I still remember the day teacher asked everyone, “What you want to become in the future?” “Hero”, “Pilot”, “Air Hostess”, “Singer” were the major answers. Nobody knew back then what an “Engineer” was. As the time started fleeting by everyone realized that it is not as easy as it sounds to be a hero or a singer or an artist in India as it really requires some skill and hardcore dedication and thereafter also there is no guarantee you will be successful. So engineering was the safest choice, everyone believed in it.
As a kid, I had no aspirations of becoming an engineer. But somehow I ended up being one. In India, there is this thing, if you’re good at studies and from a middle-class background, you only have two options to choose from, “engineering” and “medical course.” This is mainly because current generation (most of them) are not clear what they want to do in their life. I too was confused just like a million others like me and ended up wasting 4 years of my life and money. I might have learned a thing or two but it didn’t help much making a decent career out of it. College was good, I didn’t suck at anything but it all looked like an unplanned thing. And so was it.
I am a firm believer of universe playing role in our life. If it’s meant to happen it will, at the right time for the right reason. So I played along, followed my intuitions, went with the fucking flow and that was my biggest mistake. Only dead fishes go with the fucking flow. I stopped looking for a purpose. I didn’t care about the subjects/projects, like whether I like them or not. I completed all of those things just for the sake of completing. And believe me or not, this is the most imbecile way of pursuing engineering. You will never be good at it, if you don’t like doing it. I realized that years later.
I did well in engineering as far as academics are concerned but still didn’t manage to get a decent job anywhere. Then finally I cracked a decent interview and got myself placed (That’s what they said). But as a matter of fact, it was not the final interview and I have to go through one final round just a formality (That’s what they said). I was in the final year of my engineering, having time of my life, making memories, cherishing moments, enjoying. I thought I made it by going with the flow and I was content. But there was more to it.
I finally graduated and after waiting for 3 months, I finally received a mail about the next round. I was prepared. I was excited. As soon as I reached there, the HR informed that the hiring process will start from the beginning and FML (That’s what I said). I managed to clear all the rounds. I was sure I made it as I got more than a good feedback. So I went back home and no response came from that side and time was passing by and I was getting frustrated as I didn’t plan for this. Finally, I picked up the phone and called the respective HR and she said, “I have the final list with me, and you’re not on the list.” After hearing her, I really lost it. I didn’t know what to do. My intuitions, my belief, and my universe everything was falling apart.
Life has a way of testing person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once.
I joined an IT startup thereafter. My motive was to learn to code and get a decent job in some other company with a good package. This was the turning point for me. I was doing okay initially but soon I realized this shit’s not for me. I sucked at it and hated my time in the office every fucking day. I had no clue what I wanted from life but I was pretty sure this was not it. And my peers were getting ahead of me and this made me freak out more. I knew no matter how much hard work I put in; I will never be as good as them because “They love doing it.” It’s nearly impossible to beat a person who fucking loves doing it. This is the only reason, all the success gurus, motivational speakers tell you to follow your passion, your madness.
From the very beginning, from the day I got introduced to the internet. The majority of the content I see or hear or watch was inspirational. This also explains my favorite movie being, “The pursuit of Happyness” ( a biopic of Chris Gardner) and favorite song being, “Lose Yourself”. One thing engineering helped me with is “Introspect”. See when you fail again and again when things don’t go well in your life; All you do is introspecting and find ways to retaliate from the nonsense happening in your life.
“Being self-aware is not the absence of mistakes, but the ability to learn and correct them.”
Self-awareness is very important in order to succeed in life. Gary Vaynerchuk, was asked once in an interview, “Which bird catches the worm? The early bird or the bird that matches timing with the worms?” To which he answered, “The bird that knows himself better catches the worm. Stick to your DNA, and you will win.”
Meanwhile, I was still continuing at that startup company. I gave it a lot of thinking and I decided to quit. Not because it was hard or I could never do it, but because I was not in love with it; it didn’t match to my DNA. I started connecting the dots backward.
So I did a little SWOT analysis and figured out things I can do, Things I’m passionate about. I was passionate about inspiring others. My spoken English was not that fluent so I decided to go with the writing and curating inspirational content. So I am doing this ever since and loving every day of my life.
I failed as an engineer but it helped me through the process. If I hadn’t failed as an engineer, I would never dare to quit my job and start following my madness. So kudos to all those who succeeded as an “engineer”, who made it through and made us proud. And to all those too who went on becoming something completely different and are doing just as fine as the proud engineers.