“One believes things because one has been conditioned to believe them.”

― Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

Each of us is a victim of our past conditioning. Since childhood, we’ve learned to think a certain way. It’s hard for us to think of a world where there is creative abundance.

We’re expected to be minimalists, study well, work, marry and have kids. Everything is set to a pattern we’re supposed to follow in a hierarchy. We can’t think out of the box.

It’s scary to challenge anything that doesn’t fit social norms. We’re required to fulfill the demands of society by sacrificing our personal needs.

We need a social structure with rules and law-abiding citizens to have a good society. Still, the problem appears when an individual’s mind gets preoccupied with the negative beliefs that social systems run.

The fear we face daily has a lot to do with our education. From the day we step into school, we learn the power of marks. We are afraid of failure because of past childhood conditioning.

Only the top student who comes first is worthy, and the rest are useless. It’s an unconscious perception that always gets stuck in our heads. Later, when we go for a job or start dating a girl, the insecurity is always with us. We don’t want to feel like a loser; we can’t afford to be a loser. We want to be at the top everywhere, even in a relationship.

No one can always be at the top everywhere; we need to learn by switching positions, but we never know because no one lectures us about the need to be flexible in life.

If you can’t give the other person a space to be herself, she’ll never be able to put her perspective before you. Always your relationship will be a mess.

Intelligence or intellect is not a measure of success. Your attitude defines your altitude, the height you can climb on your feet. It has nothing to do with the flying colors in your examinations.

Often the top ranker suffers more than backbenchers because he has not learned flexibility. He knows to be at the top but has no clue how to face failure. His talent makes him invincible, but at the same time, he is more vulnerable to anxiety and depression. He finds it difficult to handle relationships.

I’m not here to defame the top rankers. I have been the one who always came first, but when I look back, I think I missed a lot being the first ranker. I never looked at the students who sat on the last bench. What they do and why they do it. They didn’t know how to study well or cram or write what the examiner wanted to see, but they were pretty cool.

They had their beauty. They were creative, but no one cared, neither their parents nor the teachers. They were labeled as failures before they set their feet on the ground of real life.

It’s a dysfunctional belief that toppers are better, as I can see that many of those backbenchers whom I was programmed to not worth attention to are pretty successful in their lives. I had a dysfunctional belief that I broke, which changed my view of their World.

Now I don’t care who is the hare and who is the tortoise; all I care about is whether they are smart enough to live a creative life or not. They are successful if they have a creative view of life that they can take care of their families and live their lives responsibly.

It’s a lesson to parents and teachers who judge the ability of a student based on her marks. They’re wrong in their approach. I remember when these backbenchers were trying to give answers differently. The frontbenchers, including me, laughed at them with the teacher because we had a dysfunctional belief that what’s written in the textbook is the only truth.

I didn’t notice that we were the morons who laughed at them. They were more creative than any one of us.

These days I’m learning a lot of silliness from those students with whom I never talked because I was told you’re not of their grade. You’re the winner, and they’re the losers. Come with me; someone is here to meet you, my daughter who always comes first in her class.

The last time I met her, she was depressed. I asked her the reason. She replied you know how bad it feels that once no one in the school could’ve defeated us, and now these backbenchers are running a startup and offering us jobs. I couldn’t believe it.

I smiled and said okay, I’ll mention your problem in my blog with your voice. She said with the same depressive tone, “I wish I could’ve done something that you would’ve written a book on my life, but I don’t think I’ll be able to do anything of significance except survival.”

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