Start Early, Fail Early

We were at the lunch table having a discussion. My kids were having none of it on my proposal to make a calendar for their daily lives. “Calendar doesn’t work”, my daughter shrieked. “I don’t like to follow a calendar”.

While I have been a stickler of rules, making notes, and writing down bullet points and lists to get things done, I know that’s not how all people work including my son, who doesn’t have the time to go through the process of making a calendar or writing down lists.

I understood what my next generation was thinking but couldn’t reconcile to the fact that we will need a plan and a set of guiding principles, or set of goals, plans to work with without being bounded by having to do a certain thing at a certain time.

Having failed to convince the notion of having a calendar drive their daily life, I had to talk through the idea of having buckets of time and a plan around it. An example of it, being deciding upon areas to focus on, say for my daughter – 1. Dance 2. Tennis 3. Reading 4. Writing and the like. And for my son, 1. Writing, 2. Cricket (he hates dance), 3. Reading, 4. Learning etc.

You must be thinking what was I talking about; what am I talking about? It essentially stems from the principle of starting early, failing early. When I grew up, I didn’t have an inkling of what I wanted to do in life. Studying for school, playing around and having fun with friends is all I did. We didn’t have internet and options that have been created since to start early; fail early.

I earned my first income of Rs 100 having come first in All India USO GK Test when I was in Senior school and got my first job when I was 24, leaving for an MBA soon not having started again till i was 26.

When I look at myself, I started late; didn’t have the opportunity to fail. And you start late; don’t experiment when the time to try comes, you can’t fail as there are other pressures that come in with keeping a family going and earning for your living.

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