Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Pic.: Sudha Ahuja

“The winner is one who knows when to drop out
in order to get in touch.”
- Marshall McLuhan
This is the authentic list of the ‘most-successful college-dropouts’ of our times. And, this list comes from the revered TIME magazine. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Tom Hanks, Harrison Ford, James Cameron, Buckminister Fuller (architect, thinker, inventor, futurist), Tiger Woods, Lady Gaga and  Frank Lloyd Wright (America’s most celebrated architect).

Remember, these are, certainly, not the only ten most-successful college-dropouts. These are the well-known ones. There are thousands of successful college dropouts around us. They didn’t like studies and went about doing what they passionately believed in and loved. It reminds me of our own movie - ‘3-idiots’. Rancho is the classic example. He came out of the college, never compromising on any of his idiosyncrasy, in flying color. But, that ‘flying-color engineering-degree’ went to his Master’s useless son. Rancho went about doing what he did on his own, through his own genius… Yes, without a degree in his hand!

And, because there is a little bit of Rancho in all of us, because we do not find our education all that fascinating, we too, often, think that we can do what Rancho had done in his life… Yes, we too think that we can achieve what Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Tom Hanks, Tiger Woods and others had achieved…

It is not as simple and as straight as that, my dear brothers and sisters… It is much complicated than that!

I hammer this reality on my young students every day… “You need to possess in your belly what a Bill Gates and Steve Jobs had possessed,” I drill into their skulls. “They didn’t drop out from college and loitered away their time with their useless friends,” I remind my students, “they spent their time – their blood, sweat and tears - discovering themselves.” I tell them point-blank this: “So, if, by dropping out of your college, you wish to discover yourself, please go ahead and do it. You dislike studies, no problem… You have the right to do so. But, then, unless you possess within you what it takes to discover your passion and go after it – for heaven’s sake, don’t drag world’s most famous-and-successful college-dropouts to sell your own story… If you really have the fire in your belly, write your own college-dropout story and let someone else cite your example.”

“The plain truth is this: All college-dropouts haven’t become a Bill Gates or a Harrison Ford,” I sum up before my young idiots, “Therefore, ask now, ‘Will I?’…”


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