Everyone was making noise. If anyone sees our class, they would call it a fish market.
Suddenly, Professor Iyer walks into the class and there was a pin drop silence.
Professor Iyer was a retired physics professor. He was tall, dark and fat. He always had a tikka on his forehead.
He started teaching the projectile concept. After a few minutes, he asked the class “Did everyone understand the concept?” I didn’t understand the concept, but when I looked around everyone was nodding, so I kept my head down and nodded to indicate that I understood the concept.
He asked another question – “Please raise your hand if you understand the concept?” Everyone in the class raised their hand. I raised my hand as I didn’t want to be an odd one.
Professor Iyer wrote a question on the blackboard and asked for a volunteer to solve it.
The topper of our class quickly raised his hand and rushed towards the platform to solve the problem.
He easily solved the problem and returned to his desk with a feeling of accomplishment.
A feeling of insecurity and self-doubt crept within me. I was struggling to understand the concept while he was not only able to understand the concept but solve the complex problem.
I was drowning myself into self-doubt.
Suddenly, Professor Iyer looked towards the class and said “There is no first or last in the race, it doesn’t matter whether you understand the concept now or later. What’s important is that you understand the concept at the end of the day. Don’t lose your hope, dig deeper, you’ll always find more reserve”
I went home with the inspiring thought, opened my physics book, and began studying. There were an initial hesitation and a bit of struggle, but I kept on going.
After an hour, the projectile didn’t make any sense, but I still kept going. After another hour, the concept started making sense. A few hours later, I was solving complex problems.
At that moment, I understood an important life lesson that there is no first or last in any race as long as you’re chasing excellence not success.
Next day, Professor Iyer continued explaining the concept and gave a complex problem to solve.
I raised my hand and easily solved the complex problem.
I learned another life lesson – “the more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle”
Thank you, Professor Iyer!
Our childhood memory makes us who we’re today. Always nurture them!