The Report Card

  • Smart
  • Confident
  • Intelligent
  • Go-getter

If I were to condense my entire life into a report card, that’s the feedback I always wanted but never got!
What I did get however was:

  • Helpful
  • Kind
  • Funny
  • Friendly
  • Someone even labeled me the Main Hoon Naa guy! at an office spot award, meaning He’ll be here, no!

The problem with that kind of feedback is that one, it will ever get you a promotion. And two, it’s a polite way to let you know your weaknesses.

So, I hated my feedback and longed to be that person who’d get the feedback I never got – Smart, Confident, Intelligent, Go getter!

The first step to change something is to understand the current state and so that started my voyage of self-exploration.

It is said that dreams convey a lot about one’s personality. So, I looked at my dreams first to understand my personality. I could be seen quickly jotting them down in my notebook right after getting up to avoid forgetting them in the course of the day.

I’m one such dream, I saw myself driving back all the way from Gurugram, the initial venue of the dream to my home in Delhi. I took the underpass, went through the traffic snarls, wiped my sweat, spent 2 long and tiring hours to get back home. It was disgusting. I didn’t have to go through the entire rigmarole in a dream. That was a shocking revelation about my personality- It was that I was a big bore.

I decided to give up on dreams and looked at my past life – the school life. To understand a new concept, I would read it, write it on paper, use the black board to write it, speak about it and be so gaga when I finally understood something that I would leave most of the rest of the syllabus in the process.  That analysis helped me discern that not only a bore but also utterly foolish.

Toastmasters is also mainly about self-discovery. I’ve been a Toastmaster for eight years and thoroughly enjoying the journey. I’ll complete my Level 5 of my first pathway soon, and I’ve been saying that for over 2 years now. In this time, lot of my friends, some of them are in this room have become twice DTMs. That retrospective opened me to another rude awakening – Not on was I a bore, foolish but I was also terribly slow.

So, here I was – bore, foolish, and slow. I was so miserable. And, to make matters worse, I couldn’t do a thing about it. After all, that is who I was.

I didn’t quite have any choice, so I kept going my voyage. It took its own sweet time, but I realized something funny was happening along the way.

When I was sharing my rather long drawn or boring account of events as stories, I was seeing the audience connecting with me. It was because of my rather eccentric or foolish ways that I made new lifelong friendships.  The same also helped end some relationships which were going nowhere. My so-called slowness meant that I was checking all the boxes resulting in successful projects at work.

It was a gradual process but, I realized that yes, I may be a bore, foolish and slow but another way to look at it was that I follow the natural steps, I celebrate the small wins, I build relationships, I be and let others be. And that was by no means a weakness. In fact, that is where lied my biggest strength.

My whole point of sharing this story is that we live in a world where we are often tempted to becoming someone who we’re not, while completely ignoring and even abusing the unique gifts God has endowed upon us.

If you’re a fish, be happy with swimming rather than feel stupid over your inability to climb a tree.

I’m Helpful. Kind. Funny. Friendly. Yes, The Main Hoon Naa guy. And I’m happy with my report card, what about you?

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