Is there something called the Right Mindset?
Hundreds of thousands of students register for the CAT every year, but at least a third of them lack real motivation and perceive that other candidates will probably outperform them, so why waste time giving that extra jolt of energy? There’s always next year, right? That golden year when everything will magically fall into place: You’ll crack the CAT with a high-flying rank, get into the B-school of your dreams, get a state-of-the-art MBA education, and waltz into a life of your own making. Simple on the slate, harder to convert, be it an interviewer or your imagination.
Competitive exams are not just difficult by virtue of their syllabus or even the number of aspirants. They are intimidating by design, and it is that very intimidation that we must hustle against. It is not just about how many quants or DI/LR problems you solve against time. We can teach you how to do that but the art of developping self-belief and disciplining your mind is something that you need to do on your own. In fact, it is crucial to do this at the start of your preparation journey. A step that helps you find your ground and condition yourself at the very origin of a success story.
To do that, here are a few ideas that you could use:
A. Aim for nothing but the very top.
You can’t shy away from thinking you could be the one, and the only thing that can change that belief is your thought process. The government does not earn taxes on your high morale, nor is it unjust for you to set a higher bar for yourself. We often underestimate ourselves to the extent that out of thin air, we conjure a glass ceiling over our heads. If you have the guts to believe, you are already one step closer.
B. Apply second-order thinking.
The ability to think through problems and consequences to the nth order can boost your mental energy. When setting a goal, and prioritizing your preparation, think through to the second-order, and constantly ask yourself, “And then what?” This will help you stay focused when it really matters and deter you from unnecessary leisure. Set more specific goals, and think deeper to figure out what you would do once some among those first set of goals were met. Everybody is capable of first-order linear thinking, and reaching a set outcome. Extraordinary performance comes from seeing things that other people can’t see.
C. Prevent nostalgia.
When times get tough, and you start to feel the struggle of the CAT process, try not to calm yourself by thinking of times when your life was straightforward and simpler, without this looming cloud of whether you’ll make it to the best <add favourite MBA school>. Give yourself time to taste complexity, fear, frustration, and work harder every day. Let yourself fall but learn how to get back up every single time. It will be a year or so of deliberate pain and painful deliberation, but it is you who will make that struggle worth it.
D. Know your strengths and weaknesses.
This is often the first step when starting your exam prep. However, it would help if you also recognized potential roadblocks for yourself, besides the technicalities of the exam itself. Is it too many night outs? Comfortable alternatives if the MBA dream doesn’t happen? Snacking to kill time? Time management in general? Be honest to recognize inconsistencies in your ability, so that you can work around them. Likewise, know your strong points and how they tie into your personality.
E. Lead with a growth mindset.
For once, let’s shed the idea that we are innately superior at certain skills or concepts. A fixed mindset believes that these intrinsic gifts are invincible and allow one clear advantage over others. Such a line of thought hinders our ability to grow in what we are trying to achieve. A growth mindset believes that along with motivation, talent needs to be developed through hard work, lateral thinking, collaboration, and dedication. These ideas are still alive today, and they work.
Taking these ideas into account will not only help you through the exam-based component of the CAT. It will allow you to know yourself and put you in touch with your true personality, an extremely crucial and decisive milestone before you step into an admission interview. Use this time not just for the CAT but also for yourself.
If I had to summarise this – fall in love with yourself and the process. You will do wonders! Trust yourself because I do.
P.S – We are starting with our new CAT 2021 Batch next week. In case you want to prepare with iQuanta – You can visit www.iQuanta.in to enrol. We have a special discount code running (iquanta007).
And in case you just want to have a conversation – feel free to DM.
All the best!