I write this article on 20th January 2015, one day after the CA Final results were declared. As with any result there were moments of ecstasy on one side and then there were also the moments of sorrow and crying for those who didn't clear. Those who cleared were apparently visible and vociferous all over the social media be it Facebook or LinkedIn. And that’s obvious because they had cleared one of the most difficult papers probably in the world. I wish them good luck in their future endeavors. I shall be writing a series of articles on the aspects of preparing a great CV, interviews, group discussions and on overall employability aspect of the chartered accountants.
This article is more for students who very unfortunately couldn’t pass and would have to re-appear for their exams. I can fully understand what must be going in their mind and appreciate the torture one has to undergo on re-appearing for exams. However, my advice to you is not to panic and create more difficult situations for yourself. This is the time when you need all the more strength and encouragement and vigor to stand up and fight for your goals, fight for your dreams, fight for your self and fight for your parents/friends who have been with you come what may have happened. This is the time when you actually realize the importance of the terms ‘success’ and ‘failure’ and I want all of you to just wipe your tears and get back to your goals.
There are two ways of looking at your result. First, you get into depression or remain in a sorrowful mood and keep criticizing the system or the ICAI for the kind of results they have come out with. You always believed that you deserved to get passed and there is no reason why you should be eluded with a positive result. The second or the more positive way of looking at the result is to accept it graciously and start to identify the problem areas within yourself and in your preparations for the exams.
I always tell the students that ICAI or the CA system should only be criticized on the day when there would not be a single student passing the exams. If students have passed the exams and if you haven’t then it’s definitely an indication of something wrong with you or the way you prepared for exams.
What I also tell them is that things would never change, the Institute has always been very stringent on passing the students and they would continue to do going forward as well for reasons best known to them. What you need to do is “CHANGE YOURSELF”. Remember:
“The only way things get better for you is when YOU get better”
Think about ways of improving yourself and improving the ways you have been practicing for your exams, think about improving your knowledge of the subjects and think about how you can master the art of clearing the papers. After all there are almost 200,000 chartered accountants who have cleared similar papers under similar or perhaps more difficult situations. This is a clear indication it is not impossible to clear CA but we need to rectify or improve the way we have been till now, preparing for the papers and make that change immediately without wasting any further time.
Let’s take a vow to make it happen for us the next time as we have to see our names in the list of students who pass in May 2015 attempt. I am with all of you in this tough time and together we shall surely make it happen. However, as all of you know “Ideation without execution is delusion” and we wouldn’t be able to achieve the desired results unless we start to practice some tips that I am going to give you right away. These are tried and tested principles that have been used and implemented by highly successful people and once you start to practice them, I can guarantee your life would change and you would start getting positive results.
So here it goes…
1. Have a Winner’s Mindset
To become a winner you have to think like a winner. There is no way one can win if one doesn’t have a winner’s mindset and consequently, it is extremely important to think positive and like a winner.
I read a book sometime back – ‘The power of your subconscious mind’ that taught me the concept of how our brain and mind works and what does it take to create a winner’s attitude. I realized 95% of what we do is governed by our subconscious mind and our conscious mind determines only 5%. That was an eye-opener for me because I learnt that our thoughts are actions and whatever we experience is the creation of those thoughts. Since every action has an attached reaction our thoughts create reactions as per such thoughts.
It’s a proven science that thoughts become things and whatever we think come back to us as what we see in the outside world. That means to develop a winner’s mindset we need to think like a winner and winners don’t think negative. You have to believe in yourself and think like a champion. Even if the CA results have not been as per your expectations, don’t let yourself burdened with the thought of any failure.
I personally believe that either you win or if you don’t then you get an opportunity to get a feedback on your performance to improve and achieve the results later. You only loose if you don’t listen to your feedback and don’t implement that feedback. Take this opportunity to get candid feedback on yourself and improve the deficiencies.
2. Create a Bubble around you
This is one my favorite points to discuss. Create a bubble around you so you don’t allow any noise to disturb you. By creating a bubble I mean you surround yourself only with things and people who matter to you most during the next 3-4 months when you would be re-appearing for your exams. Purposely remove all distraction from your life and you can do that by:
i. Stop watching TV;
ii. Stop chatting on Whats App;
iii. Stop accessing Facebook or any other social media;
iv. Stop wasting time doing irrelevant things.
Unless you stop the noise around you that is disturbing you or that is creating a distraction for you, you wouldn’t be able to focus. And having an acute focus on your goals is very important.
3. Have a Plan and a Sub-Plan for the next 3 months
It is extremely important to have a plan for yourself on what and how you are going to do for the next 3-4 months. Spend a lot of time planning for your studies and how are you going to handle each subject. How much time would you spend on each subject, how much time would you give to revision, how many time are you going to revise the syllabus, how much time do you need for additional coaching. Each and every aspect of exams should be planned NOW and meticulously noted.
Once the plan is ready have a sub-plan and break down your 3 months goals in 3 parts so that you know what you have to achieve in the next month and in the month thereafter and so on. Writing a daily journal also helps you keep a complete focus on your daily activities and achieve the desired goals. You can read my detailed article – ‘Writing You Daily Journal – Why & How”
By breaking your main goals in parts, you would be able to achieve them with more confidence and much easily. It’s like the old saying – “If you want to eat an elephant then the best way is to cut into pieces”.
Have the courage to act on your own plans and with great determination just go for them. No one can stop you from achieving your goals unless you allow it otherwise.
4. Stop Procrastination
Procrastination is the term defined to mean ‘the act of delaying or postponing something’. This is a very bad habit generally possessed by majority of the people and it is like a disease that if doesn’t cured can completely devastate your future. You can read some of my more in-depth comments on procrastination in my article – (Kabhi To Hoga Matlab Kabhi Nahin).
Stop procrastinating on making your goals, stop procrastinating on getting up early in the morning (Benefits of getting up early morning can be read my article – Why I Joined the 5AM Club), stop procrastinating on small, small work at home, stop procrastinating on important jobs in hand or in office. Once you start to practice non-procrastination you would realize how good your life is and that amazing feeling within you would give you more confidence and help you achieve more.
5. Chant Positive Affirmations
I realized the importance of positive affirmations quite late in my life and when I started to use them, they work as magic.The more and more you affirm positive things, the more your subconscious mind starts to accept them, consequently throwing positive reactions. You can chant positive affirmations any time during the day, at the time of taking shower, at the time of driving, at the time of commuting from your office…just any time.
Some affirmations that can be used:
i. Every day and in every way I am getting more and more successful and improving myself to become a CA;
ii. Every single day I am achieving my goals with confidence and getting more confidence;
iii. As each day passes by I see myself as a CA in the attempt of May 2015;
iv. Every single day I am improving myself, developing the right attitude and creating a path for myself.
Start saying them loudly to yourself and just wait for the magic to happen to you. But remember you have to say them with full trust and with a complete belief that you are actually feeling them getting happened.
6. Sit Back, Relax and Enjoy
When you go and watch a movie you might have seen the above statement appearing on the screen- Sit Back, Relax and Enjoy. Similarly your life is like a movie and there is no need to panic and be anxious. Just relax, work on your goals, practice some good tips and implement them consistently in your life and enjoy your life.
Giving CA doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy your life. You definitely should. Spend time with your friends, with your family, with your colleagues, but be conscious of your goals, your career and your ambitions in life.
I wish you all green lights in your life and I am there to support you in achieving your goals…
Authored by Nimish Goel (www.nimishgoel.com), a qualified chartered accountant who’s passion is to coach young chartered accountants and aspiring students achieve the best in their life. Nimish used to work with EY and PwC in India and has also worked with KPMG in Europe. He now runs his own consulting company and runs a blog www.nimishgoel.com. He can be reached for any queries and issues on his blog.