What is the best virtue to have in order to succeed in life?
Hard work? Patience? Persistence? Ethics? Kindness?
My observation suggests, all of the above, in just the right amount.
Let me share a story with you, maybe then what I’m saying will make more sense.
A few months ago, I moved to Goa and started working for a new company. One of the many reasons behind my decision was that I loved the product and the idea behind the company: making quality legal education accessible to all online.
I had tried one of the courses while in I was working for a media company and was amazed by the content. That is when I knew – I would be working for a cause and not just a company.
While in Goa, I moved in with my colleague, and now a dear friend, Mohona. She is one of the most diligent and hardworking people I have come across so far. To say her work ethic is strong, is an understatement. I have witnessed her being in a freak road accident where a bike rammed right into her and then a few hours later instructing me on how to do the day’s work!
She had a Euro-trip scheduled the week after the accident which she could not cancel last minute, so she went to Europe on crutches! Not just that, she was still helping me with my work from Europe, and checking in on me since I was all alone in a new place. When she was back it turned out that she had ligament-tear, and was advised bed rest for the next few weeks. I had expected her to take few weeks’ leave as suggested by her doctor. But, the work ethics are strong in this one for she kept working without a pause.
As I lived with her, I have seen her handle her personal affairs with equal patience and integrity. In the past few months, she has faced some ridiculously adverse situations, in her personal and professional life, which would have flipped out most people. But she continued working as focused, as if nothing had happened. She did not let the situations win. Such commitment to work, patience and perseverance is commendable, to say the least.
The point I am trying to make here is that this young woman is not only smart, hard working and good at her job, she also has strong work ethics and perseverance. She is one of the model employees that I have come across in my short stint in the industry. Someone with her qualities, should have been working with the top law firms or MNCs out there. Naturally, I asked her why wasn’t she.
It turned out, she faced a lot of struggles because of the fact the she was a first generation lawyer. You can read about her struggles as a first generation lawyer here. She needed someone to help her get a foot in the door. Thankfully last week, she had her wish granted.
She got an interview opportunity with one of the top tier-one law firms in the country. She was elated! One moment, she was over the moon, but then nerve wrecked in the next moment! She realised she did not have the domain knowledge for the role she was interviewing. Coming from a litigation background and then working in marketing, she did not have the necessary theoretical or practical knowledge of corporate laws.
Lucky for her, she worked for a company, which works to solve this very problem. So she approached the bosses and asked for access to the course material and they graciously obliged. She still had a huge mountain to climb. She had only four days to learn everything she could.
Would you have been able to manage? If not given the guidance? Corporate laws in itself is huge.
For the next four days, she studied the basics of the business law course, contract drafting course, FDI course day in and day out. She lived and breathed these courses until the day of her interview. She went in and gave written and oral rounds of interviews and came back. She was unsure whether she made it through. It was after all, her very first interview with a Tier-1 firm. But having seen her prepare for her big break, there was no way she did not make it.
As lawyers, we are trained to trust evidence and facts, over emotions. But this one time, even I wanted the emotion to be true, irrespective of the fact and evidence. Thankfully, yesterday, the evidence came through to support the gut-feeling. She made it through and got an offer letter from one of the top law firms of the country!
I was overjoyed to see her succeed. It is a classic story, where the protagonist struggles through till the end where they achieve the greatness they truly deserve. The part I love about my colleague’s story is that, even if someone had to open the door for her, she got through it on her own merit and hard work. All she needed were some tools like these online courses.
So when things gets tough, instead of accepting defeat, you should push through till the end. If it is not happy, the story has not yet ended.
In the end, she succeeded to see through all the weird challenges life threw at her. She had not let go of her virtues like patience, kindness, persistence and ethics. I wish her lots of luck for her future endeavors. I know she will do great things there as well. She has earned this, I believe.
We all need that little bit of faith in our abilities and inculcate the virtues like patience, perseverance, and ethics. Sometimes even the best of us need a little help to have that extra edge over others. But the idea is to put all your energies behind your goals, and success will follow.
My takeaway from this story is that one should work hard, learn more and not let go of their core values, especially in the toughest of times. Because tough times may not last, tough people definitely do.
When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. So toughen up!