Today, I am going to tell you a story from my MBA days. On the first day of college, I was doubtful if I will– be able to make friends with classmates who were a lot younger than me. Because, I did my MBA when I was working in the law field for 5 years. However, in the first few days, I became friends with all my classmates.
One day, after the first 2 months, we all received a notice about a lecture on ‘Knowledge Exchange Forum’. We all were wondering what this forum is and what we were expected to do. As we gathered in a big classroom, Mr Niyogi entered the room. He explained that the forum was an opportunity for MBA students to get first-hand experience of organising a conference, giving presentations, inviting people from the industry and to practice teamwork. He said our entire batch would be divided into four teams. Each team would have 13 members and a leader.
First, the class was divided into teams, then the teams were asked to choose their leader by voting. I was a silent witness to it and was not intending to be a leader. But destiny had some other plan for me, and my team unanimously voted for me, even though I was not contending for the position. I was shying away from it, but Mr. Niyogi was insistent, and I decided to accept it as a challenge. The forum has played an important role in shaping my personality, but I will talk about it in a separate blog.
Each team in the Forum got a chance to organise the monthly forum, but team leader would be actively involved. The team was also responsible for choosing the topic, checking the availability of the venue (hotel), inviting guests, preparing an event flow for the evening, handling registrations at the venue and all other miscellaneous tasks. This forum gave us an opportunity to interact with people from the industry and learn from them. Gradually, we became regular visitors to Niyogi Sir’s cabin, and it became our brainstorming joint. One day he asked me how many guests had confirmed attending the forum of the month. Since it was my team that was arranging the forum for the month, I proudly said, “Sir, this time I broke all the records of all previous forums. I have confirmations from 70 people from various companies.” He was happy that the forum was gaining momentum. Companies were taking interest in the forum and making a point to attend it. However, he was a person who always aimed higher. He challenged me to get the confirmations to 100. I was not sure if I could do that, and I told him I would try. His answer to my reply changed my attitude towards doing things.
He said, “Always remember, Trying is a guarantee of failure. When you say ‘will try’, it means you are giving yourself an excuse.” When I looked at him blankly, he explained further “when you say ’I will do it’, it means you are giving 100% to it but when you say ‘I will try’, then you are not giving your 100%. He said, “When you say ‘I will do it’, you tell your brain to make all possible efforts, and hence there is no scope for failure”
I walked out of his cabin thinking about what he said. Had he not said the sentence I might have been satisfied with 70, but I pushed myself, and received 90 guests for the forum.
This logic may not sound correct to many people, and I request that you pay attention when you say these two sentences, ‘I will do it’ and ‘I will try’. Also, pay attention to the results of each sentence. When I paid attention to the results, I realised that I used the word ‘try’ when I wanted to avoid the task. When I wanted to do it I always used the word ‘do’. Over the years, I have changed my habit. Now even if I say, “I will try”, my thoughts accept it as “I will do it.”
I am not a motivational speaker or any self-help guru, but I am sharing my personal experience.