World Salutes Your Abilities…

“Ability is what we are capable of doing, Motivation determines what we do, and Attitude determines how well we do it,” so says Lou Holtz, the witty and inspiring football coach, who has been associated with a number of American Universities’ Teams. We are familiar with the other words like competency, capability, capacity, potential, proficiency, etc, which are frequently used by us as a substitute for the word ‘Ability’.

Ability may be simply defined as a function of Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes, or KSAs, in short, and mathematically expressed  as:

Ability = fn (KSAs)

Where, Knowledge is an organized body of facts, principles, procedures, and information acquired over time. It is a prerequisite for learning skills. Skills, on the other hand, are general capacities to perform a set of tasks developed as a result of training and experience. Attitudes are beliefs and opinions that support or inhibit behaviour. We need KSAs inorder to succeed in life; together this triad  forms the triangle of success as depicted below:

triange-of-success

We can develop Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes, KSAs,  through Education and Values, which are of paramount importance in our journey towards the pinnacle of  excellence. We can attain our highest potential by continuously developing our abilities. There are no short cuts to development of abilities; it demands concerted discipline and focus.  Here, an appropriate example is that of Mr. Satya Nadella, who honed his abilities to such a level that Microsoft Corporation, the world’s largest and most valuable software company best known for its product Microsoft Windows, the  operating system used by millions of people across the globe, elevated him to the coveted position of CEO, the Chief Executive Officer. Satya Nadella, born in Hyderabad, India in 1967, is reported to have  given this message  to the young professionals  in an interview to The Times of India (published in New Delhi Edition on p.17 on Monday, March 10, 2014) and I quote,

“Find something that you are truly passionate about, and throw yourself into it fully. Life is too short to just go through the motions on something you are not truly passionate about. Stay curious, never stop learning.”  Unquote.

Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella, The New Microsoft CEO ; Photo Source : http://www.comparethecloud.net

So, develop your abilities… This development demands nothing short of ‘Tapasya‘, a Sanskrit word for personal endeavour of discipline, undertaken to achieve a goal.  When you have the abilities, I believe, even Ma Lakshmi, the Hindu Goddess of Wealth, runs after you for acceptance. World honours ability…World salutes people with abilities…and bows to them in admiration…and entrusts them with the responsibilities commensurable with their abilities. World does no favour to you…

You have the power within to develop your abilities…

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Values and Skills Go Hand in Hand

Education plays a vital role in our lives. It helps us to develop an understanding as to what is important and valuable and  how do we go about achieving the same. The former deals with values whereas the latter with skills. To achieve any  worthwhile goal, we require both, values as well as skills. Values and skills are  complementary in nature and go hand in hand. Values show us the path that we need to tread towards a goal and skills help us in doing what is needed to achieve the goal. So, actions performed skillfully in accordance with understanding or in alignment with values culminate in attainment of  our goals. Simply put,

Values + Skills – – ->>> Goal

Today, in our society, the values are declining. To stem this decline, we need value-based education that will help young students to grow not only intellectually but also to play their role responsibly in society. In addition, research studies have revealed that majority of students passing out of institutes of higher learning are not readily employable as they lack knowledge application attitude and also skills such as communication and problem solving skills. We need to ensure that the education system is such that our students are able to imbibe values as well as skills.

Let me explain these two key words, Values and Skills…

Values dwell in emotions and feelings. They do not change with time and space and tend to be relatively stable and enduring. They do help us to choose or decide the direction that we need to take to achieve a goal.

Values provide the prime motivating force behind our thoughts, emotions and actions. They affect our attitudes and behaviour as they are at the core of our beliefs. Swami Yuktananda,  in the book, Human Values by A. N. Tripathi, says,

“They (Values) are the very core of our behaviour, the motive force of our lives.”

Trust and respect are the examples of Values.

Skill, on the other hand, is a developed talent or ability. Besides, it may also be called proficiency, adroitness or dexterity, which can be developed by practice, training or experience. Skills are of different types such as:

  • Fundamental skills include logical reasoning, quantitative abilities and aptitude.
  • Technical skills deal with the domain knowledge essential for examining, analyzing and solving a problem.
  • Communication skills are all about verbal & written communication and include language, reading, writing, speaking, listening and presentation skills.
  • Interpersonal skills  comprise leadership, motivation, team – building, uncertainty and conflict handling and social skills.
  • Soft skills consist of creative thinking, innovation, goal setting and time management skills.

Development of skills demands, beside time and energy, hard work performed with sincerity, determination, passion, focus and perseverance. Remember that nothing worthwhile is ever achieved without one’s involvement and commitment. So, we need to get fully involved  with total commitment into learning new skills. Skills, once learnt or acquired, boost tremendously our self-confidence and when applied, in alignment with our values, help us attain our goals. 

To re-emphasize, I quote below the words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,  the American poet and educator,

“The heights by great men reached and kept, were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.”

Lastly; this blog post is dedicated to my teacher and Guru, Professor Ganesh P. Bagaria, an alumnus of IIT Kanpur and recipient of  Satyendra K. Dubey Award-2006, and his team members who are relentlessly empowering people to lead values – driven life.