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Old 5th July 2020, 21:59   #46
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Default Re: Retrospecting: Things I wish I knew in school & college

Originally Posted by mvadg View Post
From what I can tell, YouTube videos and online courses from Coursera and the like are far better than any teaching shops in India....

I concur with what you are saying with regards to the content of learning. Certainly it is easier and much more effective to choose content from virtual classrooms today, than say a college classroom. But, I think that the value of physical institutions is in the intangibles - the friends one makes, and the learning that happens through peers, and so on. Looking back my own life, my school days were the best. My friends from them are still my friends today, and the learning that I got from my school teachers was unparalleled. I couldn’t have found an equivalent online.

That said, I have no qualms in admitting that my days of good friends and value adding teachers stopped with high school. My college days were completely worthless. Whatever friends I made then, I voluntarily choose to not keep in touch with now. In fact, I lost touch with all of them immediately after I left college; with some of them, even when I was still in college!! Till date, I have felt no urge to reconnect.

So, neither the content nor the social aspect of college has added any value to me till date. To make matters worse, I pursued advanced degrees thinking that those would somehow make me more valuable. That didn’t happen either. It was just more of the same. More useless content and more non-value adding social circles.

At the time, plenty of people told me that I was just disappointed and bitter at being caught in unfortunate economic circumstances; and that I would start to feel differently about my qualifications in a few years.

Nope. Now, 15 to 20 years later I have had no reason to feel differently. I wasted literally a decade of my life pursuing useless knowledge and around people, who knowingly or unknowingly, were no good for me.

If I had to do it all over again, I would make entirely different choices. For one thing, I would chuck the “money-can-wait-because-I-am-better-than-that” attitude.

I learned the hard way that money is not everything. Until you don’t have any. Then, it becomes everything.

People should take the time to understand themselves and to understand what they want from their lives. If such knowledge is not easily forthcoming, then at the very least, they should learn to understand and respect money, and learn how it works to enable life. That’s where I come out in all this.

Certainly, this is what I will be teaching my kids. Be active and be curious. But, put yourself on the shortest path to economic independence. And never disrespect money.

Originally Posted by Cessna182 View Post
2. Think long term. What you earn in your 20s and 30s is insignificant for your future well being...
Well, you are sort of right. But, not entirely right I think. It will be interesting to hear what you have to say in 20 years

Originally Posted by Cessna182 View Post
...though I am over 30.
This made me smile. Oh what I wouldn’t give to be just over thirty

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Old 6th July 2020, 20:02   #47
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Default Re: Retrospecting: Things I wish I knew in school & college

I read a few posts where it says the degree or higher education matters less than on-ground experience. Well, majority of the mainstream companies run behind full time MBAs. If they're from any of the IIM then companies will line up behind them. There is such a strong bias against Non-Full time MBA folks in corporate India as if its a crime. Even if my hands on experience has more depth and that shows from my opinions, performance and attitude, not having that MBA will still pinch me when it comes to career growth.
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Old 6th July 2020, 20:12   #48
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Good post, Dieselritzer. There are many lessons that we learned growing up-mostly all of them the hard way. Some of them, as you have mentioned, were learnt later in life-Perhaps, this is the way it is to all. We only learn when we experience it.
Thank you for sharing and allow me to reproduce here one of the lessons i learnt early ( which i had written in a different forum).

Fight your own battles:

I was 13 years old and had been enrolled in a boarding school. There were 64 boys in the hostel, ranging from 8-16 years in age. The dormitory consisted of 64 beds, arranged in 4 rows of 16 each with an aisle in between. There were 12 bathrooms, 12 toilets and 12 wash basins. We had 6 uniforms each, 4 sports uniforms, 8 pairs of socks, handkerchiefs, 3 pairs of pyjamas.

The dining room consisted of 8 tables, seating 8 boys each, arranged 4 each on either side. The food was common. On my first day, there was meat for dinner- big chunks of meat with bone in some sort of dark gravy- and I had sat down at a place indicated by Br. Mathos S.J., who was in charge of the dining room. When the server came around ladling thick pieces of meat, I politely refused. The boy sitting next to me -Ashok- was curious about my refusal and I explained to him that I was a vegetarian. He mischievously picked up his meat and deposited it in my plate. I was horrified. Worse, the meat had splattered gravy all over the plate. I went hungry that night.

Two days later - I think we had some sort of non vegetarian food thrice a week- he again sat down beside me and repeated the same prank. Ashok was senior and in my eyes a huge monster(he was in the 11th Grade, whereas I was in the 8th) and I watched him in frustration, with all others enjoying the show.

Not willing to go hungry again, I put up my hand (the custom to get the attention of Br. Mathos ) and when he enquired about what was troubling me, I replied: “ Brother, Ashok has put meat in my plate”.

“So”?, he questioned.

“Brother, I don’t eat meat and am a vegetarian”, I indignantly replied.

“Then don’t eat it. Eat the rest”, he unhelpfully replied.

“But, Brother, I cannot eat my food if that piece of meat is on my plate” I wavered, almost in tears, since he seemed so cold.
Ashok and the others were enjoying my discomfiture and that added to my indignity.

“If you cannot eat, then go hungry”, he said, and that was the end of it.

In the night, some of the boys in my class advised me to get the matter sorted out after lights out. How does one sort this matter? Well after lights out, all such grievances would be sorted out between the contending parties by a fight.

I had no, formal or otherwise, training or experience in fighting and had just joined school after convalescencing for a year after a serious illness. Naturally I had been mollycoddled and spoilt. And I was in uncertain territory and in a new place with no friends.

2100 hrs was lights out and Br. Felipe S.J (Hostel in charge) walked two and fro across the aisle along the length of the dormitory for 15 minutes, within which time we were to go to sleep. He then retired to his room, just outside the dormitory. His departure was the signal for the nocturnal activities to commence, including the “sorting out issues” programs.

When my turn came up, Ashok ridiculed me saying that I was a tattle-tale, which I righteously denied. One thing led to another and before long I was getting the best hiding that I had ever received. Down on the floor on my back, with Ashok sitting on my stomach, in desperation- akin to a cornered beast fighting a predator- I flailed my arms and luckily managed to poke Ashok in the eye. He roared with pain and that was that.

My issue, however, got sorted out since I had held my own, in spite of the tanning that I had received. Fight your own battles. It does not matter if you lose, but not trying (to fight) is sacrilege.

Remained a lesson I never forgot.

Last edited by earthian : 6th July 2020 at 20:35.
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Old 6th July 2020, 22:08   #49
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Default Re: Retrospecting: Things I wish I knew in school & college

Each on of us here, including me, is like one of the blind men, in the children's tale, trying to feel and describe an elephant. The world has about 759 crore humans -- that's 759 crore different truths, different destinies, different combinations of what got them forward or backward in life, 759 crore formulas for attempts at success, 759 crore life lessons.....

While I don't wish to cross examine anyone's experience shared on this thread but there are no absolute truths, just my truth as applicable to me and your truth as applicable to you and John Simth's truth as applicable to him.

Member @mohanrides has correctly pointed out that we should respect money for it to respect us. Money doesn't matter some say. Make sure you have enough of it before you start believing that :-)

We are all on a journey of learning in this life. Maybe it is a part of a much longer journey of learning and this life is but one of several classes. Pursue your ambitions and desires with sensibleness not stubborn one gets out of this life alive. Pursue your life with passion but try not to get too enmeshed in the maya jaal. The end game, for each of us, has already been scripted!

Flexibility of attitudes and actions and thought and perseverance can count for more than base IQ or being born with a silver spoon or the University you graduated from. Some have spoken about your college years being the best and only time to learn. I respectfully disagree. Our capacity to learn rests on the foundation of knowledge, experience, life lessons you are already standing on. Most of us stand on a taller mountain of life experience at 40 than we did at 22. If we are open to learning from life our capacity to learn, in my humble experience, is significantly greater in middle age than in youth. It is a different matter that most of us are too rigid and too stubborn or too cynical to grab that moment and that makes the difference between the above average performer and the star performer in terms of career, wealth creation, position, inner peace, maturity etc.

One factor we almost always ignore before 40 or 50 is our health. The day you lose a part of your health very little else on career, net worth etc will matter. The other as @mohanrides wrote is your family. If your children go astray it wont matter how big a company's Chairman you are, your old age will be one long struggle to settle your child properly.

Some have mentioned about the quality of your degrees and your University. There are exceptions that prove the rule and certainly graduates of top institutes and Ivy league Universities do not have any monopoly of IQ or common sense. But there is a reason why someone gets into IIM-A or Harvard or IIT-D while another gets into Jhumritaliya College of Commerce. If we say it doesn't count we may be only fooling ourselves. If you get the opportunity to attend a serious course at a top 10 global University please go for it don't lose it in a moment of pique. If you are being taught by a John Kotter or a Nobel Laureate the teaching, the learning and the future networking is of a whole different level.

My only message to the young members whose lives are just unfolding is that this is a 45 maybe 50 year career journey {not a race}. Think of it as a 90 minute football game. If you are 35 years old with 13 long years of work experience then though you might consider yourself an old grizzled veteran you are really in the 26th minute of that 90 minute game. You have a looonng journey of opportunity ahead. Too many of us are led to believe that super success must come by 32 or you are done. Complete poppycock propagated by a immature media looking for Justin Biebers. A lot of ups and downs, moments of great luck and moments of danger will lie ahead. You cannot, beyond a point control your destiny but you can completely control how you choose to react to what life throws at you.

My best wishes to all BHPians for success in whatever way you define it.

Last edited by V.Narayan : 6th July 2020 at 22:17.
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Old 6th July 2020, 22:16   #50
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Default Re: Retrospecting: Things I wish I knew in school & college

Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
You cannot, beyond a point control your destiny but you can completely control how you choose to react to what life throws at you.

This. This is all we need to learn and live by.
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Old 6th July 2020, 22:28   #51
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Default Re: Retrospecting: Things I wish I knew in school & college

Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
..perseverance can count for more than base IQ or being born with a silver spoon or the University you graduated from.

Case in point Dhirubhai Ambani. Nuff said?
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Old 6th July 2020, 23:27   #52
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One of those times when a pic is worth a 1000 words..
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