To many of us, these years we spend at IIM Shillong are both a beginning and an end. A beginning of careers and responsibility, an end for many of the path and roads through which we have journeyed in life. Whether we admit it or not, this last year represents a juncture, a decision which we take, or one which is thrust upon us. For too many, it is a finality, a setting of ways which for some is what they want, and for others, a resignation to accept their due. But perhaps it is how we view these moments, that make us think this. Life is not just about beginnings and ends, in fact, life has just one beginning and perhaps no end, For our legacy, our actions and the waves we make live on.
Life is about journey, about moments, about emotions. A wise King was once asked, “Which is the most important step that a man must take?”. He replied “The Next, It is always the Next”. Too often, we ignore the journey and look only at our goal, the world whizzes by without notice. This is why we think that in order to pursue our dreams, we have to put all else aside and focus on the solitary effort of that work, to quit all other endeavours an close all other doors. This idea is perpetrated by movies, by “elders”, by society. And through this effort we often occlude the second path to success, one which focusses on emergent goals, on collaborative fluid work that takes time, but eventually leads to success and fruitfulness. As Robert Frost stood before two roads in a Yellow Wood, his journey did not end as he chose the one less travelled. Ultimately, it is not the first step that defines you, but the next that enables you to redefine yourself.
When looking ahead at life, we are faced with a unique form of myopia, where we simply omit many opportunities that do not align with our existing goals. We often ignore the power of emergent goals and strategies. It is however, emergent goals that have shaped many of the successes of the past century. Even Sun Tzu, the Chinese General, Military Strategist and Philosopher, wrote that “Opportunities multiply as they are seized”. Take for example, Pixar. Pixar began as a technology company, one created by Steve Jobs to compete with Apple. It js difficult to pinpoint when exactly their goals changed, when they pivoted from technology to entertainment. The truth of the matter is that it is in fact a continuum. Small decisions, small steps taken, that ultimately culminated in the Pixar and Apple we know and love today.
So leave not any opportunity that presents itself, do not be blinded by the future, focus on the next step, Always the Next Step.
Which ABG Company would I like to work for?
Retail in India is one of the most promising and opportunity filled industries. I would hope to work with Aditya Birla Retail and be on the frontlines as everyone gears up for a slice of the market. More has expanded vigorously over the last few years and its unique positioning that offers cheap as well as premium products makes it well suited to expand even more. With players like Wallmart readying to enter the market, there is a huge opportunity for innovation and creative management to reach the thousands of towns and cities with potential for developing supermarkets.
PGP 2nd Year