There's been a background thread running in my mind the past few days. Here's an attempt to articulate these thoughts.
Considering B-school, thinking about applications, work experience, how-i-am-just-not-good-enough, the pitch,the can-i-ever-make-it, the lure of the pedigree etc. had made me restless and nervous. I was anxious and preoccupied with planning to plan the strategy and ready to focus everything I do this whole year towards building a successful MBA application.
All along, Something just didn't feel right. like a mildly-ill-fitting shoe.
And then two things happened.
I chanced upon a few wise words by a successful woman - CXO of a company. a happily married mother of 3, radiating confidence, cheer and centered-ness. perfect.
I also came across a passage :
"Why, I saw all at once that a man cannot possibly conceal himself or appear
either better or worse than he is, not for long! for the secret leaks out at
every look. There is no style, no art, no lie, that can long cover up what
a man is. It discloses itself in every word he says, every line he writes ---
whether he will or no --- and gets itself soon published abroad. This may be
clear enough to many men; but long ago it came to me as a kind of discovery.
It made me laugh at myself and that ended my fear."
"It did!" he exclaimed eagerly.
"Yes," said I, "to be able to laugh at one's self is the beginning of peace --
and you cannot imagine the comfort I began to feel. The sense of wishing to be
known only for what one really is is like putting an old, easy, comfortable
garment. You are no longer afraid of anybody or anything. You say to yourself,
`Here I am --- just so ugly, dull, poor, beautiful, rich, interesting, amusing,
ridiculous -- take me or leave me.'
"And how absolutely beautiful it is to be doing only what lies within your own
capabilities and is part of your own nature. It is like a great burden rolled
off a man's back when he comes to want to appear nothing that he is not, to take
out of life only what is truly his own, and to wait for something strong and
deep within him or behind him to work through him."
What I'm beginning to fathom is ....
Focusing on success is actually pointless. Focusing on being worthy of success is worthwhile. If it takes an MBA application to bring about the self-transformation to be worthy of success, so be it. But keep the focus on the *process*. not the result.
If you ignore it, find short-cuts and even manage to wing reaching the goal some-how, you will only feel unsure and jittery, like you didn't deserve to be there. *and* you will then have to build capabilities that you are already supposed to have.
sooner or later, the hollowness of it all will catch up with you.
(Interestingly, this is what happened with me thus far, to an extent.
I have always managed to get what I want, with minimum effort and indifference. It worked okay in the world of academic courses, standardized tests. but at some point, the lack of knowledge-that-ripens-over-time showed. It makes me diffident and hollow today)
BUT..I feel like something just clicked inside my head.
and I seem to *finally* get why it's important to do the right thing the right way.
Does this make sense to anyone at all?