“What does education do for an individual?”
Perhaps, this question has revolved around the minds of many. Some assert, “Everything,” and others, “Nothing.” Each of these answers is given with immense finality. Simply put, education can do everything for some, and absolutely nothing for others.
I, however, foresee another possibility.
Where it all began
Since childhood, my parents have been the guiding force behind driving me into an education-oriented landscape. From the walls of my school to CBSE textbooks, every bit has heightened the vitality of education in my life. After all, we all have heard and been told a million times, “Education is the key to success.”
During the final years of school life, I was awestruck by the success stories of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. These two, the most popular college dropouts, defied the origins of how the world determined success and trod on their own defined path. Such one-in-a-million stories inspired me to break free and annul the effects of the pressure thrust upon me to be good in academics.
In almost every walk of life, every conversation, every life lesson boiled down to how to achieve success. The point at issue isn’t that of success. Of course, it’s amazing. The problem is what I have always been sold to. Everyone I know (and don’t know) was always keen on trying to pitch their own version of success. This included being wealthy, being able to influence the world, or just living life king size!
Therefore, here comes a deep thought. Instead of actually navigating to a direction to my final destination, I got distracted by tons of other systems that promised what I wanted. The result? After many years of this, I realized that I had zigzagged myself nowhere. I jumped all over the place, seeking the perfect formula for success! However, it was not until my first year of college that I finally discovered the magic recipe!
The road to discovery
2018 was an eye-opener for me. On the one hand, I stumbled across peers who were losing sleep over the future and finally got into notable universities to get a degree of value. On the other, I had friends who would attend college two days a week, but, in hindsight, were doing much beyond the confines of "studying."
It took me a year to find my balance, and comprehend that success was not the byproduct of solely education, but also hard work and consistency. These are the three fundamental pre-requisites to the ultimate progress in life, and literally, the water to my soul.
Finding liberation in education
Without a doubt, education is one of the most important tools you can receive in the current scenario. Contrary to popular belief, the primary role of educational institutes is not to equip the youth for earning hard cash. Rather, the goal is to curate critical, rational methods of thinking, provide an in-depth understanding of the world, and strengthen the value-system. Good education taught me that I could not only perceive the world through my eyes, but also with my mind, heart, and inner conscience.
My degree in Literature educated me that there weren’t just two, but manifolds of sides to a coin. Every coursebook I read pushed me further to broaden my horizons and steepened my learning curve at large. Also, it guided me towards knowing that merely getting an education would not carve my future in gold, but with hard work and persistence, I could achieve greater heights in life. The more I learned from professors, the more I incurred the ability to analyze mindfully. I could observe myself evolving and look at the world with the eyehole of a kaleidoscope.
For the greater good of it, I believe that education serves to strengthen and unite us all. It coaches us to be able to distinguish the right and wrong. Moreover, it is not just an act of gaining knowledge, but also about the teaching us for maturity.
Hard work has no substitute.
The next pre-requisite to success, for me, has been hard work. Over the years, I have learned that there is only a single way to the top, and that is working hard. Studying day and night for exams was a tough grind, but the sheer happiness of scoring great in my final exams was incomparable.
Therefore, I realized that it’s either hard work or nothing. Needless to say, its uncomfortable, challenging, and painful. Yet, it’s the most undisputable fundamental to reach the destination. College life guided me to learn to savor the challenges and enjoy overcoming them even more. Certainly, the hurdles in my life were hard enough without toiling even harder. Yet, those extra steps ultimately helped me climbed the ladder!
The gravity of hard work is an ageless truth. Instead of fighting it, excurse with it, and you'll never fail. Your life will jump to a whole new legion when you bury your fear of working hard and honestly surrender to it. I know mine did.
Also, I think the greatest part about hard work is its universality. Regardless of where you are, you can use it to achieve miraculous results. Lastly, I have inculcated that phenomenal success is not just in charts for a preordained few. Rather, it is readily available for you, me, and everyone, provided you make hard work your eternal companion.
Consistency converts average into excellence.
Earlier, I would often wonder how a few people are able to achieve heaps of success within their sphere of endeavor, while many others put in just the same efforts, yet achieve the least.
The third requisite to success, for me, has been unchallengeable consistency. I am here to testify the fact that despite the hype of keep opening new doors, being consistent is a much plausible ingredient to success. While the world was (and is) changing at an exponential rate, consistency was the only virtue that kept me grounded.
In simple terms, it meant finding what worked for me and sticking to the tried and true. Be it the course of action to finish a college assignment, or do something as basic as running an errand; I got the hang of being consistent. Basically, If I committed myself to do something, I did it.
I know that life can be difficult. Just as crossing the ocean brings high tides. Similarly, our journey naturally brings difficult times. However, in the words of Louis C.K., “I’ve learned from experience that if you work harder at it, and apply more energy and time to it, and more consistency, you get a better result. It comes from the work”.
Slowly and gradually, I cultivated the true essence of consistency - the difference of success from that of failure. I learned that if I could not carry a consistent degree of striving towards a goal, I would likely fall back into the trap of old habits, and eventually quit. At worse, it would give me a feeling of not living up to my life purpose.
This is the final ingredient that I think can set a successful life in stone.
Success is a never-ending trajectory.
The biggest secret to a successful life is that there is no secret to it. In the end, it’s all about good education that gives you wings to fly, hard work that disciplines you, and being consistent, that pushes you further.
Anjali Gupta, the Director at Heights Institute of Fashion Technology, rightly says, “Education is certainly fundamental to success, but without hard work, does not necessarily guarantee it. Ofttimes, success usually masquerades as hard work. Therefore, it gets unnoticed.”
The only limits on what you can do are always self-imposed. Once you form an unequivocal decision to revamp your path and throw your heart and soul into accomplishing the goal, your ultimate success is guaranteed! Regardless of your inability to see the fruit, you ought to have faith in the seeds you sow into your dreams!