This is an answer to a Question asked on Quora : “I don’t want to be the second best . but no matter how much I try I am never able to take down the first one . what do I do?”
The answer I wrote to this question has a gist of the most closest and insightful moments of my life
I remember some very interesting stories from my childhood days. I never came first in my class. Till second grade I was a very average student. The one ho scores 70% or lower grades. But, then I decided to work hard (because dad had promised me to get a new bike if I come first.)
Incident 1 :
Akshay Gupta, used to come first in my class. There 3 times straight, I stood 2nd in the class. The difference was just 0.5-1%. We used to wear coat-pant in school. One day I realised that Akshay had a habit of rolling his coat button while answering for vivas. And whenever he did that he used to get all the answers right. So just before English orals, I’d cut the button of his coat. He was completely off. Blank. Zero. Nada. Not even 1 correct answer from his mouth. Result I was 1st in the class at last.
But then I never repeated the feat. It was the last time I ever came 1st in the class.
Incident 2 :
I had shifted to a new school at my native, and results here were even worse. Forget 1st, I was not even among the first 5 rankers. The girl who used to come first was an ultimate maggu! For two years straight I tried my best to be first. But never did. There was a lame subject named “Drawing” which dropped my percentage by 2 every time and then I missed the pole position even after being first in 3 subjects. At last I lost hope of getting into the ranks and finally concentrated on learning.
Incident 3 :
I lost my grandfather who was my guide and motivator all these years in 2007. I spent pathetic 9th and 10th grade. Just before X finals I screwed up my acads badly. I had my lifetime lowest scores and still nothing was there to motivate me. I used to write on random piece of paper some short poems and stories that would keep me alive. 72% was what my semester score card read. Barely any tuition and fuzzy mind. 91.53% what the final score cards read, probably the highest comeback in that year.
Incident 4 :
I failed JEE and other entrance exam miserably. I was actually not very interested in engineering, but in those days you don’t know what to do with life. During my JEE training, which was rather pathetic, this time the goal was not to be first but to pass it. Clearly the standards have been lowered with respect to time. In 2012, I was preparing at Bakliwal Tutorials, Pune. the classes was suffering great losses as most of the teachers were leaving settling for creating their own classes. Mr. Bakliwal was in tears when he explained this to the class. He generally shares his feeling with his students and we as students had a very intimate relation. The to years in which i understood shit about PCM, I researched a lot on education sciences and technology. By age of 18, I developed a prototype of alternative education system and advanced learning mechanism all by myself. I created a draft on – “Ideal Flowchart for Education Companies” (I still have the initial draft – 2011), and gifted it to Mr Bakliwal on his birthday. That feeling when a person who brought up 300 IITians is humbly accepting help from a teenager was the ultimate moment of my life. I was never amongst Vaibhav Sir’s favorite, but I can design education systems faster, cheaper and efficient than any other person present in that room full of scholars. That day I realised that my life is not a waste. Its not meant to chase numbers.
Moral of the Stories :
Incident 1 :
- Tricks and hacks may give an advantage for a moment but in the long run you are going to fail. Hard work beats talent.
- Also, don’t develop shitty habits that might lead to your downfall
Incident 2 :
- For 6 years of my life I tried to be someone else, and I never gained satisfaction. That person at no.1 spot cant do many things that you can. You may have not discovered it yet. Maybe you are some genius in a subject no-one knows all what you need to do is believe. (The girl who used to come first in my class now studies in an institute with a lower rank than that of mine.)
- Numbers Lie!! That’s the truth my friend. I have been playing with them since years and all what they told me is a lie. The IQ scores, the JEE rank, the percentages, the CGPA, all were worthless when I was living what I wanted to live for, when I spent sleepless night thinking about the cheapest possible education mechanisms. None of the scores mentioned above helped
Incident 3 :
- When you lose, you are actually in a mode to discover yourself. There is a strange feeling of emptiness. This emptiness is necessary. It makes you humbler, keeps you grounded. Spend some time alone and you would know that answer, you were searching for. The textbooks don’t have them, the experiences of others wont help because they have lived different life. Getting up from being dusted and rising like a Phoenix is a lesson none except you can teach yourself
Incident 4 : And the most important one.
- When you find your passion. Go crazy. And I mean literally. I was so mad thinking about education psychology and economics that almost every notebook I ever touched has a snippet of an idea that comes to my mind. Even the toilets, train, bus, breaks and classroom lectures my mind is full of thoughts.
- Make mistakes. I have made mistakes. The most pathetic mistakes in my life. But I can assure you I regret none. You can ask these people Aniruddha Rajendra Kanere , Omkar Kumbhar (both IITians) how foolish I was. But if, I hadn’t being into JEE I would have never found my passion. I don’t give a damn to numbers. Because I know that I am better than those 200 IITians who were speechless when Vaibhav Sir had to weep for his drowning company.
Ending Note :
May be this is a too elaborate answer, but I hope you might have got it what I tried to prove. Ranks, numbers, exams, tests are not what you are…you sre someone who is hidden in the attic of your dreams. There is no joy repeating answers everyone knows in the exams. Find Your questions…Discover Your Answers.