I am now 62 and describing my life learning with an aim to provide hope to many ordinary, unguided young lives who has a faint wish in mind to do better but get puzzled or confused in that endeavor.
This is not for matured people or for them who are not from the grass root level of the society. This also is not for the talented people. This is aimed to those most ordinaries who want to break the boundaries.
My request to the readers to pass it on to those who will really need it.
SETTING THE HORIZON
I hope you have gone through my ‘budding a wish’. Wish slowly gets coagulated and forms a dimensional shape and the boy starts setting up his life goal. At this point of time it is not possible to define the goal very clearly but a reasonably firm view towards the path he wants to move on is possible. At this stage, at this very beginning, it is important to foresee the horizon within which the boy want to grow. This is little different from goal setting. It is rather a journey path selection. I have experienced in my life that, for an ordinary talent, goal setting either is not practically possible or it may limit the potential, in case he gets settled early immediately after arriving on a safe plateau, which can reasonably guarantee his ‘food, cloth and shelter’.
However, I believe, an ordinary talent from an ordinary family back ground really doesn’t have an opportunity to plan his career path at the very beginning. He isn’t a genius in one hand and on the other hand he doesn’t have guidance. Therefore, with his ordinary wits, insufficient input and visibility, he better decides a horizon for his growth journey. He better knows that, this isn’t final. He can always expand this horizon at a later point of time.
Now, what are these horizons? I believe these horizons are different for different persons. Though in most of the cases possibly getting rid of economic strains would be the primary need. Once that is achieved, the ‘life’ opens up various horizons in front of him and he can select it. Three principle horizons I could mention here are Economic Horizon, Education Horizon and Fame Horizon. There could be many more depending upon the individual personal perception.
Economic Horizon: The poor boy first will look to the boundary line where he will be able to fulfill his basic needs. He will think to elevate his standard from ‘poor’ to ‘Lower middle class’ in Indian context. He can most probably set up a long term boundary line up to ‘middle class’ and next to ‘upper middle class’ and so on. This journey is boundary less.
Typical Economic Horizon
Education Horizon: Many (like me) will carefully nurture a wish and hesitantly try to set up this. Issue is multi fold. First of all, the marks obtained in school leaving exam. is not worth mentioning. Next, looking at some of others are doing, he also will sit in competitive tests for getting admission in famous colleges or/and in high demand professional courses without much preparation and without understanding that his financial condition won’t permit him to pursue the course, even if he gets through it by any miracle. Ultimately, will settle down for an ordinary course to complete his college education. If there is a fire in the belly, the boy will look to a wider horizon and will search for those alternate avenues which will lead him to reach there. This could be a journey life long and mostly may not have any remunerative connection with his professional life in Indian context ,but will – on one hand-surely have a social impact and on the other hand (most vital) will satisfy his self-esteem. And I tell you, it works in real life.
Typical Education Horizon
Fame Horizon: It comes along with as he walks on in his life path. He by this time has already broken some boundaries and can look little more confidently towards life. He now wants to earn some ‘name’ in the field he is working and act towards it. If luck permits, in many cases he will get appreciated and will be able to create a pool of people who will respect him for his knowledge and capability. Bigger the pool is, greater the chance of breaking the boundary once again and become famous.
Typical Fame Horizon
In real life, these horizons are not always separate. They fall on each other almost always. For example, a journey from ‘poor’ to ‘low middle class’ will merge with the journey from ‘school’ to ‘bachelors’ as well. Not necessarily, but a general possibility is there.
Finally, once the horizon is set the boy can consider it as his ‘first cut dream’ and start working to realize it.
Three points are important to note at this stage:
Goal can be broad. May not be pin pointed. Can also change later.
This needs to be understand. We always are being taught to be focused and pin point the goal. In the given circumstances, it may not be possible to do in most of the cases. In my case, I first attempted to be a Doctor, then a Vet, then a Ceramic or Textile Engineer, then a Mechanical/Electrical engineer, then a Cost Accountant and so on. Actually, I was trying to get in to something that gives me surety to earn a good money and also provide a scope for future growth. Ordinary talent doesn’t have a luxury to pin point his goal (at least in most of the cases), he has to be flexible enough to pick up one out of many choices, which he can ultimately land on and should start loving it.
I have seen some people who had modified or changed their goal at a later stage. That is possible. Fortunately, I needn’t had to do anything like that, once I got admission in a licentiate course in mechanical engineering (LME), I could follow this path through out and could able to add to it, though very slowly.
Start mental journey.
Tuning the mind to travel towards an unknown territory is also a pre requisite. Getting smart in thinking pros and cons is not that much fruitful always. Better to be little dumb and jump in to a mental journey in advance, before putting the feet forward in reality. Advance day dreaming is helpful.
Keep eyes open. Pick up clue from the air.
Nobody is there to guide, nobody is available for hand holding. So, hit and miss is the only option. Keeping the eyes and ear open in the air and picking up bits and pieces of information helps a lot to build up a mental flow chart in horizon setting.