Udayavni Special

Mindset – One coin two sides

Team Udayavani, Jan 18, 2021, 11:31 AM IST

Credilt: Getty Images


“Shallow men believe in luck, believe in circumstances…. Strong men believe in cause and effect” Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Pandemic has altered the way we work, treat our health, educate our children, interact with relatives, friends, shop for necessities and consume entertainment. We have had several disruptions, however, there are few people who have seized the opportunity presented by the pandemic. Power is ephemeral, flourishing business have seen their fortune going down, some are in terminal decline even as the new ones have blossomed and have grown northwards. e- commerce industry is booming, travel Industry has seen a terminal decline.

We can learn by understanding nature. Complexity and simplicity co-exist in nature, there is continuous fight for survival and yet there is harmony among all the living organisms, similarly the life presents the same set of opportunities to all. So, it all boils down to one’s state of mind and looking at things. While there are one set of people with fixed mindset- believe their capabilities are fixed and cannot be changed, there is another set of people who have growth mindset believe that their capabilities will continue to evolve over a period.

The greatest virtue of the brain is its malleability. It can be trained and conditioned so that we can extricate ourselves from the ordeals of the past, believe in the power of mind where the whole world resides. What holds back in our careers or in our personal lives is not some external reality but our own thought process. Hence mindset is the single most powerful tool to reach the right potential.


Be passionate
“Usha Chaumar social worker, through decades of service has become President of Sulabh International”.

Do not forget the reason you entered the profession, choose the right occupation that you are interested to sustain enthusiasm for work. No matter of what work you do, take a liking to the challenges, focus on excellence and it will mean a lot of fun. Do not clock- in and clock- out, your appointment letter may specify the timings but there is much that can be gained during off hours.

Work double time if you must, there is no such thing as off hours. It is difficult to turn an amazing work until and unless you are passionate about it. You are as good as your last e-mail, hence work as though it is your first day at office. Passion backed with hard work, patience, right intent are the biggest driving factors. Organize life around passion, turn passion to strength and strength to being content.

Be a generalist
“Monika Shergill did a course in journalism and started her career as a correspondent, producer making documentaries and today she is Director International Originals, Netflix India”.

Try not to plan your career, just do a good job and give 100%, no work is big or small, whatever work you do enjoy it. Before you start anything understand yourself, what kind of work you like and what it means. Have an insatiable hunger for knowledge and work without expecting any rewards. If someone closes the door, try to go through the window, there is nothing in this world which has no alternatives.

Remember that if one door closes, there are several other doors that are still wide open. Do not pigeonhole yourself and dabble on the same set of operations, break the mould and be as versatile as possible. The first couple of years of the career should be spent on learning and strengthening the foundation. Take on different roles at a young age, rotate jobs be a generalist and understand where your heart lies, if base is not solid it will be difficult to strategize effectively when you move up the career.

Embrace failure
“Rahul dravid, felt that a biopic on his life would be boring because in the first half of the movie he would be on zero, and only in the second half he will get off the mark”.

If you need to intend to stay young both in mind and body, embrace failure and fight your way through the struggles and challenges in the chosen path. Every failure is an opportunity to learn, hence rejection should be an independent event of the current approach and can be overcome by additional efforts. Failure is not a lasting event but an opportunity to understand, from which you can derive improvement. Patience is required, make mistakes and learn from failures, success is known to arrive slowly and only once you serve your time, get your hands dirty and multitask. If you want only pleasure and keep looking for it in different things it will lead to frustration. Pleasure and pain are like day and night and no one is perpetually happy or perpetually sad. It is all about keeping the mind stable, embrace failure as it is integral part of the growth process.

Overcome fear of failure
“Geeta Gopinath is the chief economist International Monetary Fund. When Geetha moved from Mysuru to Delhi for her graduation she felt like a small fish in a big pond”.

We live in a world where people fear failure more than they fear death. Every small mistake is magnified so much than it needs to be. Many times, we think, we have achieved success only to return from the near end point, each failure teaches us there is a hidden opportunity waiting to be captured and forces us to learn and do it a bit different each time. Do not start worrying about making a mistake as it leads to analysis and inaction. Persevere, have patience do not give up early and have a stamina to fight, be tactful instead of taking up cudgels. Anticipate fear so that nothing can wreck the plans, have courage, work hard, be focused and conquer fear of failure.

Be a continuous learner

“Ajit Deval, longest serving national security advisor”

Do not be proud of degrees as higher education gives you knowledge but also be aware of the practical realities. There is so much to learn from less educated people, go to them, be loving respectful and learn true values, lessons of life. Stretch your mind, associate with people who can help and think of new ideas, new ways of doing work. At the same time, let go of the work you did in the initial years and learn what is required for growth else you will become the bottle neck and the organization will be stuck. Understand what is happening in your domain, area of work, attend conferences, webinars, network with people stay in self-learning mode. Create your own mental models/mentors to study various subjects and eagerly seek knowledge, anticipate change and learn to deal with it.
Do not work for money alone, money may not happen, but you will be that much richer from the experience, do it for the learning experience and the journey.

“Amit Agarwal joined Amazon as a software developer and now he is the global senior vice president”.

Know your strengths and honestly assess stumbling blocks that hamper your progress. Our life is most precious gift so spend time on yourself, be prepared to a walk a few kilometres barefoot, as it helps discover blind spots and deal with challenging situations. Open your mind, be innovative, practice out of box thinking, only then you will be able to see many problems confronting you. Reflect and understand how others see your personae, do not mould yourself to fit a stereotype but understand the gap between what you want to achieve and how your image is restricting you. Once you do this find purpose and move forward. Integrity may be starting point of the work, efficiency and performance orientation must quickly follow.

Carve out an identity
“Tulasi Gowda, Hallakki Tribal, known for possessing endless knowledge of plants and herbs”

Do not rely on family legacy or a surname, get carried away by the reflected glory of parent’s achievements. Let go of sense of control and growth and start taking things as they come, hit the ground running, no matter how good you are, you can still be better. Do not care for validation, endorsement and appreciation from others and do not hold back if it is not forthcoming. All human beings have potential and can be nurtured with the right training to develop right capability. Carve out an identity for yourself, it will happen if you have the desire and keep trying to achieve your goals.

Have a sense of purpose
“Abdul Jabbar fought for fair treatment and rehabilitation of Bhopal gas tragedy survivors”

As a professional you can get caught up here and now in your daily grind of earning money or seeing career advancements and forget what inspired you to opt for the occupation. Burial ground teaches that whatever you are running after means nothing. Do not limit yourself and equally do not enter a vicious circle where you question your immense capability, close doors for opportunity, feel disillusioned, unstable and there once again start questioning your abilities. You need to break out of this cycle and reward yourself each day that you have the calibre to turn your dream into a reality.

Believe in yourself, take calculated risks and stay with your commitments and work on it diligently. Define clear destination, maintain a larger purpose of life and create appropriate support system.

Thought Process – Paralysis to Analysis

What holds back whether in our careers or in our personal lives is not some external reality but our own thought process which tend to paralyse the mind. Your boss, friends, partner, companion are in transit and so is our mind. Look for inspiration from people, places and life happening all around. Train the mind by being a generalist, be passionate about work, embrace and overcome fear, be a continuous learner, self-reflect, carve out an identity and have a sense of purpose for life.

Actions for Life

Life is a journey we must learn to cherish, savour, treasure with gratitude. Pandemic has caused unexpected huge disruptions in life, there is a need to train our mind to take time, pause, process, never take anything for granted, be humble choose how to slow down in order to speed up and train to operate in growth mindset mode.


— Srivatsa Anantha Rao
The author works in a multinational based out of Bangalore and volunteers as a lay counsellor.

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