Sunday, 17 January 2016

How to handle pressure both innerself or from society for ca students

This article is a composition of short stories & examples which will help students to understand how to handle social pressure and take on the fear of failure.
I will share a small poem I wrote from a student’s perspective:
Kuch Kar dikhane ki chahat mai rakhta hun,
Kuch Kar dikhane ki chahat mai rakhta hun!
Asan nahi h jo rah mene wo chuni h,
Asan nahi h jo rah mene wo chuni h,
Bharosa h mughe khudpe k mai ye kar sakta hun!
Kuch kar dikhane ki chahat mai rakhta hun!!
Rasta h kathin, manzil h door,
Rasta h kathin, manzil h door,
par kisne kaha mai isse darta hun,
M to bus kuch kar dikhane ki chahat rakhta hun!!
Manzil to mil hi jayegi ekdin, yakin hai mughe khudpe,
Manzil to mil hi jayegi ekdin, yakin hai mughe khudpe,
Is safar m maza aaye ee khuda bus tughse ye ibadat karta hun,
Kuch kar dikhane ki chahat mai rakhta hun!!
Let us understand the fear & social pressure one by one and how we can overcome them:
A) Freedom from fears of a student:
What fears do we have as a student? Fear of failure, Fear of a big challenge, Fear of exams, fear of competition.
I feel privileged that I could interact with many students and what I have learnt is that the above mentioned fears make students fear learning eventually.
Learning - which is the ultimate objective of the whole education system of any country, Learning- which is the ultimate objective of human evolution.
I am not saying this fear is negative only. Initially it helps us to get the requisite ambitious drive. But by as the time passes this fear becomes so huge that we start fearing learning and that is the time we need to introspect into our life’s learning curve.
“Let’s feel the fear but face it bravely anyway”
Let’s understand this perspective with the help of a small story:
On a shining bright day one visually impaired man on the roadside of a busy road was waiting for someone to help him in crossing the road. Suddenly he felt a tap on his shoulder from behind. – The tapper said - Excuse me, I am blind, would you help me by guiding across the road?
The first blind man took a surprised pause, he baffled for a moment, and then held the hand of the second blind man and they both crossed the road.
(The first blind man was George shearing – a famous jazz pianist. In one of his interview he shared this story and said “What could I do? I took him across and it was the biggest thrill of my life”)
Now what does this story tells us?
There are times when we are standing and calculating our risks and waiting for someone to help us out, waiting for someone to guide us and sometimes think that  we cannot do something. As a result we don’t stretch ourselves or take a risk and eventually we give up. Being forced to take risk or being pushed sometimes help us to reduce our dependencies & fears which leads us to the discovery of new excitement and aptitude.
Students have to learn to control anxiety, control small panic attacks. How can this be achieved? Observe – observation is a key to control everything. Upon careful observation, collect data, understand the scenario and create hypothetical situations to identify the problem. Once you identify the problem, try to find out the best possible option. If you don’t find any solution then leave it there and prepare again as you can’t do anything about that situation at that point of time.
How we can face the fear of exam & failure bravely?
Apply the Principle of Chinta Vs. chintan – “Chinta” is what we call worry (Disturb the peace of mind) and as our elder’s say ‘chinta chita k saman hai’ on the other hand “Chintan” means thought i.e the content of cognition.
Now Chinta would help in increasing that the fear which has already accumulated with years of pressure and competitiveness. On the contrary to that, Chintan would help in abbreviating that fear.
No doubt you are a hardworking, dedicated and a committed student. No doubt you are laborious and would sacrifice many things for the studies. But, where you may lack is proper planning, strategy making and execution of the same, which are equally important along with the hard work to attain perfection.
Steps to face the fear - Strategy making and preparing for the exams
Step 1: Research :
The naval stand-off story (Negotiation, Do your research, Know your facts)
Americans: Please divert your ship 15 degrees north to avoid a collision.
Canadians: We recommend you divert “Your” ship 15 degrees south to avoidcollision.
Americans: This is the captain of a US navy ship; I say again divert your ship.
Canadians: No. I say again, you divert yours.
Canadians: We are a lighthouse; your call ;)
Now, the point I want to make here is, that despite being equipped with all the resources you may still face such situations where you don’t know what to use where. You sometimes don’t understand your questions as you have not done the thorough research which was required to understand the scenario.
Step 2: Make schedule /Time table and strictly follow that (While keeping slots and strategy for uncertainties)
Stone and bucket example – for time management and personal change.
Take a bucket, some big rocks, some small stones, some sand, and water.
Put the big rocks in the bucket - is it full?
Put the small stones in around the big rocks - is it full?
Put the sand in and give it a shake - is it full?
Put the water in. Now it's full.
The point is: unless you put the big rocks in first, you won't get them in at all.
Set your priority, first thing first. Complete the most prior thing i.e your today’s schedule of the study. Keep variations in the study pattern so that you don’t get into monotony. Invest your time in some other recreational activities. Like do some exercise, meet some friends or some quality time with family and loved ones.
Step 3: Prepare for the exams: Time to do the hard work
The trench digger story: how to make things happen, approach to self-development.
One old retired couple were staying at the outskirts of the village. One afternoon the old women saw a young man in working clothes carrying a spade and a box in his hands walking towards the nearby woody area who disappeared from view behind coops of trees.
Next day around the same time she noticed the same thing again. She got little worried and tried to divert her mind from that.
Now she noticed the man on third and the fourth day again and that day she told this to her husband. On 5th day her husband and she (little before the man could come) went to investigate what the man would be doing behind trees.
They found there a long and deep trench, a bit rough and uneven at the one end and neater and tidier towards the other end.
The old lady said “strange! Why dig a trench here on such difficult and rocky ground?”
(Just then the man appeared, earlier than his time and noticed the old couple)
When the couple enquired from him what was that this is all about, he started explaining.
He said “Actually I am learning how to dig a good trench because for the job for which I am being interviewed today experience is essential (As its advertisement says that). – So I am getting an experience and in this box I got my lunch”
So whatever research and planning you have done in the first step, now it is the time to execute the same and with full dedication.
Step 4: Four - Strategy to Attempt the paper:
I have interacted with many toppers of the acme exams of our country (CA, IIM, Civil services) and all have said that one has to plan how to attempt the paper and practice for the same.
Your task is to make the examiners’ job very simple i.e checking your answer sheet. You have to help the examiner so that he would take less time in checking you answers and with ease.
Making notes for theoretical subjects and taking mock tests for practical papers will help a-lot.
B) Freedom from Social Pressure: Pressure of Approval and Acceptance
It saddens me to see that we live in a society where performance and achievement is the measurement for a success. Parents and teachers have high expectations from students. Society in itself brings a huge pressure by questioning you intermittently about your goals, results and people judging you all the time.
The societal notion has become to finish first rather than finish well. This notion is highly misconceived. The goal should be to lead a meaningful and learned life that one can be proud of.
How to handle this social pressure:
Step 1: Start envisioning education as a journey
How many of you have been on a road trip recently?
You will face road bumps, dividers, tolls, sometimes you will face a sudden unexpected hurdles like land sliding, or road construction which will delay the journey for a while…
Now satisfaction of reaching to the destination depends on what? It is in the in the journey, your favourite music in the car, the road side hopping for a tea, the fights on the way.
Education is also a journey. The process is as important as the destination and if you are not well planned and equipped for the journey you will not enjoy the process. And if you will start enjoying the process your destination will treat you will with a big smile.
Ultimate goal example: I want to be happy!
So once a 5th standard teacher asked his class “– Please pick a paper and pen and write what you want to be in life”. After 5 minutes, he started asking each student what they have written and why. Some said doctor, because her father wants her to become so. Some said pilot or police or an army-man. There was this small little lad waiting for his turn in little nervousness. When his turn came he paused and said “sir I want to be happy”.
Teacher (in confused state) asked him “what do you mean you want to be happy” explain?
The student said – “Sir I have heard from my mother that the ultimate goal of life is to be happy. I don’t know what I will become as a professional, which career I would chose...I want to attain the ultimate goal with whatever I would do” i.e. to become happy. (Teacher took a deep pause and smiled)
If we all realise this notion we would be more relaxed and confident. We would concentrate on our work and would start enjoying it. Which ultimately will bring the social pressure down and we will become more focused and a balanced person.
I would like to share one more story here about the ideal approach of our teachers and parents while raising their kids.
The clap and cheer story: Take pride in whatever you do
A small boy was auditioning with his classmates for a school play. His mother knew that he'd set his heart on being in the play, just like all the other children hoped too - and she feared how he would react if he was not chosen. On the day the parts were awarded, the little boy's mother went to the school gates to collect her son. The little lad rushed up to her, eyes shining with pride and excitement. "Guess what Ma," he shouted, and then said the words that provide a lesson to us all, "I've been chosen to clap and cheer."
If we have this approach we will be more supportive and will be competing with ourselves and instead of focusing on what other person has done or achieved. The focus would be on where I stand and what I will do to improve this situation to attain my goal.
Step 2: Adapt positive behaviour along with positive thinking:
क्षमया दयया प्रेम्णा सूनृतेनार्जवेन च। वशीकुर्याज्जगत्सर्वं विनयेन च सेवया ॥
A person can bring the whole world under his influence by such sterling qualities as patience, kindness, love, truth, straightforwardness, humility and service.
How to embed positive behaviour in your life? Clear your thoughts then apportion them:
Keep this in mind that those who do not feel shy in acquiring learning everyday will always be happy. Don’t believe that you are good enough. You have to have belief in your strengths, in your skills & abilities but keep that learning curve active.
Be unsatisfied, always be in a learning mode and for God’s sake don't let this unsatisfied state die out of setbacks!
One physicist who once said in his book, ‘The Choice’ - “I smile and start to count my fingers.
• One, people are good – start believing this and you will meet good people as you will start doing good for them.
• Two, every conflict can be removed – try to solve all your conflicts with talks and be open and straightforward.
• Three, every situation, no matter how complex it initially looks, is exceedingly simple – So immediately work on your strategy in any difficulty instead of thinking what you have lost or missed or how big the problem is.
• Four, every situation can be substantially improved; even the sky is not the limit . Trust me when I say this, even if you have failed one attempt – you can get a rank in next. – The only thing is how much efforts you put into to it to change that situation.
• Five, every person can reach a full life.
To Conclude I would say: Fear or pressure should not dictate your life’s decision. Set yourself free from fear of failure and societal pressure of being judged. Start living life for today instead of worrying for tomorrow, follow your heart, stay calm and be confident.