The Smarter You Think You Are, The Longer It Will Take

“Knowledge speaks, Wisdom listens”     

-Jimi Hendrix
Elango at the 5th Annual ET Ideas Award, together with the company owners he groomed.

He said he doesn’t understand. He went to the best of schools, the best of colleges, scored top marks, answered almost every exam questions right and followed all the rules. Yet, he cannot understand how someone who never did well in school, didn’t go to college, never really followed any rules, day dream, speak the most nonsensical things, hardly know how to speak English fluently; can be happy, and have a very successful business while he on the other hand is not happy and constantly broke.

I burst out laughing when he said the above. He was perplexed and stunned at my reaction to what he just said. I said to him to take it easy and proceeded to explain.

The simple reason why the other chap is successful is he listens, follows and applies whatever I teach him over the years. You don’t. As he tried to protest, I said to him that I have not finished. He stopped and continued to listen.

Your formal education is a guide for you as you go through life. For example, some of what you had learned are tools to be used to find solutions as you encounter problems at work and life in general. It’s like a carpenter using various tools such as the saw and hammer to build a house. They are just basic tools. Learning it well helps you be prepared to build houses in the future. However, these tools are definitely not the right tools to build, for example a microchip to be used in a computer. In this case you need to learn new skills and tools to be able to do it. In life you must have the mindset of continuously willing to learn what is needed and apply what you learn to produce the Results you want. It is especially true with regards to the fast changing world of business, the need to innovate and adapt is very important.

However, what you are thinking is you have the best tools, without realizing that these tools cannot help you in your current business endeavor. Just because you are a graduate and did extremely well in your school and college, that does not mean you will succeed being an entrepreneur. Get that information through your head in the first place. Let me tell you what is happening. You want to build a spaceship and you are insisting using your tools, which is just a saw and a hammer. You don’t want to learn and use tools that are actually required to build the spaceship. You also don’t want to humble down and realize that you need to ask help from those who have built a spaceship before. Seeking advice and guidance helps to speed up the process.

At this point, he retorted and said that he didn’t do such a thing. He comes to me for advice and guidance. I laughed and said he did not. He was stunned. I said that he comes to me for advice and guidance but whenever I suggest something, he gives his opinion why it cannot work or just simply don’t apply it. Then he comes up with his own ideas and insists on doing it. Even if I try to get him to see that the chances are these ideas won’t work, he will go ahead and try and get frustrated when they don’t work. He became quiet when I said this. Then I added saying that he doesn’t really work with the others in ET Ideas. ET Ideas has vast resources to help almost any type of business to succeed. We have people in the areas of website development, accounts, digital marketing, event management, project managers etc. We even have funding. However he doesn’t mix with them nor work with them.

Elango during his meetings with the adults and youngsters from ET Ideas and Ascendance.

The reason is simple because he thinks he is better than them. When I said this, he was taken aback and looked down. I said to him that some of them may not have as much education as him, some may not have come from a good background. However, they follow their hearts, work as a team and get things done. He competes, they collaborate. He just talks, they get things done. He is arrogant, they are humble. He thinks of his own interest, they think of the team interest.

In the case of the other chap, he knows he is not very wise with regards to sorting out his life, what more to start a business and turn it into a success. But he is wise enough to seek council from who have done this before. Not only he sought advice but he applied what I asked him to do. He is humble enough to work with the rest of the team. As the team helps him to help out where they can for him to achieve his goals, he too works with them to help them achieve their goals. He met me regularly and updated me the results of trying out some of the suggestions that I gave. Based on the feedback then we refine the ideas and plans and keep on doing it until he achieved the goal set. Then we continue on to set new goals as per what his heart wants him to do. This is not just financial goals. Some of it is about his happiness, it’s about connecting with family members, about his health and so on.

As I finished saying this, he said that in this case the chap will depend on me forever. Again I laughed and said to him that he was so quick to judge and find fault but he didn’t take the time to listen to what I said and have the presence of mind to observe how my communication is with the chap now. In the early days when I first worked with him, he will meet almost daily as he learned about goals, Nature’s Laws of achieving success and of course applying what I taught. Then as he begin to learn, and he was becoming better at it. He was learning on the job as I made him be more aware of how I think. Then my meetings with him reduced to once a week, eventually now about three months. It is more due to out of respect he updates what he is doing and also to enquire about my well being. The only time he meets me a bit more often is when he comes out with new ideas and applies it. He asks my opinion of it and also whether I see anything that he may have missed out. Guess what? Now he is doing it far better than me and I am very proud of him and how much he had achieved.

I ended the conversation by quoting one of my mentors, “The problem is you think you are smart. However, the smarter you think you are, the longer it will take.”

Love & Light

Elango Thiyagu

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