Dear students, today, 20th November 2020, was my last working day for this year. I couldn’t be more relieved right after my class ended at 6 pm. I have back-to-back domestic and international trips lined up, and am looking forward to them more than I can express. As a consequence of being in that relaxed-plus-happy state of mind, I was able to get a lot more work done, met everyone more pleasantly than I usually do, and enjoyed the various activities to their fullest during the rest of the day.
That’s barely any surprise to me. It is well known that you make the best of any opportunity- may it be sports, stage performances or exams- not when you are most worked-up and excited, but when you are calm, relaxed and happy. Understand that to be under some pressure is natural and necessary, but excess of it is counter-productive as it prevents you from giving your best and thus impedes achieving your full potential. In any competition, it is imperative that you walk in with a fresh, relaxed and hopeful mind. It is for this reason that sports teams play games (apart from their sport) and go for team outings right before World Cup finals, for they know that one or two more days of practice or fitness won’t affect their overall performance at all, but entering the field with the right frame of mind and renewed vigor certainly would.
That state of mental peace and positivity is exactly what you need the most in the next 1 week in the run up to the big day. In my 7 attempts at CAT, if there is one thing I have learnt, it is that more than anything else CAT is a game of nerves. I have seen numerous cases where a student who was all set to achieve a stellar percentile foundered in the exam simply because he exhausted himself and went in with a fatigued mind. On the contrary, I have seen students expected to fetch a mediocre percentile do wonders in the exam with their happy-go-lucky and ‘Jo hoga dekha jayega yaar’ attitude. In this game, it is not necessarily the smartest who emerges victorious, but the one who goes in with the right mix of intelligence, hard-work and mental equilibrium. While we, at MBA Guru, have tried to guide you at the first two to the best of our ability and you have matched us in that endeavour with same fervor, it is time now to shift the focus onto the third!
Make sure that you keep yourself motivated, relaxed, optimistic and cheerful in the coming week so as to mentally prepare yourself for the exam. While I would encourage you to do things that you find relaxing, I would caution you against doing anything over-the-top (in short, you don’t need to go to Thailand “de-stress”…at least not now)
Here are my 7 suggestions borne out of my experience and observations:
1. DO NOT TAKE any more full length tests. Some of my colleagues will disagree with me, and I respect their opinion. However, I believe nothing good can possibly come from attempting a full-length test at this point of time. On the contrary, it can
throw you into self-doubt. You may take sectional tests, even take 2 in a day, but avoid taking a full-length test.
2. Watch motivational movies- I suggest you watch 1 movie a day (I am serious here). Some suggestions would be- Rudy, Stand and Deliver, Forrest Gump (my favourite), Fried Green Tomatoes, It’s a Wonderful Life, Life is Wonderful, Pursuit of Happiness, 300, Valkyrie, A Beautiful Mind, Cinderella Man, Homeless to Harvard. Feel free to share your best picks with me! Google to discover more such gems.
3. Get 8 hours of sleep. Make sure you align your sleep cycle with the examination day. I had stressed on this in my earlier message to you. Know the time of your exam, reverse calculate the time you should get up on 29th November and start adjusting your sleep cycle accordingly. There is nothing worse than appearing for this exam in a sleep-deprived state. Similarly, if you get up at 6 am, you cannot expect your mind to be at its freshest at 4 pm.
4. Go for walks in the park in the morning/evening (on days when the pollution level is bearable). Walking around in a lively park and watching small children play is in itself a very life-inducing experience.
If you have a hobby– dancing, singing, sketching, and reading- then now is the best time to indulge yourself in it. Take time out to do what really relaxes and rejuvenates you.
6. Meditate. If you do this one thing daily and correctly, then it would make for the absence of all above. But then in the world full of Instagram, Tik Tok and Twitter, how many of us have the patience for this magical activity!
7. Read one motivational novel. For a person as dark and skeptical as I, nothing less than Bhagwad Gita is fructuous. However, if you find that too much, I suggest you read any bestseller like You Can Win, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, The Power of Positive Thinking. My learned and well-read colleagues would be able to provide better suggestions here.
One final suggestion- in case you follow a religion/god, pray that the economy recover by the time you complete your management education!!
Note of caution: Do whatever would help your calm your mind, but kindly do not indulge in adventure sports or do something dangerously stupid!
So do as I say, not as I do!
In case you have any more suggestions/experiences on how you relax yourself (not the dirty ones though), then feel free to share here in comments.
PS- The final suggestion was in jest….economy toh Modiji theek kar hi denge 😂
Leave your feedback/suggestions on what else you think I could have included/excluded in this article. Help me get better 🙂