We (in Delhi) are banned from using matches to light up crackers on Diwali. But we loved the cracker of a match between India and Pakistan in the T20 World Cup last year. The timing of that match and Virat Kohli’s knock could not have been better. And 1000s of aspirants in the final stages of their CAT preparation can learn a lot for from it. As they can from the Australia vs Afghanistan match yesterday, where Maxwell arguably played the best ODI innings ever.
Every year around this time, I get mails and messages from numerous students from various top CAT Coaching institutes about the seemingly hopeless status of their CAT preparation. This situation is similar to India being 31/4 at one stage of the match or Australia being 90 odd for 7 chasing nearly 290. Skill, practice, preparation, strategy are all important things, but the all-important thing is mindset. And last year’s T20I Ind-Pak match or yesterday’s Aus-Afg match were a masterclass in chasing a target (CAT for you) from a hopeless position.
The solution to a mind issue lies in a change of the mindset. Let me share a few facts that would certainly make you feel better, brighter and more confident about your CAT preparation.
First of all, it is normal to feel frustrated/apprehensive/helpless/hopeless with only a few weeks to go for CAT. Barring the most capable and (over?) confident, everyone would be jittery and unsure to varying extents. You wouldn’t be human otherwise. Even Kohli had mentioned after the match that he knew the odds were against them – they just carried on, taking it deep. Chances are that even the aspirant who will finally score a match winning 99.99 %ile this year would be nervous right now. For all we know, that could be you. So, smile 🙂 It is alright .. all is well 🙂
Secondly, many of those who feel like this will give up each day. Most teams and players would have done that too. You could either be a part of them, or you could just hang in there like Kohli and Pandya (or Maxwell and Cummins). If you do that, you will see your relative chances improve even if you do nothing else and just stay positive and attempt the CAT! Just be there till the end. The fact is that you are losing competitors thick and fast, every single day here on. Every single one of the CAT coaching classes you attend, every workshop you make use of and every mock you attempt, analyze and improve on is one big leap forward, relative to others. You move forward even if you do nothing but not quit.
Thirdly, a race is decided at the finish line – not 1000 meters before, not 100 meters before, and not even 1 meter before the finish line. Just like either of the matches mentioned above weren’t decided 10 overs before, 10 balls before or even 1 ball before it actually ended. When you play, you play your best and you play till the end. You judge yourself once you have done that. More than that, you will be among those who get past the finish line – you would be ahead of all those who don’t. Believing that, all your energy should be on trying to finish as strongly as you possibly can. That is what Kohli did against insurmountable odds. He stuck it out there; even when he was struggling, he carried on.
Finally, when you just stick around and believe, strangest of things happen. What were the odds of the kind of sixes that Kohli hit off the best bowler on display at 18.5 and 18.6 overs coming off? Or the chances of a spinner bowling a no ball that was hit for a 6? What were the odds of a free-hit ball deflecting off the stumps and the batsmen running 3 byes? Or Ashwin literally getting the bowler to bowl a wide? Logically, pretty close to zero. But you saw it happen, right?
The choice is simple, and it is yours. Hereon, CAT or any other exam, is less about strategy and more about mindset.
You can stop here or you can keep running; you may decide to give up or gain as others give up.
You can say I gave my 90% to it and it probably wasn’t enough. Or you can say I will give my 100% to my CAT entrance exam preparation and see what happens. The universe will conspire to help you achieve unimaginable success!
I wish you all a very happy Diwali.
About the author: Deekshant has sleep-walked through several 100 and 99.9 %iles in practically every section of the CAT. That he is a cricket fan and he writes okay is evident from most of his posts. 1000s of our students swear that he can motivate almost anyone to double his/her percentile through very simple yet powerful inputs. And that’s why every MBAGuru student has direct access to him via mail and Telegram. Oddly, he somehow also finds the time to write songs professionally. And yes … almost missed this … he is an alumnus of IIT Delhi & IIM Cal