Academic Success or Real Life Success?

Very often we buy that our formal education and academic qualifications equal success but lately we realise that it has nothing to do with real life success. A clear example of this is my Class-1, Certificate of Competency which is my license to command merchant ships on international voyages. However, this license allows me to command a ship but teaches nothing on dealing daily challenges faced on board ships.

During my school and college days I was emphasized to focus more on the subjects in which I was doing poor. It was my teachers perception that focusing on the subjects in which I was performing poor can enhance my academic success. I can’t say how much I improved but surely gauging them led me to more confusion and frustration. Luckily that’s not the case in real life where gauging strength zone leads to much success and fulfilment.

Being Captain of a merchant ship I have a strong sense on my abilities to navigate a ship. However, if you ask me to perform duties of a chief engineer than I will be nothing but a total disaster. This reminded me of an old joke told by my chief engineer which goes as below:

The Captain and the Chief Engineer were in the galley revisiting an old argument:
The Chief: “Your job is too easy, all you do is pick a point on the chart and set your compass to it”

No Way” said the captain. “Your job is way easier. Those engines are just a larger version of an outboard motor!

So each men decided to switch jobs for a while to settle the argument….
About an hour latter beads of sweat are running down the Captain’s brow
as he struggles to keep the plant online.

After about 20min the Captain hears a small bang and sends the 3rd to investigate.
An alarm goes off and he sends the 2nd.
Then he sees an oiler running past with a wrench…so he sends the 1st.

A few more minutes pass and BANG the lights go out.

Discouraged and now seemingly adrift he heads to the bridge to admit defeat. “I am so sorry chief, I lost the plant. Your job is much harder than I ever thought”. “That’s OK….” replies the Chief Engineer “we ran aground!”

With my Chief

Luckily on board, myself and my chief understand our talents and use them in the right arena.

A monkey does not exchange a portion of his banana for another’s nuts. We all have seeds of success within us and it’s our responsibility to blossom that seed to success. I pray it comes easy for you and you are well prepared for it otherwise there is one more way and that will be from school of hard knocks. Sooner or later we eventually will learn. But sooner the better….

Published by Harsh Pandey

A shapeless Pigmy searching for his own awakening. Otherwise, I am a master mariner, commanding merchant ships on international voyages.

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