It was a warm morning in the month of April. With ardent efforts and push of his parents, Shankar completed his Higher Secondary exams in the previous month. He felt like he has pushed the Great Wall of China with the help of his parents. Now that, he needs a lengthy break in order to relax. He was planning to spend his summer vacation. He asked his parents, friends, browsed and took lot of efforts for his summer vacation. He thought of going to a hill station. So he thinks, “If I go there I will be enjoying the beauty of nature, lakes, forest, birds, etc. So I must be able to take snaps then and there and post it on my timeline. Oh God! I don’t have a good mobile phone - a smart phone with large number of megapixels. First let me buy a good smart phone”. He hops in Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal and all other e-commerce sites known to him. He meets one of his friends in the evening, sees one of his friends having a brand new XYZ phone with good clarity in picture. He rushes to home. “Dad, I need XYZ smart phone – the same which my friend has.” His father replied, Shankar, “Did you make a good inquiry about the phone? I heard that certain models of this company mobile phones are blasting or they get heated easily”. Shankar replied, “Dad if you are willing to buy me, give the money.
Or else, if you don’t have the idea of getting me the phone, please don’t pass such comments! My friend is using that phone. It will be good one only.” “Oh Dear! Why do you make him tensed?! He has completed all his examinations. Please get him whatever he wants”, cried his mother from the Kitchen. So finally, Dad decided to buy him the phone and he received the phone and took smiling selfie. An usual scene in almost all houses. Right, now the phone is ready. Now Shankar says, “I’m going to the nearby hill station for vacation with my friends. I need Rs.5000 for my en route expenditure and stay.” Dad stares at him, mom stares at Dad. Without asking anything Dad gives money as wants to avoid any further fights with Shankar’s Mother. It’s all because of past experience, where the fight went up to the tearing of Dad’s Peter England shirt, Mobile phone and other durables worth Rs.8000. This is something cheaper! Hence, he gave Rs.5000. Shankar packed everything he needed. He had his brand new phone, head phone, power bank, and laptop, snacks packed by his mother, blankets, towels, air pillow, clothes and all other necessary things. So Shankar with his friends landed in Madurai Railway Junction around 6 in the next morning.
The announcement came, “Passengers your attention please. Train Number 12636, Madurai to Chennai Egmore via Dindigul, Tiruchirapalli, Vilupuram, Vridachalam, Chengalpattu, Tambaram; Vaigai Superfast express stands on Platform No.1. Yatriyon Kripya Dhyan Dhijiye, Gaadi Number 12636, Madurai Se Dindigul, Tiruchirapalli, Vilupuram, Vridachalam, Chengalpattu, Tambaram ke marg Se Chennai Egmore tak Jane wali Vaigai Superfast Express Platform Number Ek par Khadi.” Now that, till they reach the station they did not decide as to which hill station they are going to go. Ram, one of the friends of Shankar said, “Guys, let’s board this Vaigai express and Drop in Kodaikkanal Road. From there let’s move to Kodaikkanal hills.” Unanimously everyone agreed to this and bought tickets, boarded the unreserved compartment.
The train departed exactly at 7.10 AM 10 minutes later than scheduled departure. Since it was unreserved compartment, there was a little bit of rush but these three managed to get 3 seats for themselves. As they woke up early in the morning, they all fell asleep. The scheduled arrival for Kodaikkanal Road station was not at all in the schedule because superfast trains do not stop in that particular station! Within half an hour or forty minutes, the train flew away the station. All three were sound asleep and didn’t realize that they have crossed the station. After a few hours, Vishal - one among the three heard the noise of Tea, Coffee, Chaya Chaya, Tea, Coffee.
He slowly managed to wake up and was astonished to see that they all were in Villupuram. Almost 288 Kms away from Kodaikkanal road! He tapped the two other guys and said “hey Ram, Shankar, we are in Villupuram we missed our station.” The other two woke up and were blinking as to what to do now. They all got down the train before it leaves for Chennai. Fortunately they were not caught by the Train Ticket Examiner. They left the station. Vishal said, “ok fortunately or unfortunately we have come here. Pondicherry is nearby only. Why shall not we go there and spend the rest of the time? Why not a coastal area instead of hill station?” The other two in the anticipation of some enjoyment agreed. So they boarded the bus and went to Pondicherry, Union Territory near Tamil Nadu.
They wanted to stay in a hotel. So they went into a hotel and asked for a room. The receptionist said. “Sorry sir no more rooms available”. After that they searched for room the whole day. They could not find any room. So they planned to leave to Madurai itself. They boarded the bus. They reached Madurai in the odd hours. They couldn’t get local buses to reach their homes. They stood for almost an hour and finally got a bus. They reached home. In this story, all these guys were not specific as to where they have to reach. They didn’t even decide their destination.
Particularly Shankar was not skeptical in buying his phone. He bought it blindly since his friend was using it. They all blindly went to the junction, didn’t inquire about the train stopping properly. They had no plan of going to Pondicherry. But they had made it as a by-pass plan. Ok, but they could not get any room because of lack of proper planning. At last, they did not enjoy their holidays at all. It was waste of time. Not only in this story, in real life too, there are many people who do not plan properly. Especially students do not set their goals in a SMART way.
SMART here refers to Specific – Specific about what they have to pursue as their career (in this story they were not specific about where they have to go)
Measurable – Bifurcate goals into short term and long term and determine the duration
Achievable – Goals should be achievable in the measured period (they did not achieve what they wanted to do)
Realistic – One cannot set a goal to reach Delhi from Bombay in 20 minutes in bicycle
Time bound – Goals should be time bound. Only then they can be achieved.