Nov
8
2010

I am what I am: Really, is that it?

I am what I am

Life is about what we are

Isn’t it? Unlike most other living creatures we are the only species called human “beings”. I personally have never heard of a cat being or a dog being. Give or take, my logic says it is this way simply because we as humans have the choice to “be” the way we choose, hence we are aptly called human “beings”.  The power lies in our hands to make what we do of our lives.

Another interesting fact, and this has been observed by experts, is that human beings do better when they are competing against someone rather than performing the same task by themselves. Obviously then, competition brings out the better in us, in comparison to an ordinary non-competitive situation.

Keeping the above points in mind, I present to you an ideology that says the best and the hardest competition lies between what you are today vs. what you are capable of having been this very day. Ask yourself: What am I capable of having been today, given the fact nothing else around me has changed?

I am capable of a lot more

In my research on this topic, I discovered every single person around me to have fallen way short of their own expectations of themselves. Invariably everyone thinks of themselves as being capable of a lot more, yet they are not where they expected to be. This is not about what one desires to be, but  just about how different or better off you are capable of being at this moment. Many times we look back at what we have done in retrospect and say to ourselves, “I really could have managed that, shouldn’t have let go”. This is definitely true of people who missed out on an opportunity and later realize that they did. Now the idea here is to think not in retrospect but bring this way of thinking in at a time when we are making a decision. We (me and a few friends) gave it a shot. The idea was very simple: Every time you do something, compare it to your capability and ask yourself, “Is this the best I could have done?” Set the situation aside — assuming it were to be the same — and focus on yourself and your performance.  For instance, if a certain condition was not favourable to your accomplishment or task, did you do the best you could have done to deal with it?

Once you have asked yourself the above question and seen the difference, do it when you are planning your next move. Let your capability of getting something done define the quality of the result. Lay out a challenge for yourself and watch how it transforms the process. I have personally found it very enjoyable to do so. How well would you do something if I were to judge you completely based on that?

Every person I’ve spoken to about their unachieved dreams has boiled it down to the idea that they were/are capable and yet for some reason they never looked at it that way. They just let a lot of situations overpower their belief in their own capabilities; hence they faced defeat when they were capable of winning. Even for something done well, it is wise to ask: Is this the best I could have done? Am I not capable of doing better?

Why I find this thought process so beautiful is simply because the situation around us is the same in both instances. The only variable is the self that we are and what we are capable of being. In that sense, the individual involved is the only variable. The skills are the same, and the starting point is the same. The decisions made, the lessons learnt from the given situation, and the improvisations made are some of the things that the individual could have done differently.

The Test

I wish to leave this short and hear your side on it too. All I ask of you is that you do this little test on yourself. Ask yourself “What am I capable of having been today?” Note it down, then make a note of “what I am today”. Let the difference speak for itself. I wish you well in this competition. The result will be out there for the world to see. And if no one else, you will surely gain from it.

All the best!

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About the Author:

A young, ambitious, first generation Indian engineer-turned-entrepreneur. Keen on maintaining high values, ethics and constant learning about life and its meaning to oneself. A believer that happiness comes above all. If you’d like to connect with him, follow him on Twitter: @abimaks

  • Arun Srini

    Very motivating and great read. I needed to hear this.

    • abhijeet makhijani

      cheers to that Arun! glad u liked it.

  • http://meeta-stillnessspeaks.blogspot.com Meeta

    Something that I learnt growing up & quote “It’s our choices that make us human, even animals have survival instincts”

    • abhijeet makhijani

      thanks Meeta! i think it applies beautifully to what this article is trying to bring about.

      cheers!

  • http://www.pixelonomics.com/i-am-what-i-am/#respond usha rai

    kindly provide the solution as well to build the diff btw wht i cn be?? .. n wht i m today .. lookin forward for some more motivationl notes lyk this .. truly amazing!!

    • abhijeet makhijani

      its an honor, usha, to have you ask for what u did n yet i fall short of such expectations cuz no matter what i say, it simply is, to each his own. i wish you well!
      cheers!

  • Harshita

    There have been many posts on this blog, with due respect to the authors… this one beats them all…

    Thanks Abhijit for sharing your views here…

    I have immense respect for you after reading this… and in a way, I needed this push to rediscover my life… :)

    Looking forward to more awesome posts.

    HK, thanks to u also…for this initiative…

    • abhijeet makhijani

      thanks Harshita, for the read and your words! really touched by all tht u said. do share the article wit ur friends and family too.

      cheers!

  • Kakoli

    That’s a good read, Abhi. The article is a fit to how I know you as.

    • abhijeet makhijani

      thanks for readin up kakoli! appreciate it!

  • Prado

    Awesome article. It gives a clear picture between successful and average human being . Keep that thoughts coming !

    • abhijeet makhijani

      thanks prado! appreciate u reading it and leaving your thoughts behind. hope u like the upcoming work too.

      cheers!

  • http://www.nandini.me Nandini Hirianniah

    Thought evoking post.

    As i read through this, i was thinking – isnt the process of learning from ones experiences similar? I mean, You do something in a certain manner, with a particular out come. And then, you analyze it, learn from it and if you are a conscious human being then you imbibe it and implement it next. Eventually, it becomes a part of you. So, IMO if you continuously practice this you are pretty much in the path of mastery!

    Also personally, if i have to think about What i am and What i could be – i am content with where i am. This arises from a few things i believe and follow in:
    1. Do what you really love to do and do so with a conscious awareness of the pros and cons.
    2. Never give up anything mid-way, see it through to a logical conclusion.
    3. If something you did dint turn out the way you envisioned it. Dont despair, pick up the learnings and move on with that experience, coz its not failure, but experience!

    I think as humans we should stop being too hard on ourselves :)

    • abhijeet makhijani

      thanks for that feedback Nandini. i completely agree with you on taking it easy on ourselves. Also, as much as its natural for a person to learn from his/her own experiences, how often have we seen examples of repeated mistakes!? i think quite a few. and like ur first line said… thought provoking. that is the simple idea behind me writing this. once that thought has emerged, you are free to accept/discard my views on it. so long as the reader got thinking, my job is done!

      once again, i appreciate you not only reading the article but also sharing your views on it.

      will look forward to more of this with my upcoming work.

      cheers!

  • aradhana

    loved it abhi..i jt saw a diff side of u…nt bad..:)..keep it up.

    • abhijeet makhijani

      thanks Aradhana! glad u liked it… the idea here was to get you to discover a new side of yourself though. :-)

  • Dipal

    I found this a very insightful read, as it discusses ideas that I’m sure every human being can identify with and use to learn more about themselves. I look forward to reading more of your articles in the future…keep up the great work! :)

    • abhijeet makhijani

      thanks dipal!

      and for those of you who do not know this yet, Dipal is someone who helps put these articles in shape. she’s the one that puts on the final layer of polish on it before it hits the display, so to say. n i’d like to thanks her for all the effort and time she puts in absolutely patiently with my ideas and my sometimes-very-vague thoughts.

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