A career in IT: Balancing your learning between books and surrounding
Growth in life is not about your stars or your parents who have had a large role to play in your growth. It is about your hunger to learn and excel.
I have seen a lot of people in more than two decades of my career who have excelled and found several common traits, one of them being their hunger for learning and gaining knowledge at every step.
I was also highly intrigued to see that their success is proportional to the size of their library. My definition of success is not merely in terms of money, but respect and influence a person can generate. Once again, instead of taking examples of people around, I feel more comfortable giving my own example.
“If you have to be successful in life, strike a great balance in learning beyond your domain and try to have a holistic personality.“
Having come from a family that could hardly afford a good education. The only way to move up in life for me was through education. My father, who had escaped from his home at an early age of fourteen to avoid getting married in his childhood and braved the unknown world for about a decade before finally landing up in a government job. He always told me his story and kept on telling me to learn new things in life beyond the books. He was a great advocate of learning beyond the classrooms. This made me do many things beyond just my books and I ended up learning public speaking, knowing many languages, playing many games and even trying to run my own venture. Eventually I understood a great lesson of learning.
Knowledge is all around us, we must take time to correlate our books to our surroundings. Without understanding and mastering our own ecosystem, we will be limited to bookish knowledge, which will not be enough to make us successful. Over a period of time, I developed a passion for understanding human behavior. I learned handwriting analysis and read several books on history. I was fascinated to find the similarity of events and outcomes based on human behavior over centuries. This gave me a great insight on how the future will emerge based on my own efforts. I learned from the stories of great people on how they became great and tried to apply them in my own life. While I am a great fan of Mahatma Gandhi, I realized that the theory of non-violence has no meaning with those who have a low ability to understand and reason, therefore proving that even the best theories and practices may not always work well in different circumstances.
The complexity of human behavior and the knowledge around that gave me a very good foundation when I started the company that I am now managing. Having a great team of leaders and a positive ambiance in the company inspite of all odds has been only possible because of such learning.
If you have to be successful in life, strike a great balance in learning beyond your domain and try to have a holistic personality.