Throwback to when I was in 10th grade.

Hello world!

Since the past few days, I was wondering what to write about, here on this blog. Not because I did not have any ideas, but because I had loads of them. I’ve always had this dream of presenting my life story to the world, when I become super-successful (Not that I am super-successful right now. Not even close :P). But at this point in my life, I have realized that no matter how much I achieve or how many accomplishments I get, I am never going to be satisfied with it. I’ll always be hungry for more. So, there is never going to be a perfect time to publish all these experiences I’ve had. Now is the time.

Hence, I have decided to share these experiences with the world, in a manner as sequential as possible, each in a different post. This post is a throwback to when I was in 10th grade.

10th Board

First of all, for those of you who’re wondering what the word 10th Board means, here goes. In India, the 10th and the 12th classes are called The Boards. It is because, in these two grades, the final examination is taken by the Central Education Board, and it kinda freaks every student/parent out.

(X > 90%) syndrome

Parents/relatives in India create a lot of fuss about their children being in 10th grade. They have developed a 10th-class-90-percent-syndrome i.e. every parent wants their child to score more than 90% marks. If you tell people (read relatives) that you got 89.9% in boards, they won’t give a shit. They won’t seem impressed at all. If you tell them, you scored 90%, their perception and behavior towards you changes all of a sudden. Of course, I am exaggerating a little, just to show how important this year is in the eyes of the people around you.

Making hard-work a habit

I believe that working hard doesn’t seem that hard if you have trained your mind to do it. No matter how much I rant, I believe that training myself to pull off 100 hour work weeks during my 10th grade, has helped me realize the miracles that hard-work can create.

As a student, since the beginning I’ve had an above average track record academically, but social and peer pressure freaked me out a bit. On the top of that, me being extremely ambitious and someone who’s hungry for success (and fame), had very high expectations from myself. I joined one of the best coaching classes for 10th grade, even before my 9th grade results were declared. And right from that moment, I realized that the Battle For Life (LOL?) has just begun (Yes, I get very dramatic and philosophical when it comes to my career and success :P).

When it began, the feeling of scoring more than 90% marks and being amongst the toppers fascinated me. This was because, I was never really at the top academically. I was fairly above average though. I was so sick with (X>90%) syndrome, that I started visualizing myself in the pictures of the toppers that come in the newspapers every year on the day the board results were declared. Getting a picture in the newspaper and being one of the toppers had become a dream. I was obsessed with it (Yes, I was silly back then :P).

Power of strong goals

My parents used to take me to motivational seminars just to keep me motivated. Those little things have helped a lot in shaping my career. As they say, every little thing adds up in the end. My dream was just to score greater than 90% in the finals. In my mind, getting 90% or 96% was all the same. After coming back home, I got so crazy about this stupid dream that I took out a piece of paper and wrote,

“I can. I will.
Objective: To secure >90% marks in board exam.”

I pinned this paper on the soft-board on my study table. This piece of paper helped me a lot in staying focused. It reminded me of my goal everyday. After 7 years, I still have that piece of paper safe in my drawer. I started getting so much obsessed with this dream, that I started writing 90% on my desk as well. All over it.

At the end of the first Math class, I asked my professor, “What am I supposed to do to get a 100 on 100 in Math?”, to which he said, “Do as I say and you’ll end up getting a 100.” I followed whatever he said throughout the year.

As the days passed by, I started working hard. Fucking hard. 100 hour work-weeks seemed normal. I performed consistently in the practice exams. I hardly took any days off. The board exams went well. It was 2nd June, 2011, when the results were going to be declared. I wasn’t able to sleep the previous night. I didn’t have internet connection at home back then. I had to go to a relative’s place to check my results online as they had internet connection. I scored 93.6% and a 100/100 in Math. I got myself a picture in the local newspaper. I was one of the toppers. Yes, I had achieved my goal.

Learnings

My belief in hard-work and setting strong goals had increased tenfold. That 1 year taught me how to work hard, how to sit on your ass for 8 hours straight, doing nothing but chasing your goals. I believed that if you work hard with just the end goal in mind, then you’re bound to achieve it. This belief changed 2 years later. More on this in the next post :)

P.S: Honestly, scoring more than 90% in the 10th grade isn’t a big deal. A lot of students achieve it. Sure it seemed like a huge deal back in 10th grade. Not anymore.

P.P.S: This is a short post, as I was in 10th grade 7 years ago, and I only remember a few incidents vividly. Not all of them. Expect longer posts in the future though, as I describe my life events sequentially.