The year was 1996. I quit my 12th grade 3 months before the board exams due to a failed relationship. My entire family looked down on me and friends would gossip behind my back. My misfortune caused heavy financial and emotional losses to my mother, father, sister and grandfather.

6 months later, one morning, when I saw my sister leaving to school with my dad, tears rolled down my cheeks. My mother must have seen me in that state, for she went to talk to her father. Soon I was summoned to the fields where he was tending to the coconut trees. I was told that I will be sent to school if I wanted to study but my focus should remain on studies. I instantly agreed as I saw that as my ticket to becoming the person who will be looked up at.

I started school with renewed belief to complete it. I believed that I had it in me to make it bigger and I knew I will achieve whatever I set my mind to. I focused 100% on studies and found I had more time at home to relax and help family. When my 12th board results were declared, my dream came true. I secured school topper. I even surprised everyone with my district third rank in accountancy. I went on to complete BBM and MSc in Finance and Computer Applications.

I started dreaming big and achieving things. I worked in multinational companies and was promoted as a lead at a prestigious IT firm in a short span. A year later, I started working alongside brilliant colleagues, who were from leading business schools such as IIM, IIT, ISB… I grew from managing a team to managing projects and clients globally. I travelled the world. I handled projects worth multi million dollars. I truly lived my words.

The journey wasn’t easy. I had to give my 100% at work every day. I had to have unwavering focus on my work. I had to learn to not let my socio economic status affect me. I had to withstand the pressures of the society towards marriage. I had to learn to prioritize myself. I had to learn to stick by what I want. I had to learn to let go of the failing relationships. I had to learn to hold on to the one loving relationship that made me an even better person. I had to learn to say YES to new opportunities. I had to learn to say NO to people and projects. It was very uncomfortable. Yet, I made my choices and lived my life. I would name the company I wanted to work for next. Shortly, I would get an offer to work for them.

I even chose a career break and still lived life queen size. I dreamed of my second corporate innings. I ended up working for the leading bank of USA in spite of a 6 year career gap. I learnt over the years to decide what I want and achieve it by becoming who I want to be. I believed in my dreams, owned and lived it. I embodied success as my being.

Now listen, if I, who comes from a tier 2 city education and with all the misfortunes that I faced early on in my life, can achieve my dream, so can each one of you.

Create your life and live it. Believe in yourself and transmute every dream of yours into a reality.