How Mom Taught 5 Pro Skills That You Need For Survival
Survival is a crucial concept in today’s dog-eat-dog world. I come from a middle-class Asian home and hold average degrees from government-run institutions – not exactly a suitable launch pad for a fabulous career. People fret too much nowadays if they can’t show off MBA degrees from top-tier B-schools and one can’t blame them either. During the great recession of 2008-09, people who were two decades younger than our group but hailed from the same background, were often at a career dead end and felt desperate. That’s because they don’t have the GMATs or the top grades to sail into premier management programmes or top jobs. Even now, majority of the Gen Y in India can’t pay tens of thousands of dollars for the kind of global education that will land them a great job, even though the country is home to 54 of the world’s biggest and most powerful companies.
However, a lot of older
Thinking about it, I feel immensely lucky to have been groomed in her homegrown B-school, learning the values that make work-life a meaningful experience till this day. Most moms train us in these skills pretty early in our life but in case you need to have a relook this Mother’s Day, here we go.
1. Learn and learn; every bit counts.
In a recent job interview, the interviewer casually observed that I had been through too many industries which were diverse in nature and went on to ask what my personal strength is. “The ability to learn,” I told him confidently. In every industry I worked, I picked up something new that added to my strength. For instance, I got my first taste of Web writing when I was developing content for an e-commerce portal. It’s not easy to get out of your comfort zone and do something new. But it’s got to be done if we want to advance in life.
However, the root of it all goes back to my failed attempts at cooking at the age of 15. When I grumbled that I would be a
2. Give more than your 100%; keep a tab on your work.
It all started with my daily ritual of watering the plants at home. In the beginning, I used to put too much water or too little, and most of them sickened and died. “Do remember they are your responsibility…,” mom said after a month or so. “You need to do better than your best and you need to find out where you are going wrong.”
3. Opportunities won’t come your way; you have to seek them.
As a kid, I was fond of acting but never got a scope to prove my prowess although most of my classmates appeared in a show or two. I was complaining bitterly about it but mom pointed out that it could be my fault. “You can’t wait a lifetime for a
I never got a chance to act in the school drama, but keeping in mind what she said, I had never let go of an opportunity for lack of persistence. It could be a
4. You don’t win all; but that’s no reason to run away.
At school, I was poor at gym and ashamed of my puppy fat. But mom stood her ground and would not let me skip a single PT class, try as I may. She arranged for some extra lessons, so that I become moderately good at it, but I had never been the star performer that I wanted to be. “That’s okay, really,” assured mom. “It’s important to know that everyone has a serious limitation in life. You can only do your best and accept the shortcoming with humility.”
That’s perhaps the most difficult thing to do – to be on-field and trying when you know you are not even the second best. But believe in yourself and never falter in your conviction. One day, you may achieve what your fellow-humans never even thought of. Meanwhile, it teaches us valuable
5. Give back more; nothing works better in work or life.
Giving back to society is not an exclusive corporate responsibility, but a commitment we should all support. I went to a school where
In this tough game called Life, we are bound to win some and lose some. But what matters most is the respect we should have for others and the sense of camaraderie that we should develop for a strong human bonding. Once you instill a sense of
Images: Thinkstock/Getty Images
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