Having ambition is awesome. It’s fun to have drive and determination, and try to get somewhere in life.
But WHERE are you trying to get?
What is the purpose?
Where have you gotten already?
Being realistic with what you want to achieve – and WHY – is super important. If you set unrealistic goals for yourself, you’re liable to start undermining your own ability to achieve anything.
There’s some impressive-sounding advice out there like “Aim for the stars, and if you fall short, at least you’ll end up on the moon.”
OK, that sounds nice and all, but if you continually set unachievable targets for yourself then it’s very easy to get completely de-motivated, and eventually give up. Don’t set yourself up for failure.
But we’re also not saying to not try at all. We sometimes encounter those interested in a top MBA program who have sort of not really done much. Just because you want to go to a great bschool does not automatically mean you’ll make it in. This is a competitive endeavor you’ve for yourself. Be realistic about it. Being successful in this process takes a heaping dose of reality and, for some, a hefty serving of humility.
Make your life a series of ever-increasing challenges, by starting with an honest acknowledgment of where you’re at now. What needs to change? WHY does it need to change? Do you decide to change because it’s something that you personally are motivated towards? If so, GREAT – start working towards it.
But if you are locked onto a goal for yourself for the goal’s sake alone, and only because you’ve bought into what society is selling, and you think you’re going to finally be happy once you have those three initials after your name – M-B-A – then think again, friend.
Yes it’s worth achieving that, because c’mon, education is always a good thing – but those initials are meaningless. Once you’re two years, five years, ten years out of school none of that will matter. Over time, you’ll even forget that you have the MBA (we’re speaking from experience on this). It will just fade into the background. It will be a fact, like that you have brown eyes, or blue ones, and you just don’t think about it all that much. Like, maybe not ever.
Yes getting the MBA seems important now, when you DON’T have it, when you’ve struggled to get an adcom to admit you – but this is temporary. Whether you get in, or you don’t; whether you continue to pursue the goal of admission, or whether you’re already admitted and you can’t wait to begin school in the fall, no matter where you are at on this spectrum of I MUST GO TO BSCHOOL, the importance you’ve ascribed to it is almost definitely larger than the thing actually is. If you’ve had troubles getting in, then don’t worry, these feelings of frustration will fade – as will the feelings of triumph for those successes you attain. They are all transient.
The world has sold you a bill of goods. Do you really know what it takes to be happy? For YOU to be happy? Not what social media promotes as happiness, or what Hollywood (or Bollywood) projects as the answer or the formula.
But for YOU?