It has been almost six years since I completed my graduation. I still remember this crystal clear how confident I was when I passed out that next year I would be in one of the top 3 IIMs (I guess everyone knows which ones I am talking about). There was simply no other thought in my head with regards to the next move in my life. Dare I dream of something creative? No, I was supposed to join the rat race, run with the rats (no offense, I am the biggest rat) and hope to win the race. How could I be one of the 3 idiots!
And can you believe that it has been six years and leave aside the top 3 IIMs, I haven’t even made it to any institute that has a ‘management’ in its name. Why? After all, I was confident that I would win the race. When I look back at things now and do a threadbare simulation, I know why I didn’t make it. And I was baffled when I found the answer because the answer was always with me, in front of me but I dare not pursue what my heart wanted me to…
No prizes here for guessing my answer…I was always following the rat race when I knew I just don’t want this life, I don’t want this job, I don’t want any of this. I used to fill forms of all the MBA entrance exams in India and fill forms of all possible top 30 B schools. Well I would be lying if I just said that I used to fill forms for all possible top 30 B schools because I did remember writing somewhere above that I was confident of the top 3 IIMs. For the first two years, I only filled forms of top 10 B schools, next year I added 5 more to the list and thereafter 5 more and then 10 more which totals to 30. I would happily fill all these forms, count the total amount of money spent on all this and pray a silent prayer to all the old and the new gods (Game of Thrones is such an addiction) to get me at least one call from a school. And the best part, I just wouldn’t study! Well it’s a lie that I wouldn’t study, I did study my best for the first 2 years and the sixth year but that only lead to 2 calls in the 6th year and yes they were from schools in the range of 25-30. My reaction, I was elated! But as destiny would have it, I didn’t convert either of them (I am still awaiting the final list of one of them but reject in first list says a lot for me). One of my biggest learning from all this has been a simple but a harsh truth – I just don’t have the kind of aptitude these exams require. In retrospect I think I was always aware of this but how can one accept such thoughts about one’s own intellect. And now that I have accepted it, I am at peace.
Did I just say I am at peace? Well, I am clearly leagues away from it. Let me put a question to you. Do you dream? Of course you do, what a silly question for me to ask. Do you do anything to turn your dream into reality? This is the question and the same question has given me sleepless nights, rivers of tears and fear of future. I work as a management consultant which is apparently one of the most prestigious line of profession and a sought after line of work. I work for a big 4 and as soon as I share this with anyone, their eyes display such immense respect for me as if I am on my way to moon to build a castle for them at once. But the reality is I don’t like what I do. Am I good at it? You bet I am, and it’s not just me who says it. I have always believed that whatever you do, just be excellent at it else don’t do it because you are spoiling your own brand. When the thought of me not liking my job came into my head at the initial stage, I resented it like hell. I thought to myself why should I even think of anything else, I am in a job that is decent enough, pays me well and I am learning so much. But as the years went by and as my attempts at CAT/XAT went from bad to worse to horrible, I realized that all this is just not for me. I need to follow my dreams because I wouldn’t want to look back at my life after 10 years and regret not taking this step.
The good news is I know my dream, I know what I want to do. What stops me? The insecure human that is me. I get nightmares when I think of leaving such a well-established job for just a ‘dream’. But then, which job is well-established and secure forever. Let’s face it, I will be 27 by the end of the year and I am not getting any younger to delay the chase for my dreams. Should I take the plunge or should I not? I guess I know the answer but I pursue my dreams ‘not’….or may be.