The Excellence Lessons from a 1985 IIM-A Graduate Who Refuses to Believe in Talent


I used to respect talent like anything but not anymore.
And this happened after hearing golden nuggets from him.
I had this belief that talent and ability are the most important things if you want to accomplish anything.But now,my beliefs have shaken.
No joke.

I am just dazzled with whatever I have heard.

” It’s not the talent and ability but it’s attitude and work-ethic that matters the most.”

No, it’s not coming from some big Self-Help Guru.
But these words are coming from none other than IIM-A nerd who is famous for his oratory power who is doing big rounds in cricket commentary circles since 1995.
Yes, you guessed it right.

His name is Harsha Bhogle.

BTW, the thing happened like this, I had gone to my friend’s house for some project and after I finished my work, I was talking with his room-mate and while talking about his entrepreneurial dream he just directed me to this video.

Those 4 minutes of clip riveted me and I was so amazed by whatever Harsha delivered, I couldn’t control myself to watch a full version of it.
I quickly went to my home and searched on youtube to see his full length video. You can see it below.

It’s an old video of 2005 but still all the principles he mentioned are timeless.

BTW, while you can start watching the video, I was just thinking how this principles can be applied to MBA preparation. I came out with 5 pages of condensed notes.
And the fact is these notes can be valuable as you are preparing for CAT.
Some of the lessons you can learn

1.Don’t love the destination.Love the journey.

Because if you don’t love the journey it can be the source of anxiety,turbulence.
If you are a Chemical Engineer like me then I can talk in terms of Entropy. This anxiety adds to the degree of Entropy.And then you realize you are choking yourself to death.

I will illustrate this with my example.I did my chemical engineering as much as I hated completing it, just not my cup of tea but still why in the first place I decided to take admission in that college ? Because my ultimate goal was to complete graduation from reputed college and for that I wasted my 4 years. Not literally,I actually learnt a lot and met and became friends with some amazing people.

The point here is when you are preparing for MBA entrance,don’t make IIM your goal. There is nothing wrong in that BTW but learn to enjoy the studies,take interest in subject. Don’t just study for the sake of studying because even if you achieve the goal it will make you feel miserable.

2. Path to excellence is paved through runs and not through dollars.

Put your efforts completely without expecting any returns. Be detached to the outcome.
There is my favorite saying in Sanskrit.

कर्मणयेवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन।

Always set performance goals and not outcome goals.

The mistake most people do is when they set outcome goals after they achieve that particular thing they tend to become complacent.

Give your 100% not 183%. Even if some people say give your 183%, it’s actually not possible in the real world.

When somebody beats you, look at them as a healthy competition rather than jealousy. Make a resolution to try harder next time and come out as a winner.

When you are preparing for MBA entrance, give your full performance, YES!!
Set outcome goals but don’t get too much attached to it.
At least even if you fail, you will sleep peacefully in the night.

Don’t envy competitors, ask them what they are doing different and do that.

I did it and I am guilty of this. I never asked what my friends who were scoring high percentile were doing because I was so jealous of them.

3. Surround yourself with people are better than you.

When you really want to become successful, surround yourself with people who are high achievers.

And if you find yourself surrounding with bootlickers then you are really insecure.

When you are preparing for CAT, always be in touch with high performance achievers. Even if it’s difficult and requires you to get out of that comfort zone, do it.

What happens when you start getting success, our ego starts to show and we start hating criticism and arrogance comes in the way of excellence.

4. Don’t seek validation from others.

I have iterated this point often times still I am iterating it again and stop seeking approval from others.Don’t brag your percentile, don’t make it a big point of celebration. Try to live a low-key life.Whatever you are worth will be eventually proved in final exam till then don’t blow your own trumpet.

5.Talent is good,Ability is great but Attitude trumps All.

Talent and ability is not important unless you know how to use it properly and even if you have it won’t solve every problem.

Attitude and Solid work ethic solves the problem.I saw this movie long time ago called “Top Gun“, and there was a dialogue like this.


“That was some of the best flying I’ve seen yet. Until you got killed.

You never, never leave your wingman.

Maverick … It’s not your flying, it’s your attitude.

The enemy’s dangerous, but right now you’re worse. Dangerous and foolish.

You may not like who’s flying with you, but whose side are you on?”


He was talking about the attitude because you attitude matters the most in the long term.

Talent will open first door for you, ability will do the second door but unless you have the attitude it won’t open final or last door for you.

So it’s said that

Talent alone is not enough. A certain attitude and mindset are also required. This is why so many with talent alone do not make the cut.

I will share my personal example with you.


The reason is very simple, they can relate to me.
They do it not because I am the only one , there are gazillions of people achieving much more than I can ever do in my entire life but they see my attitude of not giving up.

I didn’t achieve what I achieved because I was more talented or more able than other candidates but I did what I did just because I had that attitude of not giving up.
While I was writing this I just remembered an example of a great boxer Muhammed Ali.
Ali is by any means one of the best boxers ever lived.

SAPA990304276610GeorgeForeman-22He won so many matches by knockout that he lost count of it. Although he also lost a couple of matches. But the match he gives the most credit to is the match that happened between is him and George Foreman.
George Foreman was heavy weight champion back then and he challenged Ali and you can see the whole match here.

Ali considers this match was one of the most defining moments of his life.
In this match , Ali feared getting beaten to death. He quickly realized that in no way he can’t defeat George foreman if he continued like that, nothing of his best strategies could work at that point of time.
He quickly realized that if he continues to fight George Foreman in the same way he will be easily knocked out in the 3rd or 4th round so he devised a different strategy.
You can see that in the video above.

The point I want to make here is your true potential is revealed not when everything is working smooth but when the chips are down.

Same for CAT, if you are not super talented like your peers, beat them with your discipline and work ethic.
If you see the history, the people are successful were not necessarily very talented but they were resilient.
Resiliency trumps everything.

5. Don’t afraid of making mistakes. Don’t get intimidated by mistakes.

But also remember you don’t need to do all the mistakes yourself and you have to learn from others also.
Anyways the point is if you are not learning from yours or other mistakes and making same mistake again and again, you are really stupid.
Make mistakes your friends.

When I was in my third year chemical engineering, one of our professors said while explaining practicals ” Before you know what to do , you should all know what not to do. ”
While you are preparing for MBA entrances, if you goof up in a mock , don’t worry, there is still time. Make the required corrections.

6. Luck is real.

But before you start assuming anything let me explain what the luck is.

Luck is preparation and recognition.

Allow me to explain.
Always be prepared and recognize when opportunity is knocking and cash in.

It’s also said the harder you work the luckier you get. I couldn’t agree more.

The hard work doesn’t mean repetitive work though.

So how to use luck in cracking CAT or other MBA entrance exams ?

Be prepared all the time and raise the game when there is an opportunity.
I remember when I was preparing for my IIT-JEE entrance long time back when there used to be screening and mains and not like it’s now.
I had joined some test series, so once I went there to solve some of my queries and while I was talking with professor. I started bragging my score in mock JEEs and professor said only one thing.

“Your mock score has nothing to do with your actual score. It only depends on how you perform on that particular day.”

And he was dang right.

I didn’t raise my game on the exam day and I failed. ( Actually lost by 4 marks)

7. Don’t live in the past.

No matter how glorious your past is don’t live there.
I will share my example with you.
I scored 5th rank in my SSC Board and then I decided to go for IIT as usual and joined classes for that but when I started preparing and giving mock screenings, I got a big dose of reality.No joke.

I was still dwelling on that past success and whenever I failed , I used to justify and rationalize myself by saying that this is just a temporary failure and I am still a topper.
I was in that mode for a long time, more than you can imagine.

The point I am driving home  is start living in the present.

If you are preparing for MBA entrance, then forget about your past glories. it doesn’t matter even if you have rack full of accolades, it doesn’t matter. What matters is what you do in the present with it.

So these are all of my learnings , I am sure you have got a lot of value from this. Consider sharing it on your wall or on your social media accounts and share it with someone who can benefit from this and don’t forget to leave the comment below.

And last but not the least,

The last message was like this

“Raise yourself to such a level that when the God wants to grant you a fortune, he will ask you what do you really want ?”

That’s the time you know , you have come so much ahead of your competition.

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Sukrut is a passionate geek, internet visionary and a full time blogger, he has been teaching MBA students from the past two years, he is a chemical engineer by qualification,. Read my full story here




  1. simran says

    hello sir really inspired by your words, but still dont know where to start from. I am persuing B.Tech and telling you frankly I dont have any interest. just wanna complete dis and want to follow my dream that is to be a cricket commentaor.

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