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Heart to Heart: To Everyone Who Reads this Blog

by Mitali Sethi
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Training has been much, much busier than I expected it to be. And rightly so. Therefore, it is taking a while for me to settle down in my schedule, and just when I think I have settled down, something new comes and throws it off. Last week, we went on a week-long trek and now the whole time table needs resetting. We have exams next week and so sometimes, any activity other than studying starts making one feel guilty. As an aspirant, I am sure each one of you identifies with that on so many levels.

I also want to thank you guys for the beautiful comments you leave on this blog. I fondly read each and every one of them. In fact, let me have you in on a little secret today. I actually have screenshots of some heartfelt messages I have received – on my laptop – and there are very few things for me that compare to the feeling I have when I read those. I know that all of us haven’t met each other, but I believe honest sentiments and words bridge many distances – physical and of the heart.

I have been getting endless emails also – and sadly enough I have been unable to respond to them from the past few days. If you are one of those who sent them – I wish I knew how to apologize. I am trying to start answering back, and I should put in place a system soon. But I do want to mention that when it comes to motivation or inspiration, I have said everything that I have to already. I sometimes read the emails and think to myself what can I tell them more?

Having said that – let me also mention that I do understand depression, anxiety, and nervousness, from close quarters and on a first-person level. I also understand that continuous reinforcement sometimes helps one to tide over them. There is never a need to feel sorry or weird if you feel weak mentally, or if there are periods when your self-esteem goes down – not all of us have good support systems and it is perfectly okay to seek a friend, a book, a movie or a blog – anything that works for you. Just make sure you don’t ever give up on yourselves. You are enough for yourself – and sometimes for the world too – in whatever form you exist, in whichever manner you live. Sometimes, we are not able to look accurately at ourselves – and with this distorted perception of oneself, which sometimes makes us glorify ourselves too much and sometimes diminish ourselves too much, decision making might not be exactly as accurate as you would like to believe. So what matters is – as I have said before – let your mood fluctuate. But let hard work be the constant.

Also, be kind to yourself. I have always stressed this, and I think I will, always. Let me actually close today by elaborating on this.

I came to LBSNAA nearly a month back and you will read dreamy, philosophical things that I will perhaps write in days to come. Those things will be true – in a way, nature around – the mountains, butterflies – the new people that I have met, the new handshakes, hugs – they feel wonderful. But there is an alternate reality to all of this that I want to mention today, lest it remains unsaid.

In many other ways, it feels just the same. I feel no more happy here than I did earlier. Period. Where I come from, there were beautiful people who had never cleared UPSC. Even after coming here, those people have an irreplaceable void in my heart – I have found mountains but I have left back the beaches. I have found Civil Services but I left back my patients. Everything that you are doing right now is as important as what you will do later in life – whether it will be the Services or not. And everything, everything has joy and love and purpose if you choose to look at it in that way. The looking is important because then the finding takes care of itself if you just have some faith. Chashma badalne se sab badal jaata hai!

So today, and in the coming days – it is less than 20 days to Mains – choose to look at life and studies joyfully. Learn with childlike enthusiasm and excitement and enjoy what you are doing. There are no destinations here, it is a journey. If you get tired, learn to rest and not quit.

I will end with something that I wrote a while back at Quora, and it still holds true at least for me:

“If you are reading this, look back on your life. Last time, the 300 days that seemed difficult to you – what are they now? A year that just passed by in a flurry! You look back and you cannot even believe how time went. This is just the same. Hang in right now. A few years down the line, you would have learned so much that success or failure will become moot for you. I promise you, that will happen. Just remember to zoom out and look from sky-angle, okay?

At many points in the one year that you mention in your question, it will seem very difficult. At that point tell yourself that you are not doing this because it was easy. Tell yourself to zoom out.

Close your eyes, take a deep breath, let out a smile. Begin.”

Never ever forget or underestimate the warrior within yourself.

Until next time!

Source – shorturl.at/lmxzL

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