My Linkedin Posts

The first conclusions we draw from our successes and failures are typically wrong. Measuring the outcome without evaluating the process is deceiving. – Ed Catmull, one of the founders of Pixar.

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I remember reading a book by Rabindranath Tagore in which he said along the lines that you can look at the path to your destination either as your friend that helps you get to your destination or as your enemy that is between you and your destination. Many of us many times choose the latter perspective. That’s why I hear phrases such as “beat the GMAT”, “conquered the GMAT” etc. Why not simply “aced the GMAT”?

If you look at it as your enemy to conquer, you’ll want to defeat it by hook or crook. That’s why I see institutes mushrooming everywhere telling the best ‘shortcuts and tricks’. If you look at it as your friend, you’d spend some time with it to understand what skills it requires you to have and then patiently and wilfully focus on building those skills.

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There is an old story about two Greek islanders vying to become the strongest man on the island.

One trainee bought a newborn calf. The other laughed at him. How could a calf help him train? However, every day the wise trainee lifted it. Every day the calf got a little bigger and heavier, but he could still lift it because it was only a little bit heavier than the previous day. After a year the wise trainee saw the calf was now a bull, but he could still lift it.

In the meantime, the unwise trainee had tried every day to lift a bull.

He had failed every time.

If you’re failing, don’t give up. Start with a calf. Others may laugh at you for some time, but you’ll succeed at last.

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One of the professors at IIMA used to say, “Strategy is the art of closing doors”. 

So true! 

A person who pursues everything in life doesn’t have a strategy and thus is likely to achieve nothing substantial in life. 

Choose carefully and then have the courage to drop everything else that gets in the way!

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I think the most counter-productive and harmful logic existing in the aptitude entrance exam, including GMAT, preparation domain is that since you’ll eventually have to solve the hardest questions within the given time limits, you START practicing in that way. The logic is that since you’ll need to ‘eventually’ do the same, why not practice it from the beginning? By this logic, people start solving the hardest questions within the time limits of the test from the beginning.

Well, this logic is exactly the same as that of a person who is going for his first lesson on driving and asks to drive at 80 mph. He reasons out that since ‘eventually’ he’ll want to drive at 80 mph, why not start practicing the same from the beginning? It’s easy to see where this person is headed.

In NO domain, learning happens by this distorted logic. But institutes after institutes teach this, setting aspirants on a path that leads only to ‘crashes’ and feelings of ‘I can’t do it’. 

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About Chiranjeev Singh

An Alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad and with scores of 780 (2017) and 770 (2013) on GMAT and 99.98%ile on CAT, Chiranjeev is one of the most qualified GMAT tutors in India. Chiranjeev has earlier served as Director of Curriculum at e-GMAT. Chiranjeev has been helping students ace GMAT since 2012. He follows a concept-based methodology to teaching GMAT and is very committed to student success. You may contact him for any private GMAT tutoring needs at He conducts online sessions for students across the world.

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