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Learning & Teaching Fellow (retired)
Associate-: Consulting Firm

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More than 3 decades ago, I cleared my 12th board examination with 8 grace marks in English. Despite scoring pretty well in science subjects, which ultimately ensured my admission to an engineering college, my overall grade came drastically down due this pathetic performance in English.

Frankly speaking, I had a great disliking for English and never attempted to make any improvement even. I used to be so poor in spoken English also, that, during my Engineering college days, I had always avoided mixing up with college-mates who were local Englishmen.

Well, destiny had something else in mind for me. After passing out from the college, when I failed to write a job application in English, leading to a group of friends laughing at me in front of many others, I, for several hours, kept crying and decided to do something about it.

On that day, before falling asleep, I vowed to myself, that I must learn to speak and write in English within three months to give those friends a fitting reply.

First step in that direction was to subscribe to an English news paper, and then I bought a dictionary.

For next 3 months, without fail, I continued with a tireless effort of investing several hours a day, reading news paper, writing down the meaning of each and every word that I couldn't understand and, finally, made every attempt to improve my ability to speak in English by talking to the wall of my bedroom for several hours.

It was a lonely fight with no help from any living being. But I continued. My determination and efforts begun producing visible results, adding fuel to my endeavor for improving more and more.

During those 3 months, I didn't let anyone get a hint of what I had been after. Then, one fine morning, I offered to write the job application for one of my friends.

I still clearly remember his facial expression, while reacting to my proposal with a sarcastic comment. Ignoring, I went ahead and tried my best to design an impacting cover letter and showed him the draft. One by one, all three of them read it and looked at my face with shear disbelief. And, at that point, I dropped another bombshell by initiating a verbal communication in English. They were stunned!

The desire to give a fitting reply to my friends' neglect, motivated me to achieve something impossible. Their criticism, instead of demotivating me, inspired me to look upon an obstacle as a challenge to overcome, and I did it.

The mission was accomplished and that success laid the foundation of a never-give-up attitude, which, since then, has remained, till now, wish forever, with me as an integral part of my life.

Two and half decades later, when I wrote my first article in late 2008 and published it on linkedin, one of the readers made a categorical statement that instead of wasting my time and energy on such attempts I should go for fishing.

It was like getting completely stripped down before a huge audience as his comment was read by hundreds of renowned professionals from all over the world.

But, that gentleman was absolutely correct. I agree that there were quite a few grammatical mistakes in that article. However, instead of pointing it out publicly, he could have let me know his observation privately. That's how a civilized society is expected to function. But he decided otherwise, and it ultimately proved to be a blessing in disguise for me!

I don't know what made him launch such unusual attack on me, but I didn't give up this time also. Apart from taking up a week-long grammar lesson from my elder daughter to improve my writing skills, I stayed focused on reading lots of articles from dozens of popular websites.

After a couple of months, the same person who suggested fishing a better option than writing became my 1st degree connection on likedin and wrote a mail to me appreciating my improvements. Well, I must mention that he apologized to me as well.

Both these developments, in addition to a lot more that I'd share with you later, made my life worth living a thousand times. I must thank God for being so kind to me at times, and also ruthless - whenever I fail to live upto his expectations on several occasions - perhaps inspiring me to wake up the sleeping giant within.

So whenever someone laughs at you, whenever someone writes you off, saying that you're no good, never enter a a deep hibernation but bounce back with a vengeance to prove them wrong. People would always criticize you, mostly out of evil intentions, but you must turn it to your advantage and make them swallow their spits.

Never forget that we are still living in a jungle, full of predators: kill or get killed -- no other option. Choice is yours!

Author: Abhijit Kar, Managing Partner, Win & Victory Executive Search

To read more such article, Google search Abhijit Kar and read my blog 'The Warrior,' -- Chasing Success through Persistence and Passion for Excellence.

Dear Abhijit, Thak you for the post. I hope more bloggers take a cue from your post and take it as a challenge and improve. An excellent example to emulate.
Thanks Simhan, for such an encouraging comment against this post. My suggestions to the youngsters would be to strengthen their confidence in self and go all out to achieve what appears near impossible and unachievable.
In fact, the biggest battle that we fight, for achieving excellence, is against ourselves. Friends, know your own self and win the battle in your own courtyard, to move ahead and embrace victory against all obstacle.
Talk, and keep talking, about success, but have the killer instinct's when time demands it. Else, be happy with mediocrity and live an uneventful - but peaceful - life, like several billions.

Here's my story, quite similar to yours. I received a strong feedback on my blog , for my exceptionally low language skills. Thereafter, I enrolled for an advance level Business English Certification, by ESOL, University of Cambridge. Last week, I received an award for being the top 100 performer.
A rags to riches story would remain a fairy tale, till you can challenge yourself to achieve it !
I wait to read many more such efforts and the results achieved .

I am next in line to take up a grammar course. Specially confusing to me (as I told (Cite Contribution) before) is the use of comma. :D Regards, Sid
Sid, I'm not allowed to post links; however, let me share the names of a few popular blogs for helping you understand how the sentences are designed for making a simple but impacting impression: Zenhabits by Leo Babauta, Michael Hyatt's Blog, Penelope Trunk's Blog....Google search to find out, go through a few articles. I'm sure, as I benefited a lot -- you too would.
Dear Sid,
Here is a link to a guide on the use of commas. Grammar and Punctuation Tips I am sure many will find it useful as I did.

For me comma is an effective instrument, that, if properly used, can make sentences appear rhythmic while reading.
Some times god bless us in disguise as i was Shuffling through various post and found yours,it was great to actually to read it.
This story has given me a new direction to follow....:)
Ashish Paliwal

:) Thanks Simhan, and winandvictory,
Untitled Document <link updated to site home> ( Search On Cite | Search On Google )
@(Cite Contribution) - "You may also have been told that you should insert a comma whenever there is a slight pause in the sentence when it is read aloud (i.e., whenever you "breathe"). This method sometimes works, but it can also create problems." This is quite good - take a look at the rules.
Another great discovery through the document Simhan sent - "Acres of Diamonds" by Russell Conwell 1 of 6 - YouTube

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