A Lesson On The Importance Of Self-Belief By Srijan Mahajan

This is a three-part story on self belief, one that began when I was still in school. I started playing the keyboard when I was about eight or nine-years-old, and spent the next five-seven years learning everything I could about the instrument. Then, when I got to class 9, a few of my musician friends and I wanted to form a band. You see, the school I attended had an annual Founder’s Day (School Birthday in our school) and we had wanted to perform at it for as long as I could remember. The only problem? We were missing a drummer. 

Till one day I saw that the same school where I’d been learning the keys also organised drum classes. On an absolute whim, I decided to give it a shot so we could complete the band. “How hard could it be?” I thought to myself without realising  that was the first day of the rest of my life. You see, the minute I held the drum sticks in my hand, I had already begun a journey that would take me around the world, playing gigs with many bands, including Parikrama. Needless to say, I also performed at the Founder’s Day. 

Act II

In 2012, I began accepting music production offers but there was a catch: I had no clue how to produce music. A fellow musician and friend, Arsh Sharma would sit in a little corner in his parent’s house learning and he would teach me how to make music. It was here that we went on to record bands and also produce some of our own songs, together as Fuzzculture, with Arsh guiding me the whole way. A few months later, another friend of mine, Nikhil Malik told me that someone he knew was making a movie and needed music for it that he was going to have to produce. Again, on a whim, I pitched the idea of the three of us getting together to do it, instead. By some chance, Nikhil agreed and that right there was the beginning of Studio Fuzz. Together, we worked on the background score for a full-length feature film, MCream when we didn’t have the slightest clue how we’d get it done. What we did know was how to say ‘yes’. 

Third time lucky? 

In 2015, I got curious about making photographs, and decided to make 365 great photographs, one for every day of 2016. This challenge led to me shooting constantly, getting better at photography and, eventually, even getting offered professional photography assignments and a music video–all of which, yep you guessed it, I said ‘yes’ to.

Back to the present

A few days ago, on a particularly rainy and grey morning (the ones that are perfect for a little bit of regression or a pause, if you may), I realised that the one thing that was common between my best work, over a 15-year period,  was that I had no idea how to do it at the time that I decided to do it. In retrospect, learning on the job has contributed entirely to my evolution as both a person and an artist. If I hadn’t said yes to any of those projects, I wouldn’t have learnt to do any of the things I do every day, and my life would’ve looked very, very different. 

So, say yes! I’m sure you’ll figure it out (whatever ‘it’ is)  as you go along. 

 

Confused about your career? 5 steps to help you make the right choice!

It’s not what you achieve, it’s what you overcome. That’s what defines your career.
– Carlton Fisk

We all go through this phase in our lives when we question ourselves: What’s right for me – Following my hobby or getting into the family business? Pursuing engineering or becoming an entrepreneur? Doing something that makes me happy with small earnings or something that offers great packages?

And do you know why these questions arise? The two main reasons why we can’t decide our career path are:
>> Either we have no clue about what we genuinely like,
>> Or we know what we actually like but don’t think it’s a perfect option to go ahead with!

Have you ever come across someone who slipped smoothly into the right career shoes, and walked away without any troubles? Maybe yes, but very less.

Also read: How experiential learning is the way forward in India?

Well, well. Just take a deep breath and read on to know what you should do to find the right career path! This guide has got your back, trust us:

STEP 1: Mirror, mirror on the wall; what’s my favourite hobby that can become a job?

That’s right. Look deep inside. Figure out things you are passionate about, that make you happy, and can be worked upon. Give directions to your all-time favourite hobbies and pursue them seriously. Self-evaluation is the key!

STEP 2: Say hello to the too-many options and follow the ideal process

In the times when you feel like pursuing multiple things and end up getting confused, just follow the filter process. List down all the options available, research about them and explore as much as you can. Make comparisons and see what’s better, prioritize or rank your choices, and voila! You will reach the next main step about experiencing the future.

STEP 3: Getting on it by using ‘experiential knowledge’ as the shield

A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course to victory.
—Arthur Golden

With that list of shortlisted options in your hand, your succeeding step should be choosing and getting on to your ‘next thing’ with the help of career advisors. Mentors play an important role, for seeking guidance from our seniors or parents is indispensable. However, words or pieces of advice are not enough in today’s world. You need to feel, experience, and then decide your career to avoid any repercussions.

Experiential learning means acquiring practical knowledge about any topic by getting a hands-on experience. In simple words, it is the process of learning through experience, more specifically defined as “learning through reflection on doing”.

An internship is sure to give you some perspective and a good curriculum will help you get a clear picture regarding your career choices. Gaining experience by doing internships, taking classes, reading books, etc can help you develop the skills and abilities to strengthen your goals.

STEP 4: Be an opportunist

Knowing in a few months is better than investing your life trying. Pre-acquired knowledge also helps in saving time & money, because what if you realise later that the path you chose wasn’t meant for you! Make use of opportunities to become what you really want to be. Make a career plan, make a choice, get experiential knowledge, and you are good to go. Explore, experience, and then pursue that path.

STEP 5: Right Decisions = Right Path

Decision making is the most crucial process and setting goals is not an easy job. So, now what? After you come down to one option and finally decide that this is it, start focussing on how to grow in that field. Build networks that help you reach the top of the ladder and kill it with your phenomenal performance.

Hope that we helped you get on the right path to the most suitable career. Here’s a small tip! Don’t spend years to learn the curriculum that changes every day, rather equip and prepare yourself with the tools of today! Ready to find your next thing?