Sweetness and Light

Just want to bring a smile to the reader's lips - and an occasional thought. Will try to stay away from controversial topics - rather create my own! And would definitely welcome comments. :-)

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Life's Lessons - Part 1

I have always, at every stage of my life, known people more intelligent than me. It has brought me the obvious advantage of learning from them, sometimes directly, but often just by observing. But it has also had another, not so obvious advantage - it has kept me grounded. Let me explain. I was always a good student, and we all know how much adulation a "good boy" gets in the typical Indian setting. I was the darling of my teachers throughout my academic life, a role model for my assorted cousins, etc. But all this while, I had friends who I knew were more intelligent than me, even if it was not reflected in their academic achievements, and that kept my ego in check. 

Which brings me to a related point.. I have also always known people who were more intelligent than me, but achieved less "success" as defined conventionally.   I was not the most brilliant guy in my class ever, but I topped my class in school,   and secured admission to prestigious colleges. Reflecting on this apparent anomaly taught me two things. One, brilliance needs to be complemented with hard work. Good work ethics will always trump lazy brilliance in the long run. Two, we owe our success to more than just our personal attributes. A whole lot of factors make us what we are, which we loosely club together under "luck". Whether we can influence our luck or not, we should at least be aware of the role it plays, and be grateful for whatever it bestows on us. And then, work on changing our luck for better.