“Chachu, I want to become an Astronaut when I grow up,”
Said my 6-year-old nephew, while he was playing with some toys. His words put a smile on my face. I looked at my brother who was sitting on the opposite side of the dining table and could see a similar smile on his face too. I could feel the happiness that was radiating out of my brother. Any parent would be happy if they saw their child being so ambitious.
This incident took place earlier this year during my visit to my home in Calcutta. Although it might be very common, it made me ask myself a few questions, what happens to our ambitions once we grow up? Why are so many of us confused about the purpose our lives? Why can’t more people be happy with their work life?
In today’s fast-paced world, where things are changing every minute, getting an hour of free time every day is considered to be a luxury. But, even when we get that hour of free time, it is usually spent on relaxation or entertainment. Procrastination kicks in and whatever plans we had made to use that 1 hour for self-development gets delayed to the next day. This process keeps on happening day after day, till it reaches a point where we simply give up. This is the reason why the guitarist in you never got a chance to perform at his first event or the writer in you never got her first story break.
Now comes the main question – Is there any way to take out some time from our busy lives and dedicate that time towards self-improvement? The answer is yes, there is not a single way but rather multiple ways to do that. Over here we will take a look at two such methods.
First, we have to understand that the key to success is not through being busy but rather being productive. A very important skill that one should pick up in order to become more productive is time-management. Time is the most important thing that we have, and if we learn to manage it, we can really become successful in our lives. The book “7 Habits of highly effective people” by Stephen R Covey talks a lot about time management and habit formation and anybody who is looking to get the most out of their day should give it a read.
But, what if you fall asleep after reading just one page of a book? How can you learn time management without self-study? Well, the answer is simple; get a mentor in your life. A mentor will teach you not only about time management but many more useful skills and will also help you to stay on track throughout the entire journey. Let us analyse this situation from another point of view. Imagine that you are a car.
Motivation is like fuel. It only helps to run a vehicle which in this case is you. But a vehicle cannot run without an engine. In human beings, our purpose acts like the engine. Even with engine and fuel, you still cannot drive a car if there is no steering wheel. Dedication is the steering wheel. But can you drive a car if there are no roads? No, so you need a road, a direction. Planning creates the road for you. But I don’t think anybody would ever want to drive a car with a single gear? Experiences and failures are our gears. Sometimes you will move at fourth or fifth gear and sometimes you may even need to put your ‘life’s car’ on the reverse. What about windscreen wipers? Yes, we have them too, education, it helps us to see the world clearly.
Horn? Come on, that is your voice, both verbal as well as written.
Rear view mirrors? Your memory.
Headlights? Spiritual learnings
Backlight? Your work
Indicators? Your presence.
Entertainment system? Whatever keeps you happy.
But all of this will not work unless you start the engine and for that, you need a key. In the case of our lives, the “key” is our decisions.
Now comes the most important question, where does a mentor fit into all of this? The answer is simple, the mentor acts like “Google Maps”. You may have all of the above things, but if you are using a wrong road map, no amount of dedication or motivation will be able to help you to achieve your goals. Just like “Google Maps” your mentor helps you to find the right track, gives you proper notifications, makes sure you have your route and time mapped out and get there when you need to. Even without a mentor, you can still achieve your goals, but sometimes it is better to have somebody by your side to help you in your journey to greatness.