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Be honest. Do you make the best use of opportunities that come your way? If you do, great. If, like many others, you have not- here’s something to think about. Opportunities, they say, come but once. It’s up to us to make the best use of them. How do you react to the rapid changes around  you? How are you able to cope with demands made on you like never before- both in your professional and personal life?

Many of these issues -set in the changing context of present day India- are delightfully brought out in a recent book by one of my favourite authors- Shobhaa De. I rate her as one of India’s finest writers in English. Called ” Superstar India- From Incredible to Unstoppable”, it describes India’s passage over the last 60 years. It is written with a personal perspective as having been born in 1948, De is in the best position to chronicle developments in India over the last few decades.

Many of my generation are able to relate to what she writes. We were brought up in an environment characterized by controls, frugality and the compulsion to save. Today’s generation of Indians see India differently. It is growing to become an economic super power. Particularly in the larger metros, people lead life styles very different from the earlier decades.

We have come a long way from the India  associated with poverty, famines, snake charmers and maharajahs. Economic growth and progress has not been without its fallout. Young people in India today -especially in the cities- are not very different from their peers in most of the so called ‘advanced” countries. However, with economic progress have come social challenges in terms of balancing work and family, balancing our traditional Indian ways with norms prescribed by a global corporate life style.

Most young people  of today are ready to grab the many opportunities that life has to offer to get ahead. This is not to say that in my generation we didn’t have people who made better use of opportunities than others. To my mind, Shobhaa is an excellent example of one.

As Ann Landers said ” Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognize them.”

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This is Post No: 193 of the “A Step A Day” series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success