Sunday, July 8, 2012

Starting well

A new academic year (2012-13) is here. This blog post is dedicated to my new students - the freshers at the Department of Management Studies, Pondicherry University.

I like starts, that too, good starts. A start offers you a clean slate, a fresh hope, a level-playing field and a world of opportunities. No matter how your past looks like, a start is a great opportunity to re-write history! No matter how your records stand, a start is a time to make amends. No matter who is running alongside, you start off as equals.
Though a finish (especially, a podium-finish like what will see in London 2012 Olympics in a few weeks from now) is what counts, nevertheless, starting well is important - be it at school, work or in a relationship. To a large extent, good starts end up in good finishes (unless, you're South African cricket team in a world cup! Oh, I feel sorry for them!).
A good start is important because of the following reasons:
1. A good start lays a solid foundation for what you want to do further (I'm sure, you've seen it in cricket)
2. A good start gives you tremendous confidence to face what lies ahead (imagine, having to catch up or make up for the lost time)
3. A good start puts a lot of things in proper place - be it priorities, principles or people in life.
4. A good start keeps you focused on where you want to go. People lose sight of their destination, yield to distractions and fail to finish, when they scramble after a bad start, and
5. More importantly, you get only one opportunity to make the first impression. (Did you notice anyone talking about second or third impression?)
So a good start really counts!

Good start is a fine art! Have you heard the line - Begin with the end in mind? Steven Covey popularized it as habit #2 in his famous 7-habits book. Watch this fish in order to understand why you need to start with the finish in mind.

Even as you have walked into a B-School, can you imagine how you will walk out, sometime in May 2014? That is beginning with the end in mind. Did you realize that you would have got an MBA which will take you far in life? Did you realize that you would have, in these two years, made good friends who will stick for life? Did you realize you would have faced teachers who would take pride in you years from now? Many of you had come on the admission day with your parents. I saw expectations and anxiety written all over their faces. Did you realize that you would have made them proud? I am refering to a day in Summer 2014. But for now, make a great start.
This print ad from Microsoft is one of my favourites. As a teacher, this is how I see you - Not as you who are, but as who you can be. This is how I begin with the end in mind. Your potential is my passion. You will see it in action when I see you in class next week :-)

God bless you!

P.S. If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to drop a comment. Thanks.