On your first day to College !!!!!

Dear Son,

Its a day of mixed emotions for us, for me and your Mom !!!

You would be starting your undergraduate studies in Engineering faculty from today. It is different in many ways compared to all your earlier stages of transition i.e. Playgroup, Primary, Secondary & Higher Secondary. During those stages you were kind of dependent on us. I remember your Mom coming with you and sometime I also accompanied you on the very first day to your all previous schools however this time you would be riding your two wheeler all alone to your college and therefore this journey is a bit symbolic; its a journey from dependence to independence.

First of all I would like to appreciate your efforts so far to reach here. It was your dream to become an Engineer and you have lived up to the expectations set by the system to be eligible in one of the best institutes of Engineering in the town. I am confident that you will emerge as a successful Engineer and moreover as a succssful professional, citizen and most importantly a sensual, responsible and caring human being.

Following are few tips I would like to offer to you on this journey. I guess by now as parents our role has changed from being enforcers to being friends and guides and hence these are few suggestions for you to ponder upon.

Its discipline and consistency that matters the most To achieve success in your professional as well as personal life its really important to be persistent in what you do. I believe a persistent person with even little intelligence can achieve much more than what a brilliant person can achieve with little consistency. I have seen a good amount of consistency in you and you need to hold on to this virtue and keep on practicing it. A disciplined and persistent person always builds trust with the people he connect and is always in high demand in professional as well as personal relationships.

Read, Watch, Listen and observe I could see that by now you have started reading/watching and listening to quiet a lot. Your generation is really lucky to have lots of digital content available like Kindle books, Audiobooks, TED and You Tube which was not available for us when we were growing up. Reading books,
Watching Edutainment or Infotainment content is a very good hobby and you should stick to it always. Make a list of all the books, blogs, articles, movies, e Books, Audiobooks you wish to read/watch/listen to and time it all in your schedule. Consuming this type of enriched content enhances your word power and your ability to understand and use language. It allows you to be in someone else’s shoes and understand the other’s point of view. Be a bit curious while you choose the content, let it be of mixed taste and genera so that you can get the best of all the worlds it means that you must read classics as well as biographies, autobiographies, fiction as well as informative content. You have cultivated a nice habit of documenting your analysis of some of the content you consume. Its indeed a very good habit. It would not only help you to capture the essence of what you have read but give you a good practice of expressing your thoughts in writing. It will help you to improve your comprehension and written communication.

Dont chase Money, chase value or rather an ability to create value Its good to be passionate about wealth, money as its an enabler. Its a vital resource to live happy and peaceful life however let me caution you that its not the only factor to attain success in one’s life. I would like you to focus more on building capability to create value in whatever you do.

Cash or the bank balance you would earn is a tangible measure of your monetary success however your ability to create value by helping the mankind to progress is an intangible measure however most lasting way to live a happy life. If you could create a monumental value addition in people’s life just like what Google did in search or Facebook did in connecting people or what Steve Jobs did in weaving a beautiful hardware, software and the content eco system the money will follow you. Always keep asking this question whether I am adding any value in the business eco system around me and never be content in this quest of value creation.

Some of the things I am writing now may not make sense to you but believe me if you read this letter again in your journey you will figure out what I meant when you will reach quiet a few turning points in your career.

Prioritise your life Today I have decided to be a little candid and frank with you about some of the priorities I messed up while I was growing up or of your age. You are mature enough now to put it in the right context and perspective.

We are a product of the decisions or the choices we make and whenever we take decisions there always is enough time for us to think, get the right counsel however very few exercise all this before making some very important decisions in their life. You are in a very fragile age right now physically as well as emotionally. While passing this phase of adolescence the body and mind goes through a huge transformation, chemically as well sentimentally. Besides we read, watch and listen to lots of stories about ‘Love at first sight’, kind of instances. romance is a huge business model for the entertainment industry and they churn out at least few dozen movies based on this theme keeping a target audience of all the teens entering this life stage every year. Slowly and gradually we start believing in whats being bombarded on to us by the movies, songs, TV serials, books and by our friends and we create a fictitious notion of ‘Love’. I am aware that I am treading a very sensitive topic and hence let me be amply clear here that I am not against love. It is a very important binding factor in our life what I am pointing to is the timing of this in our life and thats where the ‘Prioritisation’, matters most.

At this stage the important priority for you is to secure your professional career and believe me its one of the toughest job in these times and hence I want you to focus just on putting all your efforts, physical as well as mental in acquiring the necessary academic and life skills. All the rest can wait for you on the other shore and believe me the rewards would be much more ‘gratifying’ and worth the ‘patience’, you would exercise :)

Our elders have wisely created ‘Four Ashrams’, and for you now its important to live in your first ‘Ashram’, i.e. ‘Brahmacharya’, and work diligently towards acquiring all the knowledge and skills to make your further life better and wiser.

Don’t bother to become ‘Employable’, focus on being ‘Deployable’ While you would be studying in your undergraduate years, you will hear a lot of hub hub about placements, jobs, campus recruitments some impractical stories of campus job offers. Dont ever fail prey to this nonsense. You are not learning to get a job, you are learning so that you can create your own space in this world. While you are working hard on achieving and maintaining your CGPA also start working towards your connect with people. Always try to help others with noble intent, build teams of friends to enjoy the niceties of life if you do that you dont have to work on your so called ‘Team Building Skills’, Most importantly ‘Don’t be evil in whatever you do at the campus. Try to go beyond the books and learn to build things by your hands.

Never lose touch with your ‘self’, always listen to your inner voice Life of your generation is going to be a bit complex and competitive. Its a mad race where you are forced to run against all the odds at times the rules of the game are unjust to you however never ever loose your ‘Integrity’, to attain any short term goal or success. You can be the most trusted friend and ally of yourself and hence never loose your ‘self’. Dont ever hurt people for sadistic pleasure. Always put other’s comfort ahead of yours and if you do this with strong will and pure intent others will also do the same with you. Never cheat, lie and betray anyone especially those who trust you or would trust you with your life.

I could see that after your recent endeavour with one spiritual movement you are getting aligned with your self and have started doing ‘Pranayama’, and ‘Meditation’, never ever loose these two good habits. These habits will keep you grounded to your self and that ‘tiny inner voice’, which you are in the process of discovering right now will always lead you in the right direction.

I can keep writing these sermons on and on however I shall halt here for a while. Lets take this as a beginning of a new relationship amongst us. Now both of us have become ‘seekers’, seekers of life, knowledge and wisdom.

Wish you all the best Son our blessings will stay always with you.

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