It takes 12 years on an average to develop a new drug. We started in 2000 and nine years later, I still do not know if we will succeed. So mine could be a wasted life, completely. But what an amazing challenge to try and understand this mystery called the human body.
- Dr Swati Piramal, director of Piramal Healthcare speaking to Nadine Kresiberger in the Indian Express today.
Words which ring so true but alas most of us can't - or don't wish to - get the message. Decode Swati's soundbyte and the general formula goes thus:
Find something you love and then pursue it.
Don't constantly hanker for results - they will come.
But meanwhile, enjoy the journey.
Because that's all you have, in this moment!
Besides, once you reach that goal, there's another one waiting to be achieved. Which makes 'happiness' an illusion ever out of reach. Like Waiting for Godot.
But hey, TV par philosophy kaise jhaadoon? People make wrong choices in life and then want practical solutions on how to leap from one career into another with no pain, no risk, no sweat at all.
So this week on my show 'Stay Hungry', I had a 29 year old MNC employee who thinks his salvation lies in supply chain management. (Why - just!)
A young engineer who went into journalism and one year later is preparing to attack CAT with a view to joining MICA. (But why, journalism mein kya kami hai, I say!)
And most interestingly, a professor of Persian from Aligarh who now wants to get into "professional line". (As if teaching is menial!)
Then, being admissions season this is that time of year when folks write to me with Qs like:
Can you suggest which of the following course is better at Symbosis, Pune
A) BBA- IT
C) BSc- Economics: started recently.
I say 'better' or 'worse' by what yardstick? If I hate IT then options a) and b) will suck for me - no matter what. Why, oh why, is that not obvious?
As an expert I can at best shine a light down a pathway or two but the real power lies when you navigate the jungle of life. Using the compass that lies within each of us.
It's really that simple.
And here's a tip for all those who wail but "I don't know, I don't know what I like". Hell, you don't.
But you do know what you DON'T like. List that down and make sure you are not entering that field of study. Believe me, no degree is as valuable as the application of mind and heart that you bring to the table.
To sum up the 'note to myself' for this season of admissions and decisions: Trust your instincts.
If your mind is confused and unsettled, listen to your body. If your hands go cold, your head feels heavy or your stomach wobbles - it means NO WAY JOSE.
Now go out there and conquer the world!