Articles, Blog

Planning And Goal-Setting

October 10, 2019

Hello everyone! Welcome back to the NPTEL MOOC course on Developing
Soft Skills and Personality! This is the first week and we are in the second
module, we have just started. And in this
module, we are going to look at soft skills, but not exactly the skills as such. But then, I
am just going to take you back as what is required to prepare you for developing these
skills. It is mostly about planning and preparing
for imbibing the soft skills which are required for developing your personality. Now, before I start, have you gone through
the video fully? Let me recapitulate; let me
give to the highlights of the previous video just in one single slide very quickly. Highlights of the last lecture—if you remember,
I particularly mentioned that learning is really behavioural modification—nothing
else. It has to effect on your behaviour. It has
to modify your behaviour for the better. You cannot learn anything that you don’t
want to. You need to create the desire for learning
from this course and you have to be proactive. You have to download the videos, create definite
time for watching and taking notes and you need to reflect on your own. You need to discuss the course with your
friends and then you need to check whether you are able to develop the required
behaviour then and there—at least every week you need to do some self assessment. You need to do experiential learning—that
is, you need to experience the course. It is not
like mugging up and then re-producing; you need to experience. And experiential
learning is possible only if you attempt all the quizzes, assignments and exam even if
you are not concerned about getting the certificate. It is important that you do this and
then experience and then learn how to assess yourself and then progress along with the
course. The course aims at changing your behaviour,
not like other courses which aim at a very superficial physical level, such as some of
the corporate offices train the candidates just
for 1 week, 10 days and then they give cosmetic touches in terms of soft skills. Now here
the course is aiming at a whole complete personality development and the approach is a
holistic approach in which the physical, mental, emotional, physiological, cultural and
physical as well as spiritual levels are being covered. And there are two phases of this course; the
first one which you are doing now is the first course in the series and this is Developing
Soft Skills and Personality and this focuses on
personal and professional skills. The sequence to this course which will be
taken up later that will be the next course and that will
be on Enhancing Soft Skills and Personality and
that will focus on interpersonal and management skills. Now, I am fond of asking you questions and
then let me start this module with another question. Let us say, if God grants you one wish and
that wish will make you happy and peaceful forever in your life. Now . . . what should you ask him if you are
given such a chance? Now would you ask for money? Would you ask for intelligence? Would you ask for
knowledge? Would you ask for good looks? Would you ask for a very beautiful or aa
handsome life partner? Think about it. God is granting you one wish and if you ask
something that is correct that will give you complete happiness and peace—what would
be that wish? Now, I would tell you that you should ask
God to grant you that one wish in terms of accumulating lot of soft skills. It should be soft skills, why? If you are able to have all the required soft
skills, which are actually people skills you will be able to get everything that I said
before, whether it is money, intelligence, knowledge or whatever you want in this life. Everything you will be able to achieve just
if you are able to get the soft skills. So it will bring you everything that you need
to live a very happy and peaceful life. As I said soft skills are people’s skills. I will go into the
details of soft skills may be in the coming videos. Right now, I want you to be planned
and prepared to change your behavioural pattern in terms of understanding and imbibing
these skills and preparing you for that. Now, remember, when I say that soft skills
are people skills, it is the people around you
who are going to contribute to your success or failure. Let me explain how. If you are a
student, so, you want to be the topper of your class, let us say you want to score 100
marks in the examination and then let us assume that there is only one to whom the
teacher will give 100. Let us also assume that you got 100 marks. Now it is not just
because you got 100 marks you are on the top of the class, it is because that there are
so many others who resolved in their mind that
it is enough that they get 99, some thought that 90 is enough, some thought that 80 is
enough, some were below 60, 50, some didn’t even bother to give the exam. Now, these people together they have given
you that success and they have kept you on the top of your class by not competing with
you enough, by not giving you tough competition or by making you do better in
giving you the kind of competition that you needed. But all it means is like, it is not that you
alone is uniquely responsible for getting any success, and same thing goes with failure
also. It’s because you are not able to
manage people skills, it’s because that you are not able to handle certain situations,
it’s because that you are not able to have those
soft skills that will create the best impression in that environment—you probably got failure! Now, it is also said that eighty percent of
your happiness and peace depends on the life or
even in business, depending on the partner with whom you spend your maximum time
with. So . . . if you are married and then it is
the wife or the husband who is going to determine eighty percent of the happiness
or peace in your life. If you are not married
and if you are in a business and then you are a workaholic you are spending maximum
time in the office—it’s your boss with whom you are interacting—he is going to
determine that eighty percent of your happiness or peace in your life. So, it is the people, to whom you are spending maximum time—they
determine the maximum amount of happiness or peace in your life. Now, if you have understood that, now the
next point is like then how do you make this people help you get this happiness and peace
by interacting with them and then by making them contribute to your happiness and
peace. It is important that you know how
to interact with them to bring harmony and peace in your life. And before you learn how
to make them give what you want, you need to know what you really want in this life. Now only if you know what you really want
in your life, you will be able to make people help you to achieve that. So, to do that I just want you to tell you
some story and then find out whether you have actually made up
your mind in that direction. I am going to tell you lot of stories in this
course, and in fact, the mode in which I want to run this course is—just like you want
to come to the class, that is, you just download the video and watch it. You have some story, something that I have
read, something that I have taken from some author, something I think
is useful in my life and I know that it is going to affect you and then contribute to
your life; and that is the story that I want to
share with. Here with, I am going to begin with a story. And in this story, you are the main character,
you are the main protagonist. And, as the story begins . . . you are walking
with a huge set of people, they are in a crowd and this
crowd is moving. And it looks like the crowd is little bit moaning. They are not in a happy mood, they are in
a serious mood. You are
part of it and then they all dressed in a very simple, sober color; some of them are
in black, some in white, some in very simple
dress. And you can understand that it looks
like something like a funeral, and later you understand that it’s actually a funeral
ceremony and then people are all moving towards the burial ground and you are also
walking with them. And as you walk and then you move towards
you see a coffin that is kept there. And out
of your curiosity, you just want to know who is there in the coffin, you just opened the
lid of the coffin and then you just take a quick peek into the coffin. And then you are
surprised or rather you are shocked to note that inside the coffin—you are lying, it
is your face that you see inside the coffin. And the moment you see, it looks like as if
you are merged with the body that is there in
the coffin. You are lying there in the coffin and
then you just look outside, and then, you could see that there are four sets of people
surrounding you— One set is your friend circle, okay—your
childhood friend, your friend from the workplace, and then a friend from your neighborhood. So, there is one set of people who
are just your friends. And then there is another set that’s coming
from your family—your parents, your brothers, your cousins, and
then your relatives they all there. And then you
also find that there is another religious group of people to whom you actually go for praying or when you go to the temple or church
or mosque you just go and then meet this people regularly. And then there is also a fourth set of people. So, that is related to your
profession, that is your boss. Now you are there and this people are about
to say some good things about you; or are they really saying some good things about
you? You are curious; you just want to know
what are they telling about me? You try to hear them very sharply, but you
are not able to hear. Now, this is the task that is given to you. Imagine now that you are there in the
coffin, your life is over, you are at the end of your life and just one minute—you
will be just buried and then people are going to leave
that place. And on one side you have
somebody from your family—your father, mother, brother, sister, somebody whom you
very closely loved; and the other side, there is this boss; and yet other side, there is
this friend; and then, there is another side, there
is somebody from the religious community that you belong to. Now, the task is—think about this situation
. . . select a calm place, visualize this, take a
piece of paper as you cannot hear what this people are telling about you, you write the
dialogue for this people. Now you visualize, what is it this friend
going to tell about you. What will your sister or brother or cousin
or mother going to tell something about you? What is it that priest going to tell about
you and what is that boss or your colleague going
tell about you? Imagine this and then write at least two,
three sentences for each of these people. Will the father say that such a loving son
that I lost? Is the wife going to say that I have
never seen such a husband in my life and I am going to live forever in his memory or
will she say that good riddance to bad rubbish—so I am glad that he passed away. What
will the boss say—he was such an assert to the entire company and he was doing so
many things to change the society; or will the boss say—no I am glad that he passed
away, he was such a big liability to the company. And what will the friend say? Will he
say that whenever I needed help he was there for me to support, he was the best friend
that I ever had or is he going to tell that he was such a betrayer, I could never trust
him. What are the words these people are going
to tell after your death, knowing fully well that you are not going to hear what they are
going to tell, but what is said that they are
going to tell about? Now, imagine that, right it, visualize and
then you plan how you will lead your life according to what these people
are going to tell about you. And this is what
is actually narrated in the book by Stephen Covey, that is, The Seven Habits of Highly
Effective People. He says that you need to cultivate this habit
of beginning with the end in mind. Begin
with the end in mind! So, all the time we begin certain things with
the very short-sighted approach and we do not visualize what will
happen in the end. So, begin with the end in
mind. If you have visualized this situation . . . this
is how the author tells—he says that think deeply. What would you like each of this speak us
to say about you and your life? What
kind of husband, wife, father or mother would you like their words to reflect? What kind of son or daughter or cousin, what
kind of friend, what kind of working associate, what character would you like them
to have seen in you, what contributions, what achievements would you want them to remember? Look carefully at the people
around you. What difference would you like to have made
in their lives? Now, I am just going to link this thought
with another famous personality whom everybody knows that is Steve Jobs, and then
he gave his most famous speech at Stanford University, in one of the commencement
addresses. So, it is now popularly called “Steve Jobs’ Commencement Address”. You can easily Google it out. I want you
to listen to the entire speech. I have put the link here; you can also use
the link, but you can also just Google it out and it so famous
you can just get it immediately. Now from
that speech I just want to highlight two, three important points were again we understand
that Steve Jobs is clearly talking from this perspective of beginning with something but
with the end in mind. Some excerpts from the speech which are worth
reading, I am just reading out from his speech . . .
Remembering that I will be dead soon is the most important tool I have ever encountered
to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything—all external
expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just follow
away in the face of death. Mind you—when Steve Jobs was giving this
commencement address he knew that he was detected for cancer,
but he was still hoping that he might survive because doctor said that it was too
bad, but still there is a decent chance of surviving. So, he was not sure, but he had this mindset
that death is given him, and he started revisioning his life accordingly. That is why he says that things just fall
away in the face of death leaving only what is truly
important. Remembering that you are going
to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. We all live a life as if we are going to live
for 300 years 500 years or forever, but we never know what time what corner of the street
death is just awaiting. And this is what Steve Jobs says, the moment
you take that aspect in your mind that death is impending, life becomes much more
meaningful and then you start doing only those things that are relevant. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow
your heart. No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven do not
want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that
is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is
Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the
new. Right now the new is
you, but some day not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be
cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true. And then, you know already that he became
the richest man. But he says that being the
richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve
done something wonderful . . . that’s what matters to me. Your work is going to fill a large part of
your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love
what you do. The only way to do great work is to love what
you do. If you haven’t found
it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. Now, one of the aims of this course is to
make you understand that you need to find it
and then only when you find it you will realize that you need to develop the skills as well
as your personality to achieve it. And, in the context, as he says you have to
trust in something—your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down . . . If
you remember in the previous module, I was telling you that you
have trust in the course, you have faith in the
instructor. If you react negatively, if you start having
self-doubts—Will I be able to do this? Will I be able to achieve this? So then, you are not going to progress much. In fact,
in the learning itself, any kind of antipathy, that is, hatred or negative feelings towards
any teacher, any instructor is not going to help you. You need to develop the trust, you
need you have the belief that okay this course is going to change me; this instructor is
going to do something to me. Now that is what Steve Jobs is telling in
a different manner he says that trust something it can be even
your karma, so it can be even your gut feeling, it can be something like this course. Trust it. The other thing that Steve Jobs was doing
was that he put a kind of note on his mirror and every day when he was going he was looking
at this note and then he was making alterations accordingly. And what is this note—“If today were the
last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” So, whenever he asked this question,
many things he was supposed to do, he realized that where actually irrelevant and he
shouldn’t be doing that. If today was that last day he realized that
he should be doing something else and not the thing that he actually
thought of doing, he changed, he made his life very qualitative whenever he thought
about this. Keep asking the same question
when you are going to start something, you just see whether it is of high value, low
value or no value. If you realize that it is of no value and
it is not going to make any change to your overall personality, overall career,
overall life, then it’s better that you avoid doing
it. And in eventual times, you completely stop
doing it. Now, in both examples—the example that I
gave from Stephen Covey about the visualization of the person who is lying in
the coffin and it is you; and then there are four
important people around you and then they are going to say good things or bad things
depending on what you are going to do now in your life—one example. The second one
that is so closely related is the actual death that happened for Steve Jobs later, but then
he had that creative visualization of his death
which was impending and made important alterations, modifications in his behaviour
that helped him to live a very qualitative life
the moment he had that realization. Now in our context, how do you visualize this
end? How do we conceptualize the end? I
am giving you some suggestions. One: One obvious meaning is death, of course,
so as it is narrated by both, it is death. When you visualize death you can make life
more meaningful. But it also means that we have to ascertain
our purpose, it’s not just identifying that we have a life but we also
need to ascertain our purpose. Which means
that we have to ascertain our purpose, meaning, and mission in life and live a fruitful life
before death catches us unawares. Other possible ways in which we can interpret
end: End of this video—what are you going to do at the end of this video? The end of the course—what will you do after
this course is over? How are you going to integrate that course
with your life? The end of
your career: What are you going to do at the end your career, in your college? Or you
going to start a new career at another place? A new job, or the end of a job? New
position? Promotion, higher post, change in areas, fields
etc.,? Visualize, conceptualize
that end and make what you are doing now very meaningful. Could it be end of the day? What are you going to do at the end of the
day? If you are
watching especially this video at the end of the day, what are you going to do now? End
of the week, end of the month? Ask yourselves—What will you do after 5
years? What
are you going to do after 10 years? What are you going to do after 15 years? What will
you do after 25 years? What are you planning to do in your life-time? Now plan ahead, and set your goals and objectives by asking
these questions—5 years from now I want to
be this, 15 years from now I will be here, 25 years from now I will be called so and
so. At the point of my death, when I am lying
in my coffin these are the dialogues that people will be telling about me, I am sure
about it. Now, once you have that then do the things
that will have meaning and make a difference in your life. You also try to answer these questions. What have you planned to do at the
end of this course? What will you be doing at the end of your
degree and graduation? Where will you be after 5 years, 10 years,
15 years, 25 years? And what is your life time
mission? What would you like to visualize it by breaking
into small and achievable parts? What would you finally be as a self-actualized
individual? I am going to spend
one entire video on what is this self-actualization or what makes you the self actualized
individual, but right now, park that thought, will come back to this. But the aim of this
course is to facilitate, to give you that environment in which you will actually become
self-actualized individual. You should be able to become what you have
the potential to become in very brief words. And, before I conclude the video, let’s
conclude with another thought from Steve Jobs. He says, “We are here to put a dent in the
universe, otherwise why else even be here.” If
you are here, if you are living—you need to make a dent in the universe, you need to
make your footprint felt in the universe, you need to cause ripples and leave an impact. Now how are you going to cause that impact? Think about it, will continue with this
thought in the coming video. Thank you.

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  • Reply Interesting facts January 16, 2017 at 7:19 pm


  • Reply MOHIT KUMAR March 6, 2017 at 10:48 am

    very nice thank you !!!

  • Reply Srikanth Vodnala July 4, 2017 at 11:53 am

    good one

  • Reply ARCHANA BORDE July 5, 2017 at 7:35 am

    Very good one…If Implemeted will really change

  • Reply Sandeep Ragam July 27, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Quality education,best option for changing myself,thank you very much to nptel.

  • Reply Gunjan Jaiswal August 1, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    will these videos be removed after the course gets over?

  • Reply Sunand Emmanuel August 2, 2017 at 8:34 am


  • Reply Narendra Thakur August 3, 2017 at 7:27 am

    Excellent and inspiring.

  • Reply Prabhakar IASaspriant August 3, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    thank you sir.

  • Reply Kunal Kanase August 5, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    Thank you very much, Professor Ravichandran!

  • Reply KAMAL DEV November 6, 2017 at 7:01 am

    nice sir

  • Reply Saurabh Mittal May 16, 2018 at 8:20 pm

    Excellent quote i have ever understood -> Thinking of end of something gives you better idea of beginning . .

  • Reply Jophil Idolor June 22, 2018 at 2:12 am

    Thank you so much Sir! So inspiring!

  • Reply Affif ur Rahman August 23, 2018 at 7:41 am

    very bad

  • Reply Affif ur Rahman August 23, 2018 at 7:41 am

    very bad video

  • Reply Dushyant Pandit August 30, 2018 at 9:08 am

    Speaking is very slow

  • Reply Suryansh September 3, 2018 at 3:50 am


  • Reply Shahil Mohammed September 3, 2018 at 8:33 am

    Great Ravi Sir..

  • Reply prashant kohli September 15, 2018 at 7:38 am

    good lectures

  • Reply SMART BALA October 10, 2018 at 4:03 pm


  • Reply subba Mishra October 23, 2018 at 9:07 am

    I always use the fuzzy method 🙂

  • Reply Ahbyahd Mohammed November 16, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    Dayumm you opened up my eyes

  • Reply Ganesh Singh Rawat January 29, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    Thank you sir good information

  • Reply mayank kumar August 25, 2019 at 8:29 am

    Plz provide pdf link

  • Reply Saranya Ganesan August 27, 2019 at 10:12 am

    its amazing sir

  • Reply YOUR WELCOME best song etc. September 3, 2019 at 3:30 am

    Thank you very much Sir ji.

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