Success road map

Success road map

Are you wondering what this article is all about? Well, this title is taken from Life coaching sessions & guest lectures that I conducted at various Colleges in the city. Before we begin I should ask this question to everyone, What does success mean to you? I am sure all of us have different answers. Isn’t it? What is a success for one person need not to be a success for others? So let us try to understand success. Whichever path you choose, Broadly there are two dimensions of success
1.Domain knowledge.
2.Soft skills.
In a recently conducted survey at Stanford University, more than ten thousand highly successful graduates were interviewed. They had been asked to answer a simple question “How much percentage of your success do you attribute to a) Domain knowledge b) Soft skills? “Results of the survey revealed that 87.5% highly successful Stanford graduates attribute their success to Soft Skills whereas only 12.5% people attributed it to Domain knowledge. Surprisingly the time and money that we invest in learning these two skills is exactly the opposite. We spend 90% of our time and money on getting Domain knowledge whereas merely 10% of time and money on developing soft skills. Needless to say, in this article, we will be focusing on soft skills. Following are the most important skills that one needs to pay attention to while climbing the success ladder.

Communication Skills:-

Undoubtedly Communication is the most important life skill one has to master. Again communication is divided into two parts-
1.Effective speaking.
2.Effective listening.
Most of us focus on effective speaking but how many really focus on the second part i.e. Effective listening? Do people often say that there is nothing much to learn in becoming a good listener? But many times we experience that knowingly or unknowingly we interrupt others while they are trying to convey something. This is a result of our reaction to the speaker’s earlier words. Being a good listener requires patience and better emotions handling. So how to balance between effective speaking and listening?. The key here really is in speaking less than what you listen. If we listen more, a lot of time and energy of our life is saved as we learn faster that way.

Decision Making:-

Mostly we observe that we take ourselves granted as a good decision maker. But the reality is different. Let me share a very common scenario with you. Students graduate from colleges and move to the metro cities to get a good job. After working there for one or two years, they realize that it is difficult for them to take care of their ailing mother, who stays in the hometown along with managing their job. Options left with them are either to come back and find job in the hometown or take their mother along with them in the metro city. So what I want to point out here is that Why to leave home if a person has to take care of family also. Instead, one can find a job in the hometown itself, maybe less paying one initially. Why does this typical scenario occur with almost everyone these days? This is because we blindly follow what our seniors or peers did rather than knowing what is important for us. So now are we really good decision makers ? just need to give a thought. Effective decision making can be developed by proper planning and experience.

Interpersonal Relations:-

This is one of the most important yet most neglected aspects in our day to day life. The base of any relationship is building ‘Trust’.Trust can be developed only if we allow others to express their feelings & at the same time should respect them. But it is seen that most of the times we take relationships for granted and this is where the problem lies. One should continuously strive to maintain a relationship with others. Few activities will be helpful to stay in touch with people like inviting your friends, colleagues for a birthday party or going for a trekking camp together etc. There is a complete list of skills that are needed to be developed in order to lead a great life. However, we are dealing with a few and most important aspects of these skills here. So let us explore a few more skills.

Time Management:-

Our time on this earth is limited so we have to manage everything in the limited span of time. We have to arrange the activities that we want to do in such a way that enough time will be allocated for important tasks. This is easier said than done kind of stuff. Stephen R. Covey in his book wrote about four generations of time management. He divided activities that we perform in four quadrants which involves work which is
I Urgent and important.
II Non Urgent but Important.
III Not important and urgent.
IV Not important and not urgent.
So it is very important for us to categorize the activities in following quadrants and give due importance to tasks which are important. Quadrant II has dedicated Non-urgent but important activities, which usually deal with planning for future goals, relationship building. So focusing on the right things at right time will always save time. Remember A stitch in time saves nine!


Recently one of my friends told me the best definition of a leader. He said, “A leader is one who listens to his team”.I found it perfect. Also, I found a story while surfing on the internet which can fit in here and will be helpful for developing leadership qualities. Story goes like this- There were about 70 scientists working on a very hectic project. All of them were really frustrated due to the pressure of work and the demands of their boss but everyone was loyal to him and did not think of quitting the job. One day, one scientist came to his boss and told him?—?Sir, I have promised to my children that I will take them to the exhibition going on in our township. So I want to leave the office at 5:30 pm. His boss replied, “OK,you’re permitted to leave the office early today”.The Scientist started working. He continued his work after lunch. As usual, he got involved to such an extent that he looked at his watch when he felt he was close to completion. The time was 8.30 PM. Suddenly he remembered of the promise he had given to his children. He looked for his boss, he was not there. Having told him in the morning itself, he closed everything and left for home. Deep within himself, he was feeling guilty for having disappointed his children. He reached home. Children were not there. His wife alone was sitting in the hall and reading magazines. The situation was explosive, any talk would boomerang on him. His wife asked him “Would you like to have coffee or shall I straight away serve dinner if you are hungry. The man replied, “If you would like to have coffee, I too will have but what about Children ??”. The wife replied “You don’t know??,your manager came here at 5.15 PM and has taken the children to the exhibition “.What had really happened was that the boss who granted him permission was observing him working seriously at 5.00 PM. He thought to himself, this person will not leave the work, but if he has promised his children they should enjoy the visit to the exhibition. So he took the lead in taking them to the exhibition The boss does not have to do it every time. But once it is done, loyalty is established. That is why all the scientists at Thumba (Place in Kerala, India. where Rocket Launching station is located) continued to work under their boss even though the stress was tremendous. By the way, can you guess who the boss was? He was none other than Dr APJ Abdul Kalam- Former President of India, The Missile man.


While demonstrating creativity, I asked the students to take out all the coins that they had and design a logo to represent their group with the help of coins. To my surprise, almost all the students designed beautiful logos and explained the meaning that each logo conveyed. So I concluded that everyone is gifted with creative instinct, the thing we miss out is, it remains unexplored. Creativity is an approach that we can follow while dealing with day to day situations and try to make most out of it.

Problem Solving Ability: —

Most of the times we naturally run away from the problem until it worsens and we are left with no option but to solve it. This makes life difficult to live. It is always better to identify the major problems of our life and try to solve them every day. You will move one step closer to the solution of the problem each day if you proceed like this. Solving other people’s problem is a noble activity. This happens with us most of the times, when we see problems faced by other people, our problems most of the times when we see problems faced by other people, our problems appear less painful. So this habit of solving problems if inculcated in mind then it will help you to touch the sky. To sum up, I would like to say if you have all the above qualities and you are self-motivated to take on the world then no one can stop you. So -Define what Success is?

Identify steps to reach success
Take small steps every day to touch the glory.
All the best!

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