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Personal Insights

6 Bold Choices That Helped Me Thrive And Challenge Status Quo, A True Story!

BACKGROUND

I wish you all a happy international women’s day! I am sharing my story today with you all on SAP Blogging Platform as this is the platform that gave me the voice and identity to reach out to the global SAP audience and empowered me to build a unique network with people across the world!

If my story can help at least one woman then I will truly be obliged. I am not taking you through the chapters of my life because I am successful but I am taking you through these choices as I think it can help many women to be happy and break stereotypical barriers and chase their dreams!

1. Don’t let criticism derail your dreams, use it to turn the tables around!

While I come from a very progressive and westernized family with a rich heritage and lineage, I and my sister didn’t have a good start in our lives as others.  I lost my dad when I was 3, it shattered my mom into pieces.

I saw my mom in tears many times during my childhood trying to battle the problems single-handed and secure our future. The world is a lot tougher for widows during those times, I didn’t make it easy for her either as I was a walking tornado in the house who always broke the rules. On the other hand, she pulled herself together and worked hard to give us a bright future!

There are a lot of people who advised her to spend money on marrying us off as people thought it is not easy to get husbands for dark-skinned girls in INDIA.

Choices Result

Use the Savings to buy me a computer and fund my education

Or

Use the Savings for marrying me off

 

Choice Made: Use the Savings to buy me a computer and fund my education

Due to the bold choice that she took, we not only did well in our lives but we also got married off to handsome hunks! I don’t think any fair-skinned girl in my school or relatives have got better husbands than ours!

2. Don’t take the default route, take the high road!

As a child, I never enjoyed mugging up textbooks to score more points in my exams and top the university like many of my friends. I loved understanding the concepts, challenging my tutors, and using concepts to solve the problems. I always loved to have my own touch to explain the answer in my own words.  I kind of resisted copying and pasting the answers from the textbook even when the questions are directly from the book in an open book exam.

Choices  Result

Mug up the textbook and score more points and top the exam to beat the rat race

Or

Understand Concepts and Apply them and carve your unique path

Choice Made: Understand Concepts and Apply them and carve your unique path

Due to the bold choice made, I was able to cope with different types of challenges in work and life!

3.  Be Self Aware, focus on what you have! Don’t mull on things that you don’t have!

I faced my first group discussion interview with one of the top companies in India at 19, I was scared to death when I found that I need to compete against top talent from reputed colleges who scored more marks and spoke more fluently in English compared to me.

Choices  Result

Keep QUIET and don’t make a fool of yourself in front of others

Or

Pull yourself together to Observe, Learn from others during group discussion and use your friendly attitude to contribute ideas constructively

Choice Made: Pull yourself together to Observe, Learn from others during group discussion and use your friendly attitude to contribute ideas constructively. There are many people who got disqualified as they didn’t voice their opinions though they scored higher in exams than me ..they are also from top schools

Due to the bold choice made, I not only got the job in Wipro but I also received the award for my performance personally from the Chairman of Wipro, Mr.Azim Premji after 3 years!

4. Don’t get offended when you are stereotyped, educate them!

While I really respect many women who made choices to sacrifice their dreams and work in the kitchen to support their family, I am unfortunately not one among them as cooking or doing household chores doesn’t excite me that much.  Many times, a lot of women made me feel that I am not as good as them. I care about my family as much as they do but that doesn’t mean that I will focus on the same things that give them happiness.

Choices  Result

Get Offended and give up your dreams

Or

Educate them that while they are working hard in the kitchen for your family trying a different variety of dishes, you are working hard in the board rooms dealing with different stakeholders and challenges to give a great life for your family. In the essence, you are doing whatever you can to take care of your family just like them

Choice Made: Educate them that while they are working hard in the kitchen for your family trying a different variety of dishes, you are working hard in the board rooms dealing with different stakeholders and challenges to give a great life for your family. In the essence, you are doing whatever you can to take care of your family just like them

Due to the bold choice made, I was not only able to do what I love to do but was also able to provide my household with a better life and a job to my house help that built her life.

5. Management is like chess, play the game according to your player strengths!

I generally take the time to get to know people beyond professional boundaries and CV’S to understand what drives them, what they value, what makes them happy! If you don’t know those attributes then you will not be able to help them to reach their true potential. Management is like chess for me, you need to understand your team strengths and your opponent’s weakness to win the game and deliver against customer expectations.

Choices  Result

Don’t take time to develop your team as it can be painful and do difficult jobs yourself

Or

Take more time to develop your team and delegate the tasks once they are up to speed so that you focus on strategic initiatives for you to excel in other domains

Choice Made: Take more time to develop your team and delegate the tasks once they are up to speed so that you focus on strategic initiatives for you to excel in other domains

Due to the bold choice made, I was not only able to focus on the other initiatives that helped me excel in other domains but I know I created an unstoppable army that will help me win and fight the battles in the future. You will win only when the team behind you is successful, happy, and have the courage to fight all odds for you to win!

 

It doesn’t matter how great you are, a team that is happy with just average skills can beat you!

6.Pick the battles that you want to fight wisely!

This is a quote very close to my heart and I like to share it with you all!

In first few years of marriage, i fought to change people perceptions about me but it got me to a dead end.

I stopped and focussed on things that gave me happiness , i am a lot more happier in marriage …perceptions doesnt bother me anymore as i dont have time for it..:)..

“A successful woman was asked to share her secret of success. She smiled and said “I started succeeding when I started leaving small fights for small fighters. I stopped fighting those who gossiped about me…I stopped fighting with my in-laws…I stopped fighting for attention…I stopped fighting to meet the public expectations of me…I stopped fighting for my rights with stupid people.I left such fights for those who have nothing else to fight…And I started fighting for my vision, my dreams, my ideas, and my destiny. The day I gave up on small fights is the day I started becoming successful. Some fights are not worth your
time.”
Choices  Result

Focus on  fighting people perceptions

Or

Focus on vision and ideas

Choice Made: Focus on vision and ideas and dreams that excite me

Due to the bold choice made, I was able to change people’s perception of me many times!

 

 

 

 

Conclusion – Create your own Shoes

“Create your own shoes, don’t try to fit into others”

I encourage all women to make choices based on what gives them happiness and a sense of fulfillment rather than making choices to fulfill the expectations of others.

When you are happy and feel your best, you perform your best!

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2 Comments
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  • Great story!   And inspiring.   Actually, even though this probably wasn't intended to do it, I looked back at the own choices I've made over the years.   Both the ones that worked, and the ones that didn't work for me.

    It made me happy.   There are a lot of things that I did and I can see myself learning and growing throughout the years.  Yes, I saw missed opportunities.  But then I watched what happened later.  I told my husband the other day that my idea of happiness had changed.

    As I went along money didn't seem quite so important what it bought me did.  I want to enjoy what I do when I work.  From competing with horses to simply having them as pets.  From me having my son succeed to me watching what he does, making his own decisions, and helping when he asks.  Having a great marriage stayed the same 😉  I read a quote once "A job will replace you in a heartbeat.  But your loved ones will miss you always".  It's a good strong quote.

    And yes behind all of this I did what you have here a decision matrix.   What worked for me.  What didn't work.  It was very interesting.  Also the decision I made earlier in life, were not the ones I made later in life.   And no guys, I'm not 100 years old or even close to retirement.  But still they changed, and I see them continue to change.  I also have learned from so many of my "negative" choices.

    So thank you for a wonderful and inspiring blog.  You've met your goal and reached one person.

    Part of the poem "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost.

    "I shall be telling this with a sigh.  Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -  I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference."

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    😉