Written by Aradhita Saraf (Weloquent)
Once a Cat and a Fox were traveling together. As they went along, picking up provisions on the way—a stray mouse here, a fat chicken there—they began an argument to while away the time between bites. And, as usually happens when comrades argue, the talk began to get personal.
"You think you are extremely clever, don't you?" said the Fox. "Do you pretend to know more than I? Why, I know a whole sackful of tricks!"
"Well," retorted the Cat, "I admit I know one trick only, but that one, let me tell you, is worth a thousand of yours!"
Just then, close by, they heard a hunter's horn and the yelping of a pack of hounds. In an instant the Cat was up a tree, hiding among the leaves.
"This is my trick," he called to the Fox. "Now let me see what yours are worth."
But the Fox had so many plans for escape he could not decide which one to try first. He dodged here and there with the hounds at his heels. He doubled on his tracks, he ran at top speed, he entered a dozen burrows,—but all in vain. The hounds caught him, and soon put an end to the boaster and all his tricks.
Moral: Common sense is always worth more than cunning.
Gone are the days when we were limited to gaining knowledge of only two to three fields of studies. As we discovered from our TedEx speakers this Saturday, there are several areas we can pursue - from Typography (the study of Fonts) to Financial Consulting, and yet the Cat from the aforementioned story reminds us of what is most important - to select one and excel in it.
The following are some ways in which we can ensure career security and excellence:-
Stick with Your Passion
Be mindful of your activities, and think about what you enjoy doing the most. If you pursue what you enjoy, you will not mind spending hours at end improving on your skill, thus eventually excelling in it.
However, on the contrary, if you choose a path that gives you monetary returns and fame, but isn’t a field you have an inherent interest towards, you might not be able to compete with someone who is passionate about it and can effortlessly invest hours and years into developing their skill.
Just like climbing a tree is a cat’s forte, focus on finding yours.
Gauge the Demand for Your Chosen Path
It isn’t enough to enjoy what you do, that is only the first step. Consider building an Ikigai chart to gauge whether your chosen path will be financially rewarding or not.
For instance if you enjoy playing soccer, conduct extensive research on all the opportunities you have. Instead of limiting yourself to playing tournaments, consider teaching soccer, or product testing and marketing for a company that produces soccer balls. Ensure you position yourself in a place that is most conducive to your growth and success in the field of soccer.
Gain Practical Experience
There is no better teacher than experience. The Fox has all these bright ideas in his head, but when the time comes to practically test them out, he realizes that none of them are good enough.
To test your ability to excel in your passion and chosen skill set consider pursuing internships at an early age. Explore opportunities that allow you to test the waters before you take the plunge.
Set Achievable Goals
Once you are certain of your career path, it is time to grow and excel in it. Set daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals to fast track your performance and build momentum.
Reward yourself for the goals you accomplish, and work harder to achieve those you couldn’t. Compete with yourself, and watch yourself master your chosen field with unparalleled success.