Time just flies, whether good or tough. Though, tough times seem to last forever. Each moment feels like a decade. And a course like CA demands a lot of hard work and dedication. Studies have to be given upmost priority once you decide to get in and it’s not just a matter of few weeks or months, years have to be dedicated like a yogi doing meditation in the Himalayas. Festivals have to be forgone, family functions have to be sacrificed, football/cricket/ your favourite series, they all have to take a back seat. These would not feature on the priority list.
The journey is surely very tough. Mind would always drift towards comfort zone. It’s the true test of your will power. Studying may seem monotonous, frustration would build up and negative results would be like a final nail in the coffin to start thinking about quitting because we all have a tolerance limit for failure. In matter of May-July-November-January, years would just fly by. When we are relatively young, our energy level is high and we have that unparallel positivity where we believe we can even conquer mount Everest. But few set back makes a huge dent in that confidence.
I have had my share of failures and am sure each person who has gone through this process will have their own story to share and each one would be amazingly motivating and listening to them would be like a CPR on a dying body which would bring it back to life, on similar lines, bringing back our motivational level up. We all need doses of positive talks and motivation, be it from your close friends, family, mother , father, sister or some may find relief watching those awesome motivational talks on net .
There were times while studying when I would just want to lock my self in a room or run away far away from all this. Frustration level had reached its pinnacle and I was almost knocking on the door of depression. Why I write is I am sure most of our students must be facing the same situation. Huge burden of expectations, scrutiny from neighbours/relatives, growing age, pressure to earn and prove the world that you can stand on your feet, the transition from teenage to twenties, these all factors would kill most of us from within. During my study days, I would often tell my close friends that I was like a zombie, a lifeless body. I may look like a normal human being from outside, but deep inside I was all broken , thanks to all the criticism, failure, expectations. No one would understand what goes inside the head of a teenage guy who has no one to go to, no counselling, no guidance. Those are the most difficult times and if you look around, almost all the CA students have to pass through this tough phase, few break down and quit, some hold on and fight the battle. After all, in the end, it’s your battle, you have to fight it alone. External motivation may act as a catalyst to lift up the spirit but I always believe that true motivation has to come from within, no one but only you know the true you.
I want to share a small gist of the experience and learning to keep up the spirit during the tough phase which I believe would be beneficial for those in a similar situation:
I would visualize myself as a successful person and forcefully paint a happy-go-lucky person image in my mind. One trick I developed was “Time travel”.
This is how it works:
Today when we look back at time, most of us think we could have done so many things differently which would have changed the present. Take yourself five years back, lets say in 2010 and think of a situation where you had to choose between different alternatives. What went in your mind? How do we evaluate our options? Isn’t this something very complex and our action defines the course of our destiny. But at that point of time, we don’t realize what other implications the decision we make has on our coming life as our foresight is limited and for everything we can’t predict, we classify it as “Luck”.
Many of us would regret and say “Kash yeh kar liya hota at that point of time..” now for sure you can’t go back in time and change it. But now see yourself in 2020. A future “you” is visiting you and telling you to study hard and get that degree so that your coming life and future generation doesn’t have to struggle.
So visualize yourself 5 years down the line, do you want to see yourself struggling in life and for a job and seeing your other friends doing well in life OR you want to see yourself living a beautiful life and looking back at the past proudly for being a fighter and giving your best when all the chips were down. Fear can be a great motivational trigger.
There is absolutely no doubt that you will have to sacrifice short term volatile happiness for a long term sustainable happiness. You will have to sacrifice those short term “feel good “ factors for a brighter future.
Control the virtual presence on social media
Another thing to look out for is our presence in the virtual world. We all have a parallel identity in a virtual world like facebook and other social platforms. Somehow we feel solace in browsing and going through the posts of our friends and family. We trick our mind to think it is networking and we are keeping in touch. But in reality, we are getting trapped into an addictive world where we feel good. Getting appreciation and good comments on our photos and posts would make anyone feel good. We start wasting hours browsing and before we know, we fall in the trap zone where it becomes difficult to control the urge to log in. During exam times, students do try and control the time spent online but the focus span deteriorates as mind is often wandering in the virtual space. Hence, it is very important not to let the virtual world dictate you, before you become it’s slave, take a step back and invest the time in reading something productive or relaxing your mind may be sleeping or meditating.
One mistake I did was waiting for the results to decide my fate. After having put so many months and years of hard work , we all deserve a break, but the break would often extend till the time results are announced. Very few of us would introspect about the exam. We would rather prefer waiting for the results and then choose the course of our action. Today when I look back at all those months wasted, I feel I could have done so many things which would have been more productive today.
Change is a slow process
During my teenage days, I wanted to have a fabulous body like Hrithik. I joined a near by gym too, but within a few months I quit as I was not able to see any changes inspite of putting so much of hard work. Today when I look back, had I continued, my physique would have been completely awesome. I never understood change is a slow process and good things take time. I wanted quick results. CA course is also something like that. We might want quick results for the efforts we put in but we must understand it is a slow process. Life is a long journey and good things take time. We have to learn to be patient and keep doing the hard work. Failures should not set us back.
In the end all I would sum up is ,When ever you feel like giving up just remember the future you, how you want to see yourself 5 years down the line. Struggle today, or struggle tomorrow, there is no escape, you have to fight it out. No doubt CA course is hard, it is supposed to be hard, if it was easy, everyone would do it, hard is what makes it worth doing, this is what differentiates us from others. We choose the tough path and prove our mettle. Do not bang your head on things which you have no control- Exams, results, annoying relatives or neighbour. Only focus on how you can implement a positive change in you to succeed in life.
Keep these five golden principles with you:
1) Never Regret
2) Always Introspect
3) Nothing is final, nothing is fata
4) Positivity attracts happiness
5) Believe in you!!
I wish each one you a very bright future ahead. Whether you have exam this November, or later or whether you are done with your studies, keep learning and moving ahead. Learn from your past mistakes and be a better version of yourself each day!!
(The article is intended to motivate students pursuing Chartered Accountancy course or any other studies. The author can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)