🌻3 Experiences That Taught Me More Than My Expensive Degree

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Unlike the West, kids in India don’t have the culture of ‘design your own life’ until recently.

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Kids chose the path that their parents decide.

Even though this didn’t happen to me, the template of success is a must-follow:

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Get good marks in school
Score well in board exams
Aim for top universities
For reference, board exams are twelfth-grade exams that help you get admission to merit-based universities.

I was average because ‘good’ is considered to score over 90%. To get into top MBA schools, you need to get over the 99% percentile.

How is that even allowed?

But for such a populous country, there’s no other way out.

I was lucky to get into one of the best schools for undergrad and then Masters because of my extracurricular activities. personal interviews, and essays.

But when I look back at doing my Masters in England, which was super expensive (over $70k) in one of the top B-schools, I think of all these experiences that were cheaper and taught me more than this degree.

Read also: 9 daily habits that can have a huge impact on your life

Solo Travelling at 21

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I know you see me quit my job at 25 and ace platforms online, but I promise this wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t solo travelled at 21.

How are these two related?

I’m glad you asked.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” –Mark Twain

Travelling alone at such a young age when you come from a conservative culture opens your eyes, quite literally.

I realised how interconnected we all are as humans, even in different parts of the world. How big this damn earth is circling around a ball of fire, yet we give ourselves way too much importance and burden ourselves with problems.

But we aren’t the centre of this universe. And in a larger reality, these problems don’t matter so much.

With the finite time we have, such few of us actually just live.

I know this got philosophical, but that experience has made me operate this way since it happened.

Quitting My Job

The last 15 months have been a ride of a lifetime, to say the least.

I won’t sugarcoat it for you — the downs have been terrible. They left me anxious and stressed out. It burned me out and on some days when I’d wake up, my chest would hurt so much.

But it’s taught me more than my corporate experience of double this time did.

“Your days are numbered. Use them to throw open the windows of your soul to the sun. If you do not, the sun will soon set, and you with it.” — Marcus Aurelius

It’s taught me more than my degrees.

What I learnt about business or marketing is rather irrelevant when you run a real business in today’s time. If I had to do it all over again, I’d take an online course where the person has been there and done that instead of age-old theories.

I’ve learnt how limitless human potential can be and how the hardest part is tapping inside and believing you’re limitless.

I’ve learnt how empowering it is to be a part of this internet economy.

Writing online makes me feel more useful of my existence because I receive people’s messages that show me I’ve truly made an ‘impact’.

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Losing 50 lbs

Imagine hitting your teenage where most of your girlfriends are dating and you’re on the opposite end of the good-looking spectrum…

It was a thing I accepted — after every summer holiday, I bought a bigger skirt. And this happened throughout my school life.

But I was so tired of being the fat kid.

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When I turned 18, I decided I will change this no matter what. The only thing I won’t do is get on a diet because of my love for food.

So I ate healthy instead. I’ve been doing so for 8 years now.

“I choose to make the rest of my life the best of my life.” — Louise Hay

Read also: 10 simple ways to help you become happier everyday

My experience of losing weight taught me:

Consistency: I’m good at being consistent in writing today because of this. I don’t have a problem in showing up every day regardless of the results.
Patience: It was easy to lose the first ten kilos, and took over a year to lose another ten. You have to be patient to see the results you want.
Delayed gratification: It’s difficult to be that 19-year-old kid who says no to parties and doesn’t eat unhealthily. I’ve learnt to let go of short-term temptations for long-term gains.
All this was difficult.

I showed up at 6 am to the gym before my classes started at 9 am. I was so strict with my diet that back then, I didn’t even eat a potato chip if somebody offered me one.

I love being healthy and still do (but I’ll accept chips if you offer me them now).

It taught me how respecting your body and nourishing it is the place to be in.

“I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.” — Estée Lauder

CONTRIBUTED BY Niharikaa Kaur Sodhi

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