Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Knowledge and education

I made a presentation to some students of a top-25-Indian B-school last weekend. The whole experience was rather interesting for me. It was also an achievement, from many angles.

I, a non-MBA graduate, stood confidently on a podium and spoke to a group of people, many of whom were older than me. I would NEVER have imagined it a few years ago (Then again, I would never have imagined a few years ago that I’d be doing a lot of things that I am now!!), but it happened.

I was swamped with work the week prior to it and somehow managed to put together a pretty comprehensive presentation. These days, my mind doesn’t stop working even in then nights. So the night before the presentation I went to sleep thinking about the presentation and in the morning it sort of felt like I’d been working through the night and therefore had everything ready. It was quite a surreal experience. I wasn’t even tired, strangely (considering I am usually happiest when I snuggle into bed and seriously need my 8-hour allotment of sleep).

What lesson did I learn? Most importantly – don’t under-estimate yourself. There is no limit to the things you can do if you really apply your mind to it. And lesson number two: qualifications and degrees are not a measure of your ability. They might be a measure of the extent of your education but that’s it (which, by the way, is not to be confused with the extent of your knowledge). So don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I made that mistake a few years ago, but now I know – life let me into the secret!

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