Ashutosh is very ambitious. He is always busy with assignments, classes, project works and few other activities. He enjoys time with his family a lot, though lately he has not been able to find time to spend with his family. He is a friendly, sociable guy and whenever he finds time, he does become a part of the group. He likes his college. Time to time, he vents his frustration out by discussing different things with his friends. Overall, he is a very focused person and everyone says that he is going to succeed in life. However, one of his major shortcomings is General Awareness. He tries to memorize things, goes through yearbooks and competition magazines; but, that never seems to be enough. It is difficult to go through those intensely boring books. Still, he does that. But being aware about everything in general has no limits. It is an endless world after all. National politics, world politics, environment, biology, physics, technology, inventions, industries, corporations, businesses, economy, economics, wars of the past, wars of the present, theories behind everything, philosophies behind everything, philosophies and philosophical thought, history of everything, books, authors and on and on. People tell him to read only what is relevant but then relevance is a very subjective word. Everything seems relevant. There is no end to knowledge. And then what is irrelevant for one exam becomes relevant for another. On top of all this, even if he does manage to work really hard, cram nicely and stuff his head with a lot of information, he ends up forgetting it very soon. He is unable to recall things especially when he is required to, say in group discussions and interviews. How frustrating it gets for him when someone else points out something that he knew but could not recall, only to end up being defeated. And only he knows the pain.
Many would like to point out that he does not have the ability or the bent of mind that is required to be good at General Awareness. But how did he lose this ability? What can be possibly wrong with him that he cannot get good at general awareness? Is it something fixable or is it a curse that he has to live with all his life?
It is fixable.
The problem with Ashutosh, as it is with most of the students out there, is the manner in which he approaches life. He is intensely utilitarian. He is concerned only with his career’s progress. He does not care about where the world is going. His universe ends at his ambition, his family, his friends and entertainment, basically at his personal life. To summarize it all, he is not aware about the affairs of the world because he is not interested in actually being aware about the world. He has to understand ‘General Awareness’ is NOT a subject in his education that he can excel at by more practice or by studying specialized notes.
Ask yourself – “how much do I resemble Ashutosh?” You wish you could match his hard work and focus, but that is not what I am talking about here. I am talking about how deeply do you understand the world? How do you think those people like Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin managed to understand the world with an exceptional depth? They harnessed the power of their mind. To what extent are YOU eager to know about the world? Some of you might not be so single-minded in your attitude towards your life like Ashutosh is. You keep your eyes and ears open for other things happening around you. That is a good thing. But then, how deep have you gone into exploring things that are not directly related to your personal advancement? If a big No stares you in your face, it is time to change certain things in your life.
Something must strike you as interesting. Write it down right away. NOW! Invest time regularly into it. Explore further into the thing. See what new interests are developing within you. Keep track of them. Develop ‘knowledge building’ in this field as your hobby. If there is something truly worth investing time in this world, it is the development of oneself. It can pay you in the external world when you can show yourself to be knowledgeable or skilled in some particular thing. Internally, it would make you feel more grounded, more confident in your being. Over a period of time, your interest will take wonderful shape just like a small seed sown into the ground becomes a tiny plant in a few weeks of nourishment.
If you are curious about gadgets, get to know about their functioning, the science behind them, their invention, the development of technology, the limitations at which the technology has got stuck, how technology is marketed.
If you are interested in knowing more about people (people you admire), read about them, read texts written by them, read things written for them, read things written against them.
If you are addicted to watching films, convert that into an extensive knowledge about the process of film making, the history of film making, the technological advancements, great artists of the past, actors, directors.
Know more about environment, wildlife, flora, fauna, forests, ecological balances, ecological phenomena, weather and climate. And don’t restrict yourself to just one region– know everything of different regions of the planet.
If you are interested in business, industries or economy, understand how they have developed from the start of trade. Know what popular or knowledgeable people in the world of business or management talk about.
Become an expert in whatever you explore. You will see a confident person in yourself, who is most probably absent right now. Knowledge has that power. Power comes with knowledge.
Lastly, never develop an “I know it all” attitude. That will be death of the curious person inside you. Keep that inner eye open so that you develop your own vision of the world rather than buying someone else’s view, rather than plagiarizing someone else’s view of the world. Your perspective towards the world will keep on growing broader and deeper. As you will grow in knowledge, you will realize how stupid most of the human race anyways is. This will bring in certain calmness underneath all your emotions. The choice is yours – you want to keep yourself at the most stupid level of humanity or you want to utilize your mind into knowing this world deeply and harness the real power of your mind?
The writer of this piece is an IIT Delhi graduate who has always helped students in developing interest and passion in whatever they are pursuing. A passionate observer of life around himself, he believes life without intensity is like a torch without a flame and that is the belief he has been instilling in students for the last 2 years. He is currently working at MBAGuru to inspire energy, intensity and perception in students; to show it to them that becoming confident is not very far from becoming interested
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