alive. To mould you into a person you’ve envisioned for yourself. No, I tell you, it’s not selfish to paint yourself on the canvas sometimes.

Courage, that’s what we need.

It’s out there, just reach for it and grab it. It is easy.

 

You see that man, how tall he walks; his shirt is so crisp,

His baritone stands out and she and she and even she long to hold his hand,

But he confined in me once, told me that he liked him.

You see that lady, how the veil kisses her lips and the child, her womb. She’s running, her breath erratic, steps outpacing the meteoroids in the sky, stumbling, gasping, cursing those monsters of feticide, she’s running because she has courage.

Courage, that’s what we need.

 

When the writer first picked up the pen,

The speaker enamoured over the microphone,

The first time, that swimmer dived,

When she painted her first portrait, took her first stroke

The first time and every time, he leaves his daughter behind,

She stands there, in her pink frilly frock,

He turns and waves,’Daddy will be back soon!’

He turns again and wipes that crystal with his khakhi,

He needs courage. She needs courage

 

Do not surrender! If you fall, don’t build a wall

This empty hall, it’s a call.

Own it, let its roofs sing your name,

Liberate your soul of all fears,

You’re original.

You have it, you’ve got it and you know it.

Darling, it’s courage, it’s all you need.