In the first semester at IIT Kanpur, I noticed this guy whose class notes would just be half a page of tiny scrawl, scribbled with a ball-point refill.
In the hostel, he would usually be playing cricket or doing bull sessions with friends. Clearly, not a recipe for academic success.
His first semester GPA: 10/10.
He later got a top rank in the Civil Services with just a few months of preparation.
What explains this?
A few years ago, I would have said: ‘Genius.’ But I now think the real answer is ‘Focus.’ His notes were brief because he was able to focus, absorb, and synthesize the key points.
I believe that more than intellect, the real game-changer in life is focus.
And I have experienced this myself. When I spent my four years at IIT daydreaming and distracted, the academic results were embarrassing.
But once I had a wake-up call and got into an intense focus mode, I could finish the full Civil Services curriculum, including two new subjects in just six months.
We like to simplify things by using labels like ‘stupid’ and ‘smart.’ At least in my life, I can trace all the ups and downs to just focus.
We all have talent inside but without focus, it will never come out. Give your genius a chance to flourish.
Hidden genius is no genius.