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According to the admissions site of MIT:

“Some applicants struggle to turn themselves into clones of the “ideal” MIT student—you know, the one who gets triple 800s on the SAT. Fortunately, cloning is still for sheep. What we really want to see on your application is you being you—pursuing the things you love, growing, changing, taking risks, learning from your mistakes, all in your own distinctive way. College is not a costume party; you’re not supposed to come dressed as someone else. Instead, college is an intense, irreplaceable four-year opportunity to become more yourself than you’ve ever been. What you need to show us is that you’re ready to try.”

This justifies me constantly talking about the YOU. It may have seemed repetitive and even boring, but there is acloning minds strong reasoning there – I wanted to warn you against the consequences of cloning. Till we do not make time to discover ourselves, we will be attempting to be someone who we may not necessary be. Just because it is right for someone, does that make it right for YOU? Probably not!  If you apply it to yourself in an objective manner you may find the MISFITS. This is true for a college, and even life in general. You cannot be a clone of someone and expect to succeed. If I talk about the education side, you would be surprised to know that each of the high ranked colleges talk about the Right Fit. The admission officers are usually looking at an application to see how the applicant fits in the university and in addition also how the university/college fits with YOU, your goals and your aspiration.

How do we discover ourselves and NOT turn into a clone? This is the precious question all of you should be asking before you embark on your journey of finding your educational path.

There are no set rules for this. There is, unfortunately no book that you can mug up and arrive at an answer. Neither is there a person who can tell you with certainty as to who you are. Your parents, friends, family and even your teachers all hold some pieces that can help you put the jigsaw together, but you, my dear student, have to make the effort.

How would YOU begin?

Discovering oneself certainly does not require you to be off to the Himalayas, although, where I am sitting right now it does sound like an excellent plan. However,If that is not an option, you can start with little steps.

Know your Skill Set.

Each of you has a set of skills, know-how, knowledge, interests etc. Each of this together form your skill set. The skill set of a person is essentially what sets them apart from another.Let me take this one step further to understand the importance. Every profession require a certain skill set.

So to say – a musician needs at the very least, an in-depth knowledge of Music – Vocal and instrumental. A musician would benefit if he/she knows more than one language (if you are a music composer in India you would benefit knowing regional languages).Must understand music production, the technology know-how. You should have the knowledge of history of Music and the instruments. Should have good Communication Skill, and strangely enough Theatre association (look at all the reality show judges). The list can be very long, but it is important to identify these. If you aspire to be a musician, you should know the skills required to become one. The Degree pursued at undergrad level and post grad level also forms part of this skill set.

Now analyse your skills you HAVE. You may already be studying music for last many years. You have already done a lot of theatre. But you may not be good at communication Skills. you still have to pursue a relevant college undergraduate and a postgraduate degree, so on and so forth.

Once you know the skill you NEED and the skills you HAVE you can arrive at, this is very important, THE SKILL GAP.

SKILLS I NEED (to be a musician) – SKILLS I HAVE (at present) = THE SKILL GAP

If you can find this skill gap then identifying your next step would become considerably easy. It will also help you identify a possible route to take. Analysing Skill gap also means that you can identify the amount of effort that you need to put in to become, say a musician.

How to read and analyse your Skill Gap is not a difficult task, try some for different professions and let me know if it helped you arrive at some answers or even better, if it helped you raise some questions. Questions about yourself is good to raise so long as you are agreeable to find answers and are willing to look at possibilities even if somewhat unusual.

 

via Daily Prompt: Toothbrush

What does Toothbrush effectively do for you? Clean up!! Now you did not have to be a rocket scientist to know that, just a regular guy/girl with a bad breath.

Education is pretty much the Toothbrush of our lives as well. No I  am not making this unnecessary connection for the heck of it. Think about it.

It cleans up your life in the most beautiful manner, leaves you fresh and yes your mind sparkling.

Education is arguably the best Toothbrush one is fortunate enough to get. A mind is essentially a muscle which develops just when we exercise it. Unlike other muscles you can instantly feel the difference in the most effective manner. When I say education I mean it beyond school, college and classes. I mean education broadly as learning. You could learn a new skill – drums maybe, learn a new thing about science or history. It does not have to be related to anything, can be without a plan so long as it leaves you with something new and exercises  that brain of yours. In some cultures it is believed that your mind, and it’s skills crosses over into your next life with you. This is how they explain how some kids are born intelligent with certain inherent skills and some kids do not have that intelligence. I may not believe in it entirely but I must admit it holds some mystery there.

So Toothbrush yes it’s a tool to help you start your day and education helps you start your life in the most beautiful manner.

 

 

 

 

I like this word Demystifying because it adds , well,  Mystery!! (no claims on originality there). By definition Demystify – make (a difficult subject) clearer and easier to understand. ‘Demystifying you’ simply translated – make a clearer picture of yourself. It is an interesting word which engulfs a certain mystery behind one that is demystified. Does that mean that you ademystifying youre such a mystery that you essentially require Demystifying?

Well yes You are!!

It is strange to think that you are a mystery to yourself. You who lives and breathes you, you who make you are a mystery to you. Almost a mind twister there! And yet it is true in most cases. We often fail to find answers to the very basic and thereby make ourselves the biggest mystery to even ourselves.

How is that possible, you might ask?

Well let us see when we ask questions such as – What is your favourite colour or what is your favourite food or even which is your least favourite destination? Most of us will prompt an answer without a thought. This has a lot to do with where this information is stored in our brain (not elaborating on this for fear of making this technical)

However, let us ask a little deeper question: “What makes you happy?” or even something simpler “If your favourite colour is yellow, what does it really represent for you?” These questions are usually answered with “ err” , “hmmm” and similar sounds that are mostly difficult to decipher.

Would you therefore not agree that most of us find ourselves a mystery? This phenomenon is more prevalent in the students and its presence is essentially due to the fact that they have many stimuli and information thrown their which make is difficult to process and store it in the relevant box. It is often a task to know which information is relevant to the given question, thereby mystifying us further.

So how do we truly demystify ourselves?

There are various ways that we use to answer a question in a class – let us say a Science project on “How can we save the Tiger” (my son has been given this for the week). What would be the logical path that you would take to come up with the best possible answer?

  1. Do your research on tigers
  2. You start with the history of tigers
  3. The reason why they are endangered
  4. What are the steps we are taking to protect the tigers
  5. Finally what more can we do?

Let us start on this logical path

Do your research on you – include what you like, what are you good at, since we are essentially taking about education find out what subject you find hard to do and on the other hand which subjects do you enjoy doing. Do not however make it just about grades.

History of You should include more than your educational background and include your qualities, skills, interests and to some extent even your beliefs. Each of these defines YOU. Each of these will influence the decision you will take in a certain situation. Example if your belief does not allow you to tell a lie, there will be certain career that will be most unsuited. (You know which ones I am suggesting, don’t you?)

The Reason: this is an interesting one. Why am I who I am? (This is a question I will help you answer eventually). To look for an answer for this complex question will involve a number of things – your skill set, your background – both financial and cultural, your education – passive and active and a number of other reasons that have made you an individual that you are.

Steps Ahead: this involves primarily chalking a path to your future. This step shall come only after an initial knowledge on yourself. It requires identification of a path that you can set off on.

What can we do: an objective view on what should or should not be done in order to achieve our goals (in this case possibly the admission in a desired college?)

You may add as many subheads to make the report more believable and true, this is only a sample of the essential information you need to have to create an effective report on self. You will see that to take any step further in our lives, we need to have an understanding of self. There is another thing that is equally important to understand. You are a dynamic element, which means that you are always changing and evolving with every experience. Each of the factors that I have talked about will change or add to it. What is constant, however, is that each of these will have an effect on your decision. Therefore in decoding yourself, first step will be to gain an understanding of self!

There is an advantage to going with you, and that is –  you benefit the most!!

Fortunately or unfortunately our world is described best reletive to benefits. Questions like, if I vote for this party, how do I benefit? If I help her, what would be the  benefit for me? So the common thread is benefit and me almost across all realms. So let’s be selfish (admittedly selfish) and do things that truly benefits you.

You need to therefore, filter the information that is thrown to you. Understand what’s in it for others. And finally does the benefit to other surpasses the benefit to you?

Mostly if you can put the information in the right bracket of ‘benefit’, you will be able to process it correctly. The question therefore is how?

In times when information is so easily and freely available take time out to research.

First step- research on you. What do you really want?

Second step- understand the paths that will take you there.

Third step- find the best route and always keep an alternative (this is very important and I will dwell on it later)

Step four – look for help around you from both family and professionals ( I am using the term family in a broad sense to include friends teachers etc)

Step five – filter the information before you react to it.

Each of these steps are very important. Each of them will take you closer to making a decision and each of them will help you along the way in architecting your future.

So I end this where I began- Go with you. However when I say go with you, I do mean purely in context of choosing an education path. It’s not about being selfish and not taking a larger picture into account. We are after all a social animal and we cannot and arguemently should not look out only for ourselves and ignore what’s benefecial for the larger good of the society. Yet I do understand the argument behind the need to be selfish and take a decision that best suits us. So all I say to you is, Do it with care and armed with the knowledge. How do we start on this JOURNEY?  I  will share my views on this in my next edition.

 

 

 

 

Who-are-youI was lead to believe blogging is an art and that we should follow a certain direction. It should be well written, free of grammatical error, have a fraction of humor, and talk about pressing topics – like education. I read up all the rules, did my research and decided – I do not like rules. I do not want to write someone else’s blog. This is MY BLOG and it should be what I want to say to YOU.
Just like this is YOUR life and hence this life should be about YOU. Now to make sense of your career (which is an important aspect of life) you need to, first, understand the most important aspect –  YOU. You are essentially a product of Your Own Understanding of things around you.
The most common mistake that students and parents make when choosing a career or course is that they take into account all factors such as Rankings, Salary packages, Country, Costs – everything but ignore the YOU.
We essentially base our decisions on what we hear from others. When I say others I broadly mean Ranking tables, Newspapers, Professionals and even Neighbors. But we ignore the most significant factor – YOU.
YOU are different from everyone else, and that is a truth we cannot and should not ignore. You have to live the life based on decisions made today. The least you should do is make these decisions based on YOU. Your favorite color is not the same as yours best friend’s favorite color and your choice of career most certainly cannot be.
My advice – find time to research, and the topic of research should be YOU.
We are an end result of our circumstances. This means that your circumstances shape your understanding. What is right for you may not be correct for another. You make your decisions based on your Needs, which are different from someone else’s need. Your need defines your destination and therefore the path that you need to take to reach it. When none of these are same, how then can your career be the same? Now even if I were to take this in isolation, you and your best friend have indeed arrived at the same career choice, let me assure you that your paths cannot be identical, because here too your own choices , likes and dislikes come into play, which are very individualistic.
So my question is – do you agree that you are indeed YOU – essentially made up of Your Own Understanding? The question for parents – do you agree that your child is indeed NOT YOU?
If YOU do, then wait for my next blog and I shall help decode YOU some more!!

educationMy very first post, just like the image suggests – Yes its all about Education.  I am trying to make sense of it all, just like a whole lot of you out there ( I know there are over a million of us). I am attempting to word my concerns and learning from over time (have been an Education Consultant for last 13 years). I do not by any means claim to be an authority on any thing, yet want to share what I have learnt , pretty much through the students that I have met and counselled over the past decade and more.

As an Education Consultant if there is one thing that I have learnt is this – giving direction to a student is like standing at a distance and giving instructions on how to ride a bicycle. As parents, the instructions may vary, the Outcome is much the same. OUTCOME: They listen, they concentrate and they almost look as if it is making sense to them and then…. well they take a few falls all the same.

Sounds like life, does it not?

What worries me the most is when the students feel that I have the powers (or knowledge) to give them the Right direction. A direction that, like Red Bull, shall give them the desired Wings. They will have the best education, then a job with a salary that runs into 6 figures, a House with a swimming pool so on so forth.

Well to say the least, I can do no such thing, I am still looking for the Magic Wand that make these wishes come true. While I look for them, you will have to follow the traditional methodology of Success.

What I can and will attempt to do, is help you identify some of the paths, that have proven to be more successful if pursued with conviction. What I will, however, do before that is to tell you to not listen to me. Perplexed?

To say anything with authority about anything is based on

  1. my understanding ( my up bringing, education etc)
  2. my intelligence (can be questioned),
  3. my circumstances (variable)
  4. my priorities ( it could very well be my business )

MINE not YOURS!!

So hang on in here and I will help you to take a decision based on YOU – Your Own Understanding and take a path best suited to you!!

Read on!!