Time just flies, whether good or tough. Though, tough times seem to last forever. Each moment feels like a decade. Suddenly it seems as if we are in a fast track race, a race to reach no where. May be advancement in technology or our quest to achieve bigger and better things have killed the little joys of happiness. We all become nostalgic remembering the beautiful childhood we all had – those lazy Sunday afternoons, watching cartons and serial on DD National and playing outdoor games with friends. So much energy we had, running around all day and our talks would never end. As we grow up, seldom anyone tells us to enjoy life. We are expected to act mature and responsibilities over shadow the little kid inside us. I wouldn't argue this is wrong and to achieve this perfection, we must have killed many versions of ourselves. They are left to fend for themselves in some corners where we changed skins like a snake to become a better version of ourselves.
I think CA curriculum and the competition demands so much from a student that he or she matures earlier than a normal student. When others are enjoying diwali or Holi festivals, or watching IPL,CA students are busy preparing for exams. Slogging in the articleship period and interacting with so many people across verticals teaches life lessons pretty early. I feel strongly for those hardworking class of students who are stuck in this vicious cycle of May and November. I have personally known friends and acquaintances who joined the profession with such vibrant energy and enthusiasm but many had to leave their dream shattered when they no longer had the liberty of time and patience to keep giving exams.
There are thousands and thousands of students who are stuck at this no point of return where in may be you have cleared one group of IPCC or Finals but are not able to cross over the finish line. The state of mind would be in confused state. Heart would say to hang on and hope for a miracle, mind would suggest to close this chapter and move on. Talking to your friends and families would give you even more mixed answers. Some would say to move on , while others would say to hold on. But what goes inside the mind and heart, only the sufferer would know. There would be a sense of constant suffocation and feeling of imprisonment inside own mind and body. It's no less than a nightmare. The guilt of wasting time, money and more importantly killing the aspirations and expectations of parents and the taunts from so called 'well wishers” would make even the most strongest of all to lose hope and faith in one's abilities. Sometimes I feel, is this the reason that many students after clearing in so many hurdles lose the empathy and become more rebel and arrogant?
I wish I could do something for those who are struggling for years after years. If not anything else, may be just listen to their pain points and console if that gives them an inch of comfort. But in the end, it's our individual battle and we have to fight it on our own. The choices we make define us, the battles we fight makes us stronger.
From what ever little experience I have about life, trust me, everyone has their own battles to fight. And when you know about the hardships of others, you would feel how little is your pain. And for CA students, most are on the same boat of struggle. Be thankful if you don't have any financial,health or family issues other than just giving time to studies. Many people have to fight multiple battles to win a small war.
If you are on the boat of struggle and have started to feel depressed, demotivated ,self doubt then please take charge of your life and don't let your mind slip into self pity mode else it will be very difficult to bounce back. Passing the exam does not guarantee the lost self confidence back, it may give you momentary relief and happiness of not having to prepare for exams but self doubt has strangled many bright minds. CA is not a destination; it is just a part of life. Like you have withstood so many challenges of life, you will sail through this also but you need to bring the best out of you.
Start prioritizing life and give your best in what ever you do. Don't worry about the results, just focus on giving your heart and soul in what ever you undertake. Start with things which matter the most.
- Take care of your physical and as well as mental health. Only a health y body can take care of their loved ones. Meditate for 15-20 minutes daily – 'No matter What ' should be the mantra.
- Family. We are what we are because of our family. We should respect each other and stay connected. Talk to your school friends with whom you spent your entire childhood with but now have completely lost touch
- Say no to useless criticism, gossiping, judging, complaining, blaming. Nothing is perfect as you would want it to be. Be the change you want to see.
- When ever you feel depressed, listen to your favourite songs in full volume ,but avoid listening to sentimental songs, it would only add on to your depression. I am personally very fond of Kishore kumar ,specially his slow and sentimental songs, such deep meaning it has but I avoid listening too much of it.
- Eat fruits, drink juice, but avoid too much of junk food. Now a days most of us are inclined towards fast food and carbonated drinks. I wouldn't say refrain from these completely but you should keep a reality check. If your body metabolism is like someone who can put up weight very quickly, then please practice self control. Short term happiness in consuming these fast food products may be immense but trust me, bringing our bodies back in shape demands a lot of efforts.
- Chocolates work wonder to bring up the mood. Munch on chocolates and spend time with infants and kids. They bring in positive energy and their smiling faces would help you forget all the stress.
- Work on your Communication skills– Whether you like it or not but being able to communicate effectively is one of the most important aspect of life. You have to brush up your speaking abilities specially in English. It's not necessary that you have to be an outstanding public speaker but at least you should be confident enough to speak infront of 2 people or a full auditorium. Having said that, communication is not just about speaking,it's also about being a good listener – A listener who listens with an intent to understand and not just nodding head. I can understand that not all are very comfortable communicating in English and very rightly so.It's not our mother tongue and we can never feel as comfortable as we are with our mother tongue. For some it's even harder because they maynot have a good foundation or schooling where in English was given so much importance. But I believe rather than cursing the past which cannot be changed, we should focus on things which we can do now. I would suggest get hold of the book 'Word Power Made Easy ' by Norman Lewis and start practicing. Nothing can beat practice. Sachin Tendulkar became Sachin Tendulkar because of hardwork,dedication and practice So stop looking at the past and move ahead. Be practical in life. Donot expect miracles to happen overnight. But do make it a habit to read, write and speak.
- CAs are expected to be good with numbers. If P&L,Balance Sheet or Cash flow Statements donot excite you much then you should introspect. But don't worry if you don't know what to do with your life. Very few people have truly discovered the true purpose of life and I firmly believe that's what life is all about- Discovering your true self.Having said that I personally feel CAs should spread financial literacy. And this should start from you yourself. Open a DMAT account, track IPOs,invest in shares,attend AGMs. Do this not just to earn money but create wealth and for learning. Going through one Annual report or attending one AGM would give you an exposure that no books can teach you.
- Sleep proper .Dress smartly. Start working on your body language. A good physique gives confidence and a good body language attracts people. Develop your own style and wear clothes that suit your personality. Shape up your body and maintain a good diet.
- Learn to stay humble and have some gratitude. I have seen people becoming arrogant after having cleared exams and earning some amount of money. Remember everyone has a unique way of looking at life and don't judge everyone with same glasses. Value relationships and stay grounded.
- Stop living in the virtual life.People these days are engrossed with virtual life. Many people are not even aware that the addiction to these online platforms is no less that addiction to some kind of drug. The first thing in the morning may people would do is check notifications in their cell phones where as the first hor in the morning is the most productive hour of our day. We should plan our day and be grateful to god for giving us an opportunity to make our lives better than yesterday. Too much of anything is bad. You should learn where to draw the line. In the name of social connectivity, we should not stop living in real world. It is always better to pick up the phone and talk to friends and relatives rather than just wishing or commenting on their wall/profile page.
- These days there's a lot of craze for online series. Be it Game of Trones,Breaking Bad,Sherlok Holmes,Prison Break,House of cards and others are simply amazing.But watching too much of online series would waste a lot of time. There is no second opinion that all the series are mind blowing and built on a superb content. But when this watching” just for relaxation” turns out into addiction, you would not even know. If so, then just take a step back and ask yourself 'Is this really going to help me in any matter what so ever”.If the answer is No,then switch off your screen and do something that's really going to help you with your goals. Reading books is one such habit which would definitely change the way you think. Reading a good book is like sitting with the author and reading his thoughts. Just imagine the wealth of knowledge you can accumulate just by reading.I wouldn't think it's impossible to read at least 1 book per month or may be just 10 pages per day. Evern that would amount to 3650 pages in a year and you can do your maths that would be equivalent to how many books .
It is always advisable to live a balanced life. It sounds good on paper but very difficult to achieve in real life. We have to learn to make judgment based on situation to situation. But a balanced life would never be complete without a Healthy Body & mind. We must take care of our thoughts and body. Feeling good inside is as important as looking good outside. In our lives we wear various hats and cater to different relationships – A spouse, a son/daughter, a father/mother , an employee, sibling, friend,colleague,and the list goes on. But we have a big liability towards our own-self. Put happiness at the core of what ever you do and believe in your self. You have immense power and ability to achieve anything.
If you have read till end, thank you very much. Reading requires more patience than writing. The things I have mentioned would show results only if you do it diligently and display the fighter attitude each day. Discipline is a must if you need positive results.
Leaving you all with a small video I made as a tribute to the struggles of our lives and I wish each one of you a healthy and happy life. Keep smiling and spread happiness in your own little ways. God bless us all J