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Youth - A Time For Promise And Effort

By Vivek Gade

In a seminar with outstanding acoustics and with an elevated stage, capacity to hold 300 students at once, “May I have your attention please? I really thank each and every one of you from the depths of my heart for accepting this old man’s request and coming over here because some of you may even have to forgo snacks even, right?” says a virtuous, well educated and a renowned lecturer in a pleasant manner. Suddenly, a student without even thinking of the pros and cons of his action starts running out of the class as if that were to be the place he should never  ever come in his lifetime, thereby shattering the finely woven fabric of graveyard silence existing till then in the class. Taking inspiration from him many students start leaving the lecture hall and the number rises exponentially with time. By giggling, some audience start projecting them as heroes. The lecturer was so humble that he left them to their fate and continued his lecture. All such nuisance culminates in the loss of valuable time of those students who believe the lecture hall to be their second temple and the teacher to be their demigod. This might look like a normal situation that just happens in UG/PG colleges but let’s stop here one moment and think of the attitude that those students showed towards the lecturer and the lecture? After all one may say that they are obsessed with the vague things taught by the so-called renowned lecturer. But these are also the students who underwent a severe exertion to achieve their shot term target of getting into a well established college. This short term achievement slaughtered their thirst for that ultimate success which they still need to pursue in their life. Unfortunately, this is the way present day youngsters aspire their goals.
I want to succeed in my life!
I want to become a highly paid professional in my field!
 I want to reach my goal at any cost, fighting in this materialistic world!
Undoubtedly, these are the fascinating dreams of any youngster. But they are struggling like pebbles do under huge waves; no constrained path, no planning, no virtues and yet to reach the shore of success by any means possible, which is absolutely impossible. We have become ambitious, but mind you only ambitious. A friend of mine was preparing for his IIT-JEE but I rarely found him concentrated on studies. He was always thinking about something. Out of my own anxiety, I asked him what he was thinking about. He said “I am thinking - how should I enjoy my engineering life in IIT Bombay? Most of the time I brood upon this idea!” We are just thinking about their destiny, dreaming about the end, paying no attention to the means and still want success.

Students aspire for freedom, freedom to spend money, freedom to lead a luxurious life with sophisticated food. But they are not able to realize the fact that without struggle freedom can’t be achieved. We describe few persons as “They are born great”. Mind you, no one is born with a tag “great”. His ideas and his deeds make him great. We build up on our ideas to fulfil our dreams, our aspirations. A youngster lying on his bed and believing, “Everything is planned now. Every second of tomorrow will be spent in a right way and for a right purpose. No force in this world can stop me from doing things correctly!” Unfortunately, next day no work was done in a right way, or at the right time. What is really being done to him? He wanted to sip the honey, and he found his hands and feet sticking to it. He was caught. He wanted to rule; He was being ruled. He wanted to work; He was being worked.
All the time, we find this. And this comes into every detail of one’s life. Roadblocks to success are self-created! We don’t have that ambitious nature, with that conviction and that commitment towards work but still we want success!
Take up an idea, think of it, dream of it, live of it.
Let the body, nerves, muscles and ever part of the body feel that idea.
Lave rest of the ideas alone, this is how great men work and others are  mere talking   machines.
This is a great saying by one of the greatest spiritual giant that human era has ever produced, SWAMI VIVEKANANDA. Such kind of zeal, such kind of conviction, such kind of pin pointed focus is needed to succeed. In this ever-moving life, every person is in search of success. This materialistic world has made man a puppet with no virtues, no ethics. If we go out and ask a student “Why are you studying?” The sincerity in his convincing answer will be eroded by time, exposing the real nature of his lust towards money. Thus studying has simply become a vital source of money to today’s youngsters. Such kind of education impedes the development of any country.
For every man to succeed in life three Ds are required- DETERMINATION, DEDICATION, DISCIPLE. Lack of any one among them will make life miserable.

We are experts in taking oaths and breaking them. To be determined, first thing anyone has to posses is faith, Faith in oneself. First thing a person needs to put into his blood after deciding his goal is that he at any cost, even at the cost of his life, should and must reach his goal. Every now and then, in your journeys, you will face problems. Only men who can control their nature during failures and have steel nerves can achieve success. Fight till the end, mediocrity has no right to have a zeal for success. It is to be believed that every soul selects its body which explicitly suits its real nature, a perfect instrument to show its talent. There is no scarcity of examples in this world. Take Sir Stephen Hawkins, a living legend in the scientific realm.  This man, who can’t do his daily activities without any help, is a world famous cosmologist. What is the difference? Simple, he is handicapped physically but not like us, mentally. Many complexities, in our own mind and about our own self, are eating away our self confidence, our capability to reach our goal. There is a saying

“Even if the whole world is against you, he indeed is a real man who doesn’t move a single inch and stands like a rock on his path”

Hard work is the only way internal genius takes birth. Without sowing the seed of hard work and dedication, all our tears shed for success will be in vain. Dedication towards the work is like a light house which throws the light on our shore, success. No great deed is accomplished just like that. Infinite patience, hard work, are imperative to success. People today have no patience, their dedication towards work stays focused only when they are able to enjoy. If the road is not so blissful they give up. People play video games, every time they lose they try once again, why can’t this enthusiasm, this conviction be shown in real life tasks, in light of failure. Did u know, before the invention of bulb, Thomas Alva Edison failed a thousand times experimenting with different filaments? Such kind of patience and dedication towards work is needed to achieve success. Recently our ex-president, the missile man of India, Dr. Abdul Kalaam said in a conference that in order to get a scholarship, he and his colleagues worked continuously for three days without sleep. These examples simply reveal that there is no substitution to hard work. Let us take inspiration from such great men and remember

“Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”
 Working hard with determination and dedication blindly also doesn’t make any sense. Lifting a heavy rock is also a work but doesn’t really help you to reach your potential. Correct planning, healthy discipline towards knowledge and your path are very important. You will never find a successful person lacking ethics. Our culture is known for its traditions not only towards knowledge but also towards the teacher. Guru is considered as a real epitome of god. It is a minimum fundamental that students should sit in class facing the teacher, but in western countries teacher has no right to question a student even if he sits showing his back to the teacher. Incorporate western thoughts and ideas but not their culture. Knowledge doesn’t reach your heart if you lack discipline. And even though you get it, by hook or crook, it won’t last for long time. A commercial paste has been applied even to education. It has become a give and take policy. ‘Class room a market, student a customer and teacher a trader’- this is the ingrained notion of students these days. This fallacious belief has been established in the minds of students and their parents that a teacher is a person who is teaching because we are paying fee to him. If the teacher teaches something beyond studies we think it as time waste. At the least we won’t even take pain to listen to what the teacher is saying!  If earning money is only the motto of a well learned person, then he need not take up teaching as his career.

If this continues, a developing country like ours will be in lack of people who can educate the youngsters of this nation. Prerequisites like making a time table, being punctual at work, thinking to study for knowledge sake, respecting the person who has given knowledge to us - are easy to read in words but when comes to deeds, they are tough to handle. But nothing is impossible if we put our sincere efforts to follow them.
  Apart from all these things, one thing which can still make a difference and that is our mindset, our way of taking things and making things. Mind is the most subtle part of our body. Human mind by its very nature is fickle. There is no guarantee that if we prepare well, we are going to succeed. Preparation is must but it just increases our chances of succeeding. The calmer our mind the better for us and the more we can work. We can find in our daily life that a simple but timely success can install such a tremendous confidence which can then be utterly shattered by a small failure. If so then what is the use of such false confidence for us? Literally useless! We should aim high, and then alone will such small pushes and pulls not affect us. It’s our nature that we feel good when we win and get depressed when we lose but
“He indeed is a real man who amidst of all difficulties, amidst of all luxuries, remains the same. He has attained the perfection, the goal of one’s life.”

Controlling the mind is not our task but calming it down to concentrate should be our motto and it can be achieved through constant practice. A wood burns when the sunlight is focused, in the similar way when mind forces are concentrated knowledge is attained. We find people saying “I can’t concentrate” but they are unaware of the fact that nothing can be done without concentration. It’s only that we don’t put sufficient effort to improve the concentration we have. Many philosophers and many of our ancestors studied the human brain and gave some authentic methods to focus our minds but how many of us know them? We may think, “What is the need to know them?”  I can bet that any way you choose, any path which you think is right and will help you to reach your goal is directly linked to concentration and in fact it’s your power to concentrate which helps you find a path! One of the famous quotes of Swami Vivekananda which correctly describe this is:
For me the very essence of education is concentration of mind, not the collection of facts.
But for us it has become merely a collection of facts. Our greatest shortcoming in life is that we are so strongly drawn to the ideal, the goal is so much more enchanting, so much more alluring, and so much bigger in our mental horizon, that we lose sight of the details altogether. The fundamental values and ethics which are an integral part of the means to succeed are no more ours. ‘Achieving our goal is our motto, doesn’t matter how we achieve it’-has become our slogan. Education for us has become ‘reading books’. We forget that understanding and analysing the things which we see, hear and experience is education. All the past glory of a student can be brought back if we change ourselves. Many of us may not agree with the fact that no one in this world can help us but ourselves. But fact, for a fact, is fact. It’s we who have to change our mentality. It’s we who have to start a new era, which is not only sound scientifically but also culturally. It’s we, the youth of this country who have to give not only the scientific inventions but also the culture and heritage as a gift to our children. It’s now the time for us to change the fate of this country so that no more India should be called as a poor nation but should again be called as the golden bird. You may find this to be a miracle but remember

 We see people doing miracles as long as we are behind the line of fear. But once when we cross it, we find ourselves doing miracles.
So let’s do it


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