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L.Srikumar Pai
B.Sc( Engg.), MIE, MIWWA, MICI
Civil Engineer & CAD Specialist
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Determination – a key to success

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By Sunilkumar Ravi: A baby was trying to climb up to a chair. He tried several times, but could not succeed. He kept on trying. Finally, he was able to catch on to the cushions and managed to climb up. With great pride and joy, he looked around. That was the first success in his life.

Success in life comes to persons who have a positive attitude, determination and are hard working.

What is a positive attitude? It is nothing but analyzing a situation and acting upon it.

To strengthen my views or thoughts, I would like to narrate a personal experience at the beginning of my career.

I received my first appointment letter at Konkan Railway and I started my journey to Karnataka, a neighbouring state to Kerala. I didn’t know the local language and the office was situated in a small village called Kundapura. With great difficulty, I managed to find the office. I went in and met the chief clerk. He advised me to wait for the Dy Chief Engineer. While waiting for him, I came to know that the Dy CE, true to his name, Narasimha, was a firebrand officer. After some time, he came to the office and straight away went to his cabin without looking at others.

I was called to Dy CE’s office. I went in and stood in front of him. He was an old man of 62 and I was 22. He asked, “What do you want?” I replied that I had come to join for duty. He told me that I had come late that day and asked me to join the next day. He asked me to be punctual. I was very disappointed and thought all day why the man had behaved that way.  Next day I went on time and joined for duty. I was posted to a bridge site, reporting to the AEN. But every evening, I had to give daily reports to the Dy CE. There was no one to guide me on how to prepare the reports. My reports were reviewed by the Dy CE and certainly were not appreciated. He always found faults with me and I was not able to answer him properly.  This went on for some days and I felt very disappointed with my job. But then I was determined to stick on to my first job, and not admit defeat. I then checked with my immediate boss and asked what the reason behind all this was. He advised me to check my reports twice or thrice before handing them over to Dy CE and also to confirm the authenticity of the information I gave, since he would check with others for verification. I started rechecking my reports and verified the information I conveyed. I found several mistakes. I spent more time in preparing reports and started verifying the old records. The documents I generated became more informative and very presentable.

One day I was asked to prepare an up-to-date progress report on the work for the Director Technical Inspection. I spent nearly three days for preparing a one-sheet report. I even verified with the contractor’s Planning Manager, which I am not supposed to do. But my objective was to be correct in the information that I gave. During the inspection, my report was discussed in detail. Decisions were made to fix the problems and the suggestions given by my boss were appreciated and vital decisions were made based on it. At the end of the day, my immediate boss told me that the big Boss had appreciated my report and was very happy.  That was the first time my work was appreciated by him after 8 months of service. Next year, I was recommended for and received the Chief Engineer’s Award for excellence.

When I look back now, I firmly believe that I succeeded because of my commitment, tolerance and attitude. My determination made me survive all the odds and succeed.

In the context of determination as a key to success, the determination of one man to make his country a success is relevant. None other than the Sultan of this country. 39 years is a small period of time for a nation to start from the situation that Oman was at the time and be what it is today. I feel it is the sheer determination of the Sultan that made it possible.

In conclusion, I would like to say that dedication, commitment, attitude, tolerance to face problems and above all, your determination to do something or achieve something will lead you to success.

That’s it.

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