LIFE IS LIKE AN EXAM – THEN WHY MANY FAIL?

Let us first understand – why life is an exam?

Is it really an Exam?

Who is judging you?

Do you have any say on this?

It is true that life is challenging, but we all have different challenges to deal with. I might not be dealing with what you have, neither you will be dealing with what I have to. We all have varying hurdles to live through our daily routine.

We all tend to overlook into others lives, and make our life much more challenging by complaining about what we lack, ignoring what we already possess.

So why do we fail in the exam called life? Ever thought on the same?

There are several reasons, why we fail in life :

  1. We all are scared of failing.
  2. We listen more to others than our innermost desires.
  3. We compare ourselves with the better, assuming that we are just nothing.
  4. We just want to be a copy of others, than being different.

Being Scared of Failing 

If we try, then only we can decide, whether it is fun or not. Without even trying, assuming things to be difficult is the first step of failure. Take life as a challenge that is when you will cherish every moment of it. Wade off the fear of failing and prepare yourself to experience a new you.

Have you ever seen a baby stopping to try to walk, upon falling several times?

It is simply because, the baby is not scared to walk, even when it might fall a couple of times. Success is not an easy thing to achieve.  Growing up, most of us have lost that inquisitiveness in life.

Turning Deaf to the innermost feelings

Taking advice from the wrong is going to lead you into much more trouble. We all tend to take advice from people who do not have a single knowledge of what we do. And finally, even when our heart desires a lot, we just break away from those innermost feelings.

Don’t you think that is the worst part of being in a challenge? 

If you want to make life challenging, challenge the people around you who are stuck in monotony and show them how life can be happier with a choice that glows your heart.

Comparison- The slow poison on life

Even though we all know that we have varied things, aims, desires, dreams, passion, lifestyle everything including habits, we still tend to compare.

Yes, Comparison kills the joy of life.

One may have, a luxurious life but may not be completely happy. At the same time, a poor one may not have the luxury but has a peaceful life. It is all about how you take things. Identifying what you actually need and what makes you sufficient is important.

The moment you realise that you are different from others and you chose to be different, then it is a grand success.

We all even must have encountered several instances wherein parents compare children with other children and forget that their own child possesses something unique. In such cases, the child loses its self-confidence and even fails at many things. Little do they realise that comparing the child to another one, is killing the joy in their life.

Let them be what they want.

We all are Copycats 

We all just try to be a copy of the one near us or known to us. We never try to even change a little bit, because we assume that , something that is being called perfect among us is an epitome to be followed.

Being different is a challenge.

Life throws different challenges to all, and we all try to copy, forgetting that we all have different question papers to solve.

As I was saying, 

Life is an interesting challenge to endure. Making every moment challenging is even much more fun.  The moment we push ourselves outside the glass wall of others’ expectations, we are going to make life interesting.

At least at one point of life,  choose to take up a challenge. It might change your perspective of life.

 

 

IMPORTANCE OF PREPARATION

What does preparation mean, if we go just by the definition it simply means: “the action or process of making ready or being made ready for use or consideration”, but is it as simple as this definition – it’s much more than that.

Imagine how chaotic life would be without preparation for the day, be it home (cooking, cleaning, laundry), work (meetings, presentations, targets to be achieved for the day) or kids (getting their stuff done, packing their lunch box, preparing their meals, driving them for classes etc.).

Preparation however is not a skill that can be taught or given knowledge on. It comes with practice and experience. My dad is the most organized person I have seen, he would plan days in advance and do his preparations accordingly. An effective way of doing this is to note down all your plans and make a note of the preparations you need to do to achieve the same.

Preparation is not just a task, it can be helpful in more ways than one for the person:

  1. Self-discipline: when a person is prepared for things in his/her life, they drive their life towards achieving the goal, hence it becomes imperative that the person follows certain routine and hence in the process becomes more disciplined in life.
  2. Confidence: when a person is prepared well enough to achieve the goal they have set, it becomes easier to achieve the goal, and hence the more they achieve the results or their goals, the more confidence they gain in life and hence more self-respect as well.
  3. Maturity: The more a person is prepared, the more logistically their brain functions. They see life through different aspects and situations and hence prepare accordingly, hence they can handle the real life situations in a better way than the normal.

However, having said all of the above, it is also obvious that no person can always be prepared for all the situations in life. Human mind and emotions direct us internally to be prepared for the so called ‘happy path’, but destiny might have different plans for each of us. Hence, no matter how well prepared we are, we should always be ready to change directions and planning towards the instant challenges that life throws at us. So as they say-

“Plan for the best but be prepared for the worst”.

ARE WE ACTUALLY READY?

As we all know and so it is actually true that any great accolade demands immense strenuous preparation. What is to be reflected is the fact that preparation is not just about physical toil and labor but complete whole hearted mental indulgence in the task is equally important. Hence, it is very well said that we need to commit to the battle before it begins!

Even the smallest of the task to be accomplished requires some amount of speculation. Thus we need to have the clarity of our purpose and a reason for its accomplishment otherwise all our hard efforts will be haphazardly directionless that will bear no fruits in the end.

Each one of us wants to achieve great heights and so some of the questions need to pondered and they are :-

i) Are we ready to put in the required level of hard work and give our best?

ii) Are we ready to make the needed sacrifices that includes giving up all the pleasures for a while?

iii) Do we promise ourselves to be patient in this journey that we undertake and not give up irrespective of how much time it takes ?

iv) Are we prepared to face or suffer the little step downs or failures along the journey ?
Well all the questions above are not only for any great target to be achieved but also for any little achievement , they need to be pondered. Only the level and degree of hard work and sacrifices vary according to the goals.

All great people may not reveal their success mantra but one thing is common and that is that they all have a well defined plan of action and they stick to it!

I feel physical preparation is completely dependent on our mental preparation. The mind needs to be energized and strengthened with power before commencing any physical task. For example, it can be seen that during the times, our mind is in turbulence, our efficiency also reduces and we are not able to give in the planned input. Hence all I want to emphasize is that we need to be mentally strong and determined as we undertake any Hercules task.

Building an equanimous state of working mind and focusing all our mental energies towards the goal which is unaffected by the setbacks is called mental preparation. It is not easy to do so but also not impossible. Powerful positive affirmations , daily visualization of the goal and falling in love with the journey are some of the ways to be learnt that makes mental preparation smooth! It is also true that “The possession of anything great begins in the mind.”

So I would suggest each one of us to start preparing our mind first for any upcoming war to make the struggle easy. As it is very well said  “The more we sweat in training , the less we bleed in battle.’’

HOPE FOR THE BEST BUT PREPARE FOR THE WORST

Life is beautiful, it feels like an adventure everyday. While all of it looks good, feels great, going in the right direction, there are times where we have to be prepared for the worst. What we plan for may or may not happen, and odds are bound to happen, putting us in situations we aren’t prepared for.  There are broadly two types of events in life, known and unknown.

Moving from high school to graduation, getting our first job, marriage, having kids, these are known events, the plan was laid and we have known these events would happen. Loosing a job, falling ill while we are on a financial set back, unwanted pregnancy, loss of loved one, breakups, we would have never known of these earlier than they could occur. 

Sudden change of plans due to unforeseen circumstances of life is a bitter reality. Everyone of us have setbacks, heart burns when such events happen. Most of us are wise to an extent that we plan for the expected, but we crumble when the unexpected happens. 

It has nothing to do with weak hearted or strong, it has to do with how we take what happens to us, how planned were we, more than plans how prepared we are.  Life has never been as they would have planned for any one who have ever lived. The reality of life is hard to accept, lot of people feel very apprehensive to even think that something wrong might happen, if we are afraid of thinking about it, how would we be prepared?

I have known a lady who is full of life, I was always puzzled at how amazing she is at handling the unexpected, she never even complains. She was an ace badminton player, in her academy everyone thought she would make it to international level some day, until she lost her left leg in an accident. A man fell in love with her, post marriage they discovered she can never have babies. An year and half after marriage she lost her husband in a plane crash. That’s life! Was she expecting all this? No… This is only one instance, there are many such instances all of us would have come across in family, friends or even in the news. Disasters happen, and often families are unaware of the future. The emotional drains of life are hard to handle. 

We will feel very stressed and fearful when such things happen. Often, it so happens that other people are busy with their own lives while we are fighting hard, our world has crashed down and everything else seems normal. It can be quite scary to think of the future. There are certain ways in which we can be prepared.

  • Be self-reliant: Soak in life’s lessons, when we raise kids we have to teach them everything. Like while we were in schooling, we have learnt so many subjects but we hardly put them to use, exposure is very important. Exposing ourselves to various skills, learning all that we can without being biased on how it is going to help us is very useful. 
  • Have a plan which has room for unforeseen: Life happens all of a sudden, leaves us with no time to react. When we plan we should always have a contingency or alternative plans, nevertheless we cannot plan for everything. 
  • Do not over prepare: While preparing is important, overdoing it is of no use. Some people continue to plan for ever and actually execute less. At times, we may feel we are not yet prepared to take the next step, it’s OK, there is a first day for everything and we would learn while we are on the job.
  • Live life as it unfolds: No amount of preparation can help some times, calm down, think through it and let life be. If it’s new, it is and the only thing we can do is to deal with it. We cannot run away or escape from it but face it.

I believe that everything in life happens for a reason, now we may not know it, but it has a definite place in the future.  Everything we go through prepares us for the next level.

“There is always a part of my mind that is preparing for the worst, and another part of my mind that believes if I prepare enough for it, the worst won’t happen.” 

― Kay Redfield Jamison

 

BY FAILING TO PREPARE YOU ARE PREPARING TO FAIL

“By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail” – These are the words of Benjamin Franklin which ring true for people of all walks of life. Whether you are a sports person or an actor or a mother or a lawyer or a teacher preparation is a must for all.

Taking the time to prepare and plan is an essential part of being able to execute your aims. I’ve become more and more convinced that mindfulness and planning are keys to happiness.

It is very evident in the case of a sportsman. For him winning a game or match is not only because of the performance he gave on the field that day. But it’s actually the culmination of the preparation he did for days, months or years. He has to practice his game, prepare his body in terms of nutrition, strength and endurance to win in the actual game.

I would like to share a poem I found on the net about importance of practice and preparation in a sports person’s life.

Practice like you’ve never won,
In everything you do;
Success isn’t made overnight,
Let it be well done by you.

Perform like you’ve never lost,
Do all the best that you can;
No need for wasting time,
Show that you are the man.

Practice like you’ve never won,
Losing shall pull you down;
Exert extra effort to prevail,
Becoming a talk of the town.

Perform like you’ve never lost,
Don’t be scared to make mistake;
Learn lessons from failures
To taste the icing on the cake.

Discipline is all you need,
Days of negligence are gone;
Triumph tomorrow shall shine,
Practice like you’ve never won.

Bernard F. Asuncion

Another aspect of preparation is to be prepared to face any adversity or disaster in life. Plan ahead and don’t wait for the axe to almost fall before taking any action. Like the famous saying goes “It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark”. He anticipated the approaching danger and started preparing for it. If he had started the work only after flooding had started then the whole mankind and animal kingdom would have been doomed. Preparing ahead is so important.

This kind of planning is a must in every routine work also.

  • Like it’s so much easier to face an exam in school or college if we have started studying or preparing for it many days in advance.
  • Early morning rush and routine is so much simpler and sorted if the menu of the school tiffin is already decided by the mother and preparation for the cooking is already done.
  • The office executive makes such a good impression in front of his boss if he has worked out all the facts and figures and the supporting documents for them. His preparation for the meetings goes a long way in helping him climb the corporate ladder.
  • If there is a cyclone warning in your area it makes life much easier if we are already prepared for power outages and got all the essential things stored with us.

This list is endless. Every single work we do needs some kind of planning, preparation and attention for details from our side. Otherwise it ends up being a sloppy work which no one appreciates.

Being a mother there is another kind of preparation that I have come across. Preparing someone emotionally to face the changes in their life. I think most mothers will relate to this. When the second child is about to come into this world the mother has to prepare the elder sibling emotionally to accept the new baby. Otherwise they end up considering the baby as their adversaries who are just hogging their mother’s attention and time.

Or when the child is going to join school for the first time the parents try to prepare the child for what to expect and also to be able to stay away from home for a few hours without a tearful meltdown. And I must say these preparations make the life so much easier for the toddlers their mothers and the teachers.

So in short I would just say “Fortune Favours the Prepared.” So be prepared.