My Linkedin Posts

The first step to knowledge is the knowledge of your ignorance. Before you become learned, you have to have the courage to come face to face with your ignorance. Generally, people understand that they are ignorant to an extent. However, their assessment of this extent is highly misplaced, many a time. And when they realize the huge chasm between what they thought they knew and what they actually know, many a time they become either demotivated or frustrated.

That is why my initial few sessions are frustrating for many people. Very few people see this coming face to face with their ignorance as the opening of an opportunity to magnificent growth. However, fortunately, when I point it out, many people are able to see that seeing their ignorance in its unobstructed form is better than living in an illusion of knowledge. I also point out that the knowledge of this great lack of conceptual understanding or application skills is a good indicator that they are far from their potential. They can score way higher than they currently do. That helps calm down some nerves 🙂

I believe the path to light passes through an awareness of darkness.

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You are not defined by your circumstances but by your interpretations of those circumstances.

When Thomas Edison, known as America’s greatest inventor, couldn’t succeed a whopping 10,000 times, he said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” 

Even though he hadn’t succeeded after 10,000 attempts, he didn’t interpret the circumstance as a judgment on his ability; he didn’t say, “I just can’t do it. I probably don’t have the capability to do it.”

He persisted. And so can we. We need not succumb in the face of failures but rather can take them as instances to learn from and build our lives on. There is no one correct interpretation of the situation you are facing. You can choose an interpretation that may serve you. And if an interpretation indeed serves you, doesn’t that automatically make it the correct interpretation and the other interpretations not so? 🙂

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At times, I find myself overly worried about achieving certain outcomes. In those times, I am overly anxious that the future should happen the way I want it to and not any other way round.

Over a period of time, I have realized that not everytime have those desired outcomes been best for my long term success and satisfaction. I have also realized that at times, those desired outcomes have turned to be disadvantageous to me in the short or the long run.

These realizations have allowed me to be a bit relaxed about my future and not be overly fussy that it should occur as I have planned it to be. The realizations have also allowed me to give my best but at the same time let go of the outcomes or at least be open to different outcomes.

I have seen that when I am open to different possibilities and not particular about one specific outcome, I can follow my values much more easily. I think it is quite natural that people who always live in the survival mode (i.e. who look at every outcome as a question of their survival) will have significant difficulty in following their values. When survival is at stake, it’s difficult to think about the values.

I have come to see that following one’s values brings a kind of peace to the mind that other successes can’t.

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At times, I ask myself, “What would you do if you developed some life-threatening disease and had only a few weeks/months to live? Would you continue to live the life the way you do currently?”

Lately, the next question that pops up naturally is, “Why do you need a life-threatening disease to live the life you aspire for?”

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Would you let your failures define you or use them as stepping stones to bigger successes?

Below is a beautiful excerpt from the book ‘Mindset’ by Dr. Carol Dweck

Jim Marshall, a former defensive player for the Minnesota Vikings, relates what could easily have made him into a failure. In a game against the San Francisco 49ers, Marshall spotted the football on the ground. He scooped it up and ran for a touchdown as the crowd cheered. But he ran the wrong way. He scored for the wrong team and on national television.

It was the most devastating moment of his life. The shame was over-powering, But during halftime, he thought, “If you make a mistake, you got to make it right. I realized I had a choice. I could sit in my misery or I could do something about it.” Pulling himself together for the second half, he played some of his best football ever and contributed to his team’s victory.

Nor did he stop there. He spoke to groups. He answered letters that poured in from people who finally had the courage to admit their own shameful experiences. He heightened his concentration during games. Instead of letting the experience define him, he took control of it. He used it to become a better player and, he believes, a better person. 

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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 CJ@GMATwithCJ.com. He conducts online sessions for students across the world.

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