Updated: May 19
Written by Isha Patil
Setbacks are a part and parcel of life. As we age and stream through the journey of life, we are bound to face many highs and lows. Experiences, both pleasant and unpleasant, add milestones and benchmarks to this journey, making us wiser and more mature with every step. The decisions that we make during this journey impact its future course and ultimately its destination. Some of those decisions may not lead to the outcome we desire and they may change our outlook towards life.
Societal expectations and peer pressure may greatly influence big life and career decisions. We might even be really good at what we do, but might question ourselves, ‘Is it something I genuinely want to do with passion?’ ‘Do I enjoy what I do?’ ‘Am I really happy and content with where my decision has led me?'
Although it can feel scary to make these big decisions, inaction is not a virtue either. More likely than not, you will make mistakes along the way, and make decisions that do not result in the expected outcome. But it is important to cultivate a mindset of ‘there is something to learn from each failure’. As the saying goes “Two steps forward and one step backward is still a step forward”, we often need to take a chill pill, pause, step back, and introspect to articulate the why, how and what of our next course of action before we set sail.
In the ‘Keep Calm and Spring Back’ session, our guest speakers and ICT alumni Rishabh Barguzer and Sushant Turekar shared with us insights into their amazing journeys so far. Well, their journeys haven’t been a cakewalk, as it might appear from the trailer of their lives. They have been through low phases and witnessed challenges, but what set them apart was their ability and courage to emerge with a positive and a revamped perspective. They kept calm when things didn’t turn out as expected, analyzed what went wrong, learned from it, and sprang back with elegance and flourish! Here are some of the key takeaway points from their talk:
College days are the best years to explore and try new things. You don’t know what you don’t know! There is a lot to look out for and several avenues to discover. Internships are a gateway to new experiences, and also a great way to understand the work environment and requirements of the professional world. Find something you enjoy doing, are comfortable with, can learn from, and which helps you grow. Sample a lot of experiences. No form of knowledge ever gets wasted! When in a dilemma about your prospects, step away and get a taste of a few varied experiences to identify what strikes a chord with you. Participate in both academic and non-academic activities to boost your holistic development and to diversify your skill set. Work on your weaknesses and focus on your strengths. Always know why you are doing what you are doing!
When you do something, know what you want to get out of it and where you want to go with it. Talk to people and learn from their experiences, choices and decisions to help decide a path for yourself. But don’t make your decisions solely on the basis of the perception of others and don’t try to fit yourself “with the norm”. Everyone is different. Everyone’s journey is different. Explore your options and keep your mind open to new possibilities. Adopt a curiosity-mindset. Never be afraid to ask questions. Weigh your strengths and place your bets appropriately. Set a goal for yourself, and visualize where you want to be in the next few years. Work towards that goal block by block. Step outside your bubble and learn something in addition to the technical skills from the people around you. Build on your learnings and bridge the gaps where you find any.
As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said - change is the only constant in life. To sustain and grow, adapting to change is a necessity in today’s highly competitive world. Get comfortable with uncertainty. Everything changes! If you realize that things require change, reflect and work on your ‘Plan B’. Steer your way and realign your energies to stay productive. Focus your energies on developing a process that works for you, that helps you be your productive self. Enhance your natural talents and work on your aim consistently till you become better than your previous self.
Setbacks and failures should not mark the end of your journey. If you’ve spent your time and energy on something, it’s human to feel disappointed when it does not yield the desired results. However, don’t sit with that feeling for too long, as it might lead to frustration which isn’t conducive to learning. If you simply refuse to get out of your mental bubble, you will fail to gain the insights necessary for growth. Reflect on your mistakes, understand what went wrong and make it an integral part of your learning process. There is always potential for improvement and room for growth. Spring back with spirit and be proud of your roller-coaster journey! Remember, it is better to try, fail and learn than not try at all.
With responsibility comes the risk of failure. But it is necessary to make your own decisions, stand by them, and plan things your own way. And fret not if things don’t turn out the planned way; it’s never too late to start all over! You can always adopt better methods and improvise. Be flexible, believe in your capabilities, keep striving with effort and keep your head high. You will arrive at your destination, with a glorious sense of satisfaction and a story to inspire!
All in all, life is too short to experience everything. No one likes failures or setbacks. But they can be one of the most helpful learning opportunities in one’s life. Beyond our own experiences, we can learn from the stories of others by witnessing their breakthroughs and comebacks. And that’s what Spark Mentoring is for! With a strong team of ICT alumni and amazing sessions covering a wide range of topics, Spark is here to guide and mentor students with career opportunities in the professional sector, for a brighter and better tomorrow!
If you missed the session, you can listen to the recording of Rishabh’s and Sushant’s stories on the YouTube video - "Keep Calm & Spring Back ft. Sushant & Rishabh."