When I earned my first and only scholarship

#5/100

I’m a chartered accountant by profession. I had cleared my exams way back in 2012. I almost gave up reading for good after studying for these exams. Forget further studies, I was mentally exhausted to even pick up a novel to read.

Cut to 7 years later, I finally wanted to study further, get another professional certificate/degree. I’ve always been an avid reader, I’m curious about the ways in which the world operates. Let me put it out straight, I ain’t a studious person but I do enjoy gaining information. Studying just for the sake of giving exams is probably one of my nightmares!

After researching through various short term courses and certifications, I finally zeroed down on CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst). I was fairly sure that I wanted to do this course. However, there was one big glitch. This course was extremely expensive. There are 3 levels to this course, the entry fees to the first level and examination costs was a whopping USD 1,150 (INR 86,000). I am anyways a known procrastinator, the exorbitant fee to this course made me second guess my decision of enrolling for it.

While I was in two minds about opting for this course, my friend told me about a “Women’s scholarship” offered by the CFA institute. Although she told me to not keep my hopes high, there was no harm in trying for it. I just had to answer few questions about why I deserved the scholarship and how the CFA degree would help me in my professional goals. I gave my best to answer the questions, applied for the scholarship and ‘tried’ to forget all about it. I refrained from registering for the exam till I heard about the institute’s decision. I knew I had very slim chances of being awarded the scholarship but somehow I couldn’t let my hope die a silent death.

Every morning I refreshed my mailbox to look for the institute’s reply. This went on for over a month. One such morning, I woke up hazily to a routine weekday. I refreshed my mailbox out of habit and there it was, the institute’s reply!

I got the scholarship! My joy knew no bounds! This was probably the sign I was waiting for. The scholarship waived off the fees to USD 350. I enrolled for the course right away. After experiencing few setbacks, I sometimes had pessimistic reaction to certain situations in life. This scholarship somehow restored my faith in the Universe. It was that positive beam of light that I was struggling to find since a long time.

Thoughts to action!

How many times has it happened that you’ve been sitting on an idea or thought for a long time and never managed to accomplish it? Countless? Innumerous? I’ve done the same thing too. I’ve always had a huge “things to do” list on my mind which I’ve never managed to strike off within the estimated timeline. So, what goes wrong?

Well, there are two types of people in this world, namely :

  • Thinkers :¬†As the name suggests, the thinkers are part of “day-dreaming” universe. They plan elaborate stuff with vivid details. All their thoughts are incredibly exhaustive with a timeline attached to it. Thinkers love to plan and spend a lot of time in designing the nitty gritty. However, they miss out the most important aspect of their plans – “Action”. Thinkers get so exhausted with planning the details that they are left with no motivation to convert their plans into action. Thinkers always find a lot of road blocks in their journey which stalls their progress.
  • Doers : These are the kind of people who have a string of accomplishments attached to their name. They always manage to kill procrastination and get a lot of stuff done within the same 24 hrs day. Doers come across as extremely focused and passionate individuals who can go to any lengths to achieve their goals. It feels like they have their entire life sorted. Doers manage to find quick solutions to any obstacles that may cross the path to their goals.

So what is it that special quality possessed by Doers that helps them get an edge over Thinkers? Why do Thinkers lag far behind Doers in accomplishing their dreams?

It’s the magic element called “Action
Both Thinkers and Doers are equally capable of completing the same task at hand, however Doers repeatedly emphasise on “actioning” their thoughts which provides them the edge in this race. Thinkers place the bets on their incredible planning skills and derive the same gratification level as if they have accomplished the task. Doers earn their sense of gratification after completing the task at hand.

I’m part of the “Thinkers” club slowly crawling my way to “Doers” universe by using a simple technique which helps me focus on the present task. Usually, I have a thought and within few seconds my brain starts churning up negative situations that deviate me from my initial thought and creates a roadblock. The longer I take to listen to my initial thought, higher is the number of obstacles I face in conquering it. Thus, I end up spending more time in the comfort zone which is the land of no return.

So the technique I use here is to follow the first thought I have. For example; you want to get up at 6 am in the morning, your alarm clock rings at 6 am – first thought “wake up”, within seconds your brain starts throwing overpowering notions such as “sleep for 5 more minutes”, “you slept late last night”, “you can wake up early tomorrow”. Thus, you end up following the massive outburst of negative thoughts and hit the snooze button. TASK UNACCOMPLISHED.

You need to follow the first thought i.e. “wake up” in the above scenario and act on it before your brains throws the negative influx of thoughts at you.

Try engraining this little change in your day to day tasks and notice the difference. This will help you to keep on increasing the number of accomplished tasks in your to-do list.

Welcome to the “Doers” club!

action plan picture